Lip gloss is something 98% of us have worn or own. In fact, most of us own multiple tubes of lip glosses in several shades – some with glitter, some clear. In most cases, we cannot even commit to a single lip gloss application method – some have a doe-foot applicator, some come in a squeeze tube, and there are even a few roll-on options.
Due to the prevailing popularity of lip gloss, we are all aware of the highs – like the flattering look, the feel and the overall fun aspects of wearing lip glosses. We are also aware of the lows, most annoyingly the dreaded sloppy spread of lip gloss when applied improperly, the fact that lip gloss rarely stays put for more than 10 minutes at a time and of course, the best ways to wear it.
Check out our top picks for the best lip glosses below, and even a few tips and tricks on how to choose and wear your lip gloss. You will even find a few hacks you may not have realized your lip glosses are good for.
Your Guide to the Best Lip Gloss: Contents
• 23 Best Lip Glosses to Buy Now
• What Color of Lip Gloss Should You Go for?
• How to Apply Lip Gloss for a Flawless Look
• How to Make Lip Gloss Last All Day Long
• Other Lip Gloss Tips & Hacks to Know
From tinted options to the all-time favorite clear lip gloss, these 23 lip glosses are currently the most coveted on the beauty market. Get your favorite to understand why!
1. Fenty Beauty by Rihanna Gloss Bomb Universal Lip Luminizer
Fenty Beauty by Rihanna has a high-shine shimmering lip gloss available in a clear version and a rose nude color that is beautiful and perfect for most skin tones. This is the best lip gloss that has just a hint of color and shimmer but really delivers on the high-impact shine.
The reviews are just as amazing as the product thanks to the easy application with the XXL wand, as well as the inclusion of shea butter that conditions your lips to be healthy and smooth. Pick yours up from Sephora!
2. Glossier Lip Gloss
Glossier formulated a longer-lasting, non-sticky feeling lip gloss that moisturizes with vitamin E and has grown in popularity very quickly. It features a fuzzy doe-foot style applicator that makes it easy to glide on the perfect amount of gloss for just the right look. This is the best lip gloss for fans of the clear look, and it is available at Glossier.
3. Marc Jacobs Beauty Enamored Hi-Shine Lip Lacquer
Marc Jacobs’ lip gloss comes in a variety of high-shine finishes and 31 colors, as well as a slew of shimmer finishes. This particular lip gloss has won the Allure Best of Beauty Award twice. You can order a tube for yourself from Sephora and enjoy the triple shine complex that has gained this lip gloss so many accolades.
4. MAC Lipglass
MAC’s lipglass comes in 30 pretty colors, from soft to bold that are topped with a glassy high-gloss finish. There are more than enough colors to go around so there are several options for every skin tone. If you like your lip gloss mixed with highly pigmented colors, this is a great option. Order yours from Nordstrom!
5. Anastasia Beverly Hills Lip Gloss
The Anastasia Beverly Hills lip gloss comes in three finishes and 29 colors, but Venus is the color with the perfect amount of gold and sparkling pink mixed in with the high-shine gloss. It will definitely turn heads while gliding on smoothly. Get a tube for yourself from Sephora!
6. Christian Louboutin Beauty Loubilaque Lip Lacquer
Christian Louboutin’s lip gloss was inspired by PVC and produces a similar level of shine. Available in three wearable shades, this is the best lip gloss that is also lightweight, perfect for providing comfortable feel and a fullness-enhancing shine whether worn alone or on top of your color preference of lipstick and shade. And then of course there is the gorgeous tube that you can wear as a charm on your necklace, so order yours on Net-a-Porter!
7. Buxom Full-On Plumping Lip Polish Gloss
Available in 87 colors, from unicorn-inspired options to feminine pinks, Buxom’s lip polish isn’t just one of the best lip glosses out there with equal amounts of shimmer and shine, but also one of the best lip plumpers. Vitamins A and E are added to the formula so that the lips not only look plumper, but also look and feel healthier. Order yours from Sephora!
8. NARS Lip Gloss
The NARS lip gloss has everything you could want from a tinted gloss. The high-shine finish is accentuated with just the right amount of sparkle, and the 7 color options available are the perfect combinations of peach, nude and pink to be flattering. You can order a tube for yourself from Sephora.
9. Estee Lauder Pure Color Envy Sculpting Gloss
Estee Lauder really lived up the reputation with one of the best lip glosses on the market. It only comes in four colors, but it really gives your pout some “va-va-voom” as it magnifies and shines. The colors are subtle and can be built up without being overly sticky or embarrassingly thick. You can order your favorite shade from Nordstrom.
10. Pat McGrath Labs Lust: Lip Gloss
This lip gloss by Pat McGrath is a luxurious lip product available in 14 colors and 3 finishes – shimmer, glitter and high-shine. It’s the best lip gloss with an ultra-light formula designed to be easy to wear. The resulting look is glossy, brilliant lips with a more voluminized pout than you stared with. Get a tube of these surrealistic lip gloss colors at Sephora!
11. Laura Mercier Lip Glacé
Laura Mercier’s lip glacé is a great high-shine lip gloss in 13 soft colors that look amazing alone or layered over another color. The overall finish is brilliant, and the scent is just soft enough to be perfect. Get yours from Sephora!
12. Smith & Cult Shining Lip Lacquer
The incandescent colors of Smith & Cult’s Shining Lip Lacquer have been designed to give that subtle wash of color and gloss to your pout or to create a deeper color when layered with other lipstick shades. Portulaca pilosa extract is in the formula to moisturize and plump your lips without discomfort, and the colors deliver along with the shine from every angle and under every type of light. One of the best lip glosses, this lovely tube is available at Net-a-Porter.
13. BECCA Glow Lip Gloss
Becca’s lip gloss comes in 13 pink, nude and peach colors with gold pearl throughout to deliver a beautiful shimmering shine. Though it’s a gloss, it has the nourishing aspects of a lip balm, designed to give you the best of both worlds and then some extra pow for your pout. There is also a non-stinging plumper in the mix with peppermint oil, shea and muru butter, as well as vitamins E and C. Order one for yourself from Sephora!
14. Bobbi Brown Lip Gloss
Bobbi Brown’s lip gloss is available in four pink-toned, brown-laden shades that are just too beautiful to miss out. The gloss is phenomenal, but the ingredients of the lightweight, non-sticky formula include vitamin C, jojoba oil, aloe extract and avocado oils that soothe and hydrate during wear. Get yours from Sephora!
15. NYX Butter Gloss
One of the most affordable and best lip glosses, the NYX Butter Gloss is designed to be soft, nourishing and richly colored. The 28 color options available are right on the line between bright and feminine, and all of them look just delicious. This colored lip gloss nourishes with every application and can be picked up from Ulta Beauty.
16. Tarte H2O Lip Gloss – Rainforest of the Sea Collection
Tarte’s H2O lip gloss is exactly what it says – water-based and formulated with ocean-sourced nutrients. The 14 colors are part of the Rainforest of the Sea line and look just as mystical and alluring as the sea itself. The shine is intense with a pearlescent finish on metallic, holographic, cream and pearlescent colors. This is the best lip gloss for creating that prismatic look, and you can get a tube for yourself from Sephora.
17. Huda Beauty Lip Strobe
If you’re looking for a strobing metallic lip gloss, Huda Beauty’s Lip Strobe collection in 12 shimmering shades is the best lip gloss line you want. The formula is pigment and pearl-enriched and includes glimmering glitters to keep your lips shiny with each lightweight application. This non-sticky pearlescent lip gloss is available at Sephora.
18. Make Up For Ever Artist Plexi-Gloss
Make Up For Ever has the right shade of soft neutral rose or bright orange in its collection of 34 lip gloss colors to wear all on its own or to give a bit of a boost to your complementary lipstick. There is a lot of pigment to this lip gloss, so it is more than suitable as a staple in your makeup bag even by itself. Get a tube for yourself from Sephora!
19. Too Faced Sweet Peach Creamy Peach Oil Lip Gloss
Too Faced offers a set of lip glosses that come in six peachy shades. The shades deliver the deepest of pigment with a high-shine finish. The whipped peach oil in the formula is hydrating and comes mixed with coconut oil and vitamins, but the only aspect as incredible as the hydration and shine is the fresh peach smell. Get yours from Sephora!
20. Milk Makeup Holographic Lip Gloss
Milk Makeup offers a high-gloss option to match their best selling holographic sticks. In order to match the brilliance of the sticks, the lip gloss also includes twilight pearls and meteorite powder. The formula is incredible, designed to nourish and heal lips every time the lip gloss is applied. The color Mars is a shimmering peachy gold that works beautifully as a shiny nude. Get a tube for yourself from Sephora!
21. Urban Decay Hi-Fi Shine Ultra Cushion Lip Gloss
Urban Decay brings in the best lip gloss with a high-shine gloss finish in 16 irresistible shades. There is no glitter or shimmer required, since the shine and color of this lip gloss are more than enough. Flavored and scented like vanilla mint, this gloss also includes peppermint oil and vitamin E for healthier lips. Get your own color from Sephora!
22. Hourglass Extreme Sheen High Shine Lip Gloss
Available in 16 colors and 3 finishes, Hourglass’ lip gloss is all about an opulent color, extreme shine and a deep moisturizing experience for healthier-looking lips without any cracks. The colors stay put without any feathering, while the vitamin E in the formula provides intense hydration your lips need so much. Pick up your tube of this bestselling lip gloss at Sephora!
23. INC.redible In A Dream World Iridescent Sheer Gloss
If you are looking for the best lip gloss to embrace your unicorn soul, look no further. INC.redible’s sheer lip gloss comes in 7 iridescent shades, all made in heaven with complex swirls of light-reflecting pigments that only angels could wear. Choose your favorite shade at Sephora and get ready to live like a dreamer!
Choosing the best lip gloss color for your skin tone from the plethora of options available can be daunting at times and will invariably lead to owning several “perfect” glosses to have on hand. The perfect gloss color is one that is one or two shades darker than your natural lip color according to MUAs like Bobbi Brown and Francois Nars. Otherwise, you can always pick a clear lip gloss that will look great on any skin tone.
• Fairer skin tones look great with tinted or colored lip gloss in beige, pink and other light shades.
• Medium skin tones look amazing with natural tones of rose, berry and mauves – those lighter colors with a brown base are great options to choose from.
• Darker skin tones amaze with plums, reds and rich chocolate shades.
Note: Having a top lip that is darker or lighter than your bottom lip is totally normal and just another type of beautiful, so feel free to go with the color of your top lip for the natural looking lip gloss. If you choose to go with the color of your lighter lip, it will still look natural, but it will likely make your darker lip look fuller than you are used to.
For those looking for a fuller ombre look overall, line your lips with a color two shades darker than your natural lip color and use it to shade the corners of your lips. The center of lips should be filled with a lip liner in the same shade as your natural lip color or one shade lighter. Blend the liners smooth and then proceed to add your lip gloss.
Lip gloss and lipstick have to be applied differently but the prep is the same. Lip Gloss lasts longer and looks better on moisturized, smooth and healthy lips. This is the right order of applying a lip gloss flawlessly:
• Start off with a lip scrub to remove dead skin and smooth out your lips. Use a hydrating makeup wipe to clean off the scrub and dead skin. If you aren’t comfortable using a scrub, put petroleum jelly on your lips and rub your lips with a toothbrush, but overall a scrub is a better option.
• Do the rest of your face first. This will help you calibrate the perfect amount of lip gloss to work with your look.
• Put on a light lip moisturizer, which will make your lip gloss last longer.
• Line your lips to define them and create the shape you want. Make sure to gently blend out the edges so the look stays natural.
• Apply your lip gloss to the middle of your lips and rub them together for an even coat. The best method for this is to apply the lip gloss to the fullest part of your lip but not all the way to the edges. Press your lips together to spread the gloss evenly, and you’re almost there!
• Correct any mistakes with the corner of a tissue or preferably Q-tips if you have them on hand.
Note: If you intend to apply your lip gloss over your lipstick, you should apply your lipstick between steps 4 and 5. Lip gloss can help give your lipstick staying power as well as shine, so don’t be afraid to go for it. There are two ways you can do this.
• Option 1: Apply your lipstick first, then layer your lip gloss over it. If you’re wearing a clear lip gloss and don’t want to add color to your applicator, dab your gloss on the center of your lips with a finger and then rub them together as described in step 5.
• Option 2: Custom-blend your lipstick and lip gloss for the perfect shine and then apply. In this case a lipstick brush would be the best way to go.
The look you get with freshly applied lip gloss is gorgeous but it is ridiculous that the look can be so difficult to maintain for more than 10 minutes. At least that is how it used to be – for you, you’ll know better because we have the tips on how to make your lip gloss last all day long.
• You have to have a good foundation to make your lip gloss stay put, so first things first soften and exfoliate your lips. There is no need to go searching for an expensive exfoliator, you can do it all on your own. Coffee ground and coconut oil, sugar with lemon juice and honey or any one of a million recipes can help soften and smooth your lips. Once you have a great foundation, its time to get your all-day gloss popping.
• Use your lip liner and create a base for that longer-lasting lip gloss look. Make certain to line first, then fill in with the pencil so your lips are evenly colored – even if it’s a nude.
• A light yet hydrating lip balm, preferably one with a waxier consistency rather than a slippery one is another trick for a lip gloss that stays put. You want to build that long-lasting glossy look, so before going for the lip gloss, moisturize your lips using a clear lip balm.
• Lightly dab on a bit of concealer or foundation that will give your lip gloss something else to adhere to, which makes it last longer.
• If you want a colored lip gloss, choose an opaque one rather than rely on the base and foundation/ concealer trick. But if you just want shine – go for it. Choose your lip gloss carefully, but for the longest-lasting look, choose one with a stickier consistency as your final glossy step.
• Layering your lip gloss over a matte liquid lipstick will make your lip gloss stay put all day long.
Lip gloss is the Swiss Army knife of your makeup bag. Tinted, glitter or clear, you can find multiple uses for every tube in a moment of need.
Some of the uses of lip gloss are cosmetic, sure, but you might be surprised how many different little hacks you can use lip gloss for. The composition of the shiny and sometimes admittedly gooey lip option can be a lifesaver for your fashion emergencies and sometimes health as well. How?
Lip Gloss for Getting Magical Eyelids
Mix your eyeshadows with lip gloss to create a more pigmented and vibrant creamy look. Glide it on and be careful to do so evenly. Too much and it will look and feel gloopy and gather in the creases of your eyes. Less is more, and this can be done with the lip gloss alone as well – whether it is shimmer, glitter, tinted or clear lip gloss.
Do you want to try a colored liquid eyeliner? Mix your lip gloss with a great color eyeshadow and carefully use your liner brush to paint your new eyeliner on.
Shape Your Eyebrows
In a moment of need you can substitute your clear lip gloss for brow gel. Use a spoolie with it for best results, and you’re well on your way.
Use your lip gloss to smooth out your cuticles between manicures or whenever they are looking or feeling a bit rough. Make certain not to use too much, just a drop will do, and your cuticles will look and feel better right away.
Ring Too Tight?
If your hands (or feet if you’re wearing a toe ring) have swollen, which can happen as the day progresses, it can create a painful situation when removing your rings. Use your lip gloss as a lubricant to rectify the problem quickly and painlessly.
The youthful, dewy look that many miss from their younger days is easily achieved with a kiss of lip gloss on your cheekbones and the brow bone. Regular gloss, lightly tinted and even lightly shimmering gloss can all work fabulously in this way.
Cracked heels, dry elbows and even a dry nose can benefit from the application of lip gloss when needed. Often, especially in winter, the layers of clothes we wear can have a drying effect on the skin and can surprise you when you’re out and about. No moisturizer on hand doesn’t mean you have to suffer – just use your lip gloss instead.
Whether your nose is dry from crying, allergies or just blowing your nose from a cold, you can prevent peeling and sensitivity with just a tiny drop of lip gloss on the skin of your nose.
If you have a jammed zipper, use your lip gloss in an emergency the same way you would use WD-40. Just a dab in the spot where the zipper gets stuck can lubricate it enough for the pull and teeth to begin functioning freely again.
Want to turn your powder blush into a cream blush? Mix it with some lip gloss and dab it on. Smooth it out on your skin and enjoy the finish!
Flyaways, frizzy tips and even short hairstyles can all benefit from a quick application of lip gloss when you’re already out and about or caught off guard. The most important thing when doing this is to use only the smallest amount – too much will make your hair look greasy or dirty.
Just a drop of lip gloss rubbed on split ends can be an unexpected help. For short hair with an unruly lock or two, the strategic application of lip gloss can tame it back into place.
Create a barrier between your feet and your shoes by rubbing just a bit of lip gloss on the sides and heel of your feet where they will come into contact with the shoe. No more chafing or uncomfortable rubbing when you utilize your lip gloss this way, but don’t forget to check and clean your shoes afterwards.
Photos via @daryna_barykina, @evelyneslava_, @beautsoup