The universal coral shade is perfect for a your-lips-but-better look.
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I've Been Choosing This Tinted Lip Balm Over My Lipsticks
Credit: Mara Beauty/ InStyle

TikTok's clean girl aesthetic has become as elusive as the effortless French girl beauty look. My For You page regularly serves me TikTokers who fit the aesthetic, which consists of a slicked-back bun that inexplicably stays smooth on city girl walks; glowing skin, and a slightly shiny your-lips-but-better lipstick.

While TikTokers and hairstylists don't gatekeep the pomades and gels they swear by for a super sleek bun, I'm still perplexed at what lip product is used to achieve that perfect neutral pink lip that's slightly shiny but not glossy.

The verdict is still out. However, after trying a number of lip oils and glosses, I've found Mara Beauty's Sea Silk Lip Balm in Soft Coral to be just right. Along with a clear balm, the brand has created the perfect coral tint, which offers a sheer wash of color that warms up every lip tone. It also has a hint of shine that isn't sticky or tacky like a traditional gloss.

For technically being a lip balm, the color payoff is impressive. I like to tap slightly less than a dime-sized blob onto my lips to achieve the covetable your-lips-but-better look, but it can be layered for a bolder finish.

I've Been Choosing This Tinted Lip Balm Over My Lipsticks
Credit: Mara Beauty

To shop: $26; marabeauty.com

As for skincare benefits, the brand has infused the formula with its signature, sustainably-sourced red and brown algae complex to plump, volumize, and improve fullness. There's also nourishing mango and bacuri butters, plus hydrating moringa and watermelon oils to keep lips soft and smooth. The balm's fresh, aquatic scent is a nice change of pace from traditional fruity or flowery scents.

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In addition to being extremely easy to apply, the balm is long-lasting and holds up against coffees and face masks. While I experience a little bit of transfer, it just gives the tint even more of a lived-in vibe.

Since Mara Beauty's Sea Silk Lip Balm just launched, I doubt it's the lip color I've been seeing allover TikTok. However, I'm not one to gatekeep. So if you have been looking for a long-lasting, easy-to-wear tint that enhances your natural lip color, you're welcome.

From non-toxic makeup and skincare to sustainability practices, Clean Slate  is an exploration of all things in the green beauty space. Find out what's really in your products — and what's being left out.