If you’re looking to spice up your beauty routine, you know that anything involving the lips makes a bold statement. If you’re not in the lipstick mood, you know, you do have another option:
Don’t worry, lip gloss has made huge strides since your middle school days.
If you’re looking for the best lip gloss, we have it all here for you! Let’s get started.
7 Of The Best Lip Glosses For 2021
Here’s a comparison table of the best lip glosses of the year!
|Lip Gloss||Type||At a Glance|
|L’Oreal Paris Colour Riche Balm||Conditioning Balm||Conditions during and after application, dewy glow, hint of color, comes in variety of shades, SPF protection, sheer coverage|
|Colourpop Ultra Glossy Lip||High Shine Gloss||Comes in 4 different finishes, great budget product, doe foot applicator, great wear time, cushion-like feel, good level of opacity|
|Fenty Beauty Universal Gloss Bomb (Editor's Pick)||High Shine Gloss||Very shiny, non-sticky formula, peach-vanilla scent, works with any lip color, 100% cruelty-free, doe foot applicator|
|Burt’s Bees 100% Natural Moisturizing Lip Gloss||Natural Gloss||Comes in wide array of colors, moisturizing, softens, all-natural, paraben/phthalate/petrolatum/SLS-free, inexpensive|
|Soap and Glory Sexy Mother Pucker Lip Plumping||Plumping Gloss||Comes in array of colors, super-smooth application, circulation-boosting, makes lips fuller, strong dessert smell, hydrating|
|Maybelline Color Sensational Vivid Lacquer||High Shine Gloss||Full coverage, available in wide array of colors, very opaque and vivid shades, smooth application, comfortable wear, doe foot applicator|
|LipSense Gloss (Editor's Pick)||High Shine Gloss||Comes in 8 different colors/finishes, Shea Butter base, softens and protects skin, Vitamin E, no animal testing|
Now that you’ve had a chance to take a look at each of the best lip glosses on our list, you’re probably curious about learning more! Scroll down even further to read in-depth about each gloss you have your eye on!
L’Oreal Paris Colour Riche Balm – Best Product for No Makeup Look
Right away, you’ll probably notice the packaging, which is in the form of a steel tube along with a plastic cap that matches the shade of balm you’ve selected. It’s honestly nothing special, to the point where it looked even a bit cheap.
However, the Colour Riche Balm impressed us much more than the packaging did.
The tinted lip balm provides just a hint of luscious color that isn’t overpowering, but rather adds just the right amount of spark in your normal makeup routine. You can choose between 6 pretty shades: Heavenly Berry, Caramel Comfort, Nourishing Nude, Pink Satin, Plush Plum, and Rose Elixir. Each of the colors is very mild and is meant to gently improve the look without being overpowering.
Have dry lips?
Then you’ll love this! The balm instantly soothes lips upon application and additionally provides up to 8 hours of continuous hydration. Do you know that feeling where you’ve applied a new gloss and later on your lips look dull or dried out? Not with the Colour Riche! It keeps on conditioning your lips even after the balm has been removed; how impressive is that?
If you spend a good amount of time outdoors, you’ll want to bring this balm along for the ride.
Lips are often ignored when it comes to protecting them from potentially damaging sun rays, despite the lips being particularly prone to weather exposure. We love the fact that this balm features SPF protection for up to 8 hours, so you don’t have to worry as much about that!
Overall, if you’re looking for that “no-makeup” look with a new lip product, then we have a feeling you’re going to love this balm. No matter which color you select, you can rest assured it will be just a light enhancement. They each feature a sheer finish but isn’t to the point where it looks like you’re practically looking into a mirror. If you’re looking for a more dramatic or intense color, we recommend using the L’Oreal Colour Riche Lip Liner underneath to boost the intensity!
How’s the wear time?
It does stay put for a good amount of time as it says, however, we found that in-between meals or drinks, you’ll need to touch up. This is mainly due to its very creamy texture, which definitely feels nice, but transfers very easily.
What We Liked
- Great for creating a “no-makeup” look
- Moisturizes and protects against UV rays up to 8 hours
- Comes in 6 different shades
- Light floral scent; not overpowering
What We Didn’t Like
- Doesn’t have a high level of pigmentation
- Transfers easily, so touch-ups may be required
Colourpop Ultra Glossy – Best Budget Product
They’ve more recently come out with their Ultra Glossy Lip, and it comes with an amazing selection of 21 shades! Some of the shades have been toted by celebrities and popular makeup YouTubers like ILuvSarahii. In addition to the shades, the Ultra Glossy also comes in four finishes: Metallic, Crème, Sheer, and Glossy.
Each of the shades wears pretty well; you could definitely go all day with one application and a couple touch-ups, however, this depends a bit on the finish of the gloss you’re using.
For example, we found that the Metallic-finished glosses tended to last longer (about five hours, including meals), and the only parts that really came off ultimately were the inside part of the lips. Sheer finishes wore about the same. We felt like the Crème finishes came off a bit easier, but not by much.
How are they with transferring?
Oh, they transfer, alright. Expect a gloss mark on anything your lips touch. However, this is pretty standard for lip glosses, so it wasn’t a huge downside for us.
What did we love?
Aside from the huge selection of absolutely stunning colors, we loved the actual feel of the product. It gives a cushiony feel to the lips that almost makes it feel like your lips are plumper. The gloss also works to smooth and condition the lips to leave them looking fuller and younger. Each shade is also very well-pigmented, and we felt that each shade looked great on just about any skin color.
The main ingredient that functions to condition the lips is the synthetic beeswax; keep in mind this isn’t real beeswax.
What we didn’t love?
Aside from the fact that they transfer so easily, the only real thing we didn’t like was the fact that they are a bit sticky. Colourpop does claim the gloss isn’t sticky at all, but we found it to be the opposite.
What We Liked
- Come in a huge array of well-pigmented shades
- Very inexpensive for the level of quality
- Wears for a pretty good amount of time
- Comes in four different finishes
What We Didn’t Like
- Quite sticky
- Transfers easily
Fenty Beauty Universal Gloss Bomb – Editor’s Favorite
Then there’s Rihanna’s Fenty Beauty.
It seems as if just about all of her makeup line has hit the mark, and Fenty Beauty’s Beauty Gloss Bomb is definitely no exception.
The brand states that it was “created for everyone: women of all shades, personalities, attitudes, cultures, and races”, and we have to say it definitely seems to live up to that. Many makeup lines are conceived with fairer skin tones exclusively in mind, and some are created just for darker ones. What we loved about this gloss, is that it was made to work for literally any skin tone.
The Gloss Bomb is toted as being a universally-flattering shade, which, is quite the statement. That being said, we did have our doubts until we actually used it.
Even the packaging is attractive.
Coming in a light pink or “millennial pink” as it’s so commonly referred to, features black graffiti, and white and grey on the top front of the package. The actual gloss container comes in a unique, chunky, pentagon-shaped prism that just oozes quality.
The silvery wand untwists to show the doe foot applicator, which usually we would love, but we did find it to be a bit too wide. So, it’s great for quick, easy coverage, but it is a bit more difficult for those with thinner lips to stay “within the lines”, so to speak.
So, what does the gloss look like?
Great question, considering it comes in one shade that’s supposed to be for all skin tones. The lip gloss is a pinky-brown or almost like a burnt sienna with some finely-milled sparkles. The site dubs it as a “perfect nude rose”. As the sparkles are so small, it isn’t what we’d call “glittery” but rather just enhances the sheen and makes the lips look fuller in a more natural way.
It feels surprisingly non-sticky, especially for a lip gloss. This was one of the few glosses that stated to have a non-stick formula that actually lived up to the claim. The scent is a peach-vanilla that’s pretty powerful.
It’s really hit-or-miss, depending on the person. Some people don’t like scented makeup, and some do. We found the scent overall to be reminiscent of those peach ring candies!
It also leaves your lips feeling better after application.
Since it has a Shea Butter base, it feels luscious and leaves your lips the same way. The gloss works to hydrate and nourish lips while on, but we also felt a difference after we took it off. One more thing that we loved about this lip gloss brand, is that they do not test on animals, so it opens itself up to a much bigger market!
What We Liked
- One shade suits all types of skin colors
- The non-sticky formula feels nice on lips
- Hydrates and nourishes lips to look healthier
- Peach-vanilla scent
- No testing on animals
What We Didn’t Like
- On the expensive end of the spectrum
- Doe foot applicator can be too wide for some users
Burt’s Bees 100% Natural – Most Eco-Friendly Product
The gloss features natural oils packed full of nutrients to leave your lips looking luscious and feeling healthy and soft to the touch. They work to enhance the natural beauty of your lips, without using any synthetic chemicals or materials to do so.
Many lip gloss brands use synthetic beeswax, but Burt’s Bees Moisturizing Gloss uses actual beeswax, along with sunflower oil to soften and condition your pucker!
The lip gloss comes in 12 beautiful shades to choose from, depending on your mood and/or skin tone: Autumn Haze, Evening Glow, Fall Foliage, Nearly Dusk, Ocean Sunrise (pictured above), Rosy Dawn, Ruby Moon, Spring Splendor, Starry Night, Summer Twilight, Sunny Day, and Sweet Sunset.
Each color looks beautiful, however, it does not have the color payoff or intensity that some of our other products did. The shades each feature a bit of shimmer; not too much, but just enough to naturally enhance your lips.
If you’re also searching for an organic lip gloss for kids or yourself, this is an excellent option. As it’s made with 100% natural ingredients and is free of parabens, phthalates, petrolatum, and SLS, you or whomever you’re purchasing for with sensitive skin or prone-to-allergy skin can use this with no worries.
The scent is practically non-existent; you can tell it’s just a result of all of the ingredients they’ve used, but nothing artificially added. We would also like to add that this gloss is sticky; notably sticky and thick to the point that it’s almost grainy. Aside from that, we really loved this moisturizing gloss!
What We Liked
- All-natural ingredients; free of phthalates, SLS, and more
- Great for those with sensitive skin or allergies
- Comes in a wide variety of colors
- Hydrates and nourishes lips naturally
What We Didn’t Like
- Very sticky and thick
- Not very opaque
Soap and Glory Sexy Mother Pucker – Best Product for Plumping Lips
Their Sexy Mother Pucker Lip Plumping Gloss is perfect if you’re looking to plump your lips without having to deal with any needles.
Right off the bat, you’ll notice the packaging is pretty straightforward and plain. It comes in a see-through tube so you can see the product inside. The applicator is a doe-foot wand, and the tube is kind of huge, so not exactly travel-friendly.
The gloss comes in 12 different shades: The Berry Thing, Super Peach, Spun Sugar, Rose and Shine, Plums Up, Pinkredible, Pink Out Loud, Papa Don’t Peach, Nude Star, Down and Dainty, Candy Queen, and Bare Enough. The shades are all quite alike if we’re honest, and there isn’t a whole lot of color payoff, so it’s very subtle.
The real selling point is the lip-plumping technology.
The way it works is with its Superfill Lip Plumping Spheres. Once they meet the moisture on your lips, they expand, much like little, dry sponges that expand when they become wet. In addition to that, they’ve also included the Lipswell Natural Plant Oil Infusion. This microcirculation-boosting extract is what’s going to help make your lips feel fuller upon contact, and give that “tingly” feeling.
Does it work?
After the first few minutes, you’ll notice a tingling sensation on your lips. It wasn’t necessarily uncomfortable or painful in any way, but definitely noticeable. After about 20 minutes, you will see a difference, but it’s nothing crazy.
What did we like?
The consistency, mostly. It’s smooth and buttery and goes on very easily with great coverage. The pigmentations are quite sheer – perhaps too sheer, depending on your likes. The gloss wasn’t sticky at all, which was a nice surprise.
We didn’t like the fact that the wear time was very minimal; we’re talking four hours more or less. So, if you’re looking for a lip-plumping gloss this is a good option
What We Liked
- Works to boost lip plumpness
- Not sticky at all
- Smooth, buttery consistency goes on easily
What We Didn’t Like
- Short wear time
- Not particularly great color payoff/opacity
Maybelline Color Sensation Vivid Lacquer – Best Statement Product
That was, of course, until we came across the Maybelline So Hot Color Sensational Vivid Hot Lacquer Lip Gloss!
You’ll find plenty of glosses out there that look as if they feature bright shades, but once you put it on, you’ll see that they’re not opaque at all or the color payoff is disappointing. This lip gloss comes in a wide variety of colors: Charmer, Classic, Major (pictured above), Obsessed, Retro, Royal, Sassy, Slay It, So Hot, Tease, Too Cute, and Unreal.
The last three shades are probably the most “tame” of them all and are all more neutral shades perfect for any season. The others vary from black to bright orange, to a deep royal blue/purple.
The packaging is rather basic, with a little bit of an upscale finish. The clear tube is protected by an outer “layer” or see-through plastic, and the applicator is the classic doe foot that easily and evenly distributes the gloss.
Upon application, you’ll notice the texture is rather lightweight and doesn’t feel heavy, like so many others do. We noticed it was a bit sticky, which worked great for making sure the product sat on top of the lips without settling into the fine lines. The wear time was good, but not the best. It stayed put for a bit over six hours, through eating and drinking, as well.
Combining the full coverage along with the “high-impact, glossy finish”, you’ll find that after “drying” a bit, it will turn into an almost gel-like consistency which holds on tight to your lips, so you don’t have to worry about melting or it sliding around.
The real showstopper of the lip gloss though is really the hyper-saturated pigments. No matter which shade or finish you go with, make sure you commit because they’re definitely out to make a statement! Each one provides your lips with a concentrated, 100% opaque color, no matter your skin color!
What We Liked
- Comes in a wide array of completely opaque, vivid colors
- Around 6 hours of wear time
- Hydrates lips while gloss is worn
- Doesn’t settle into fine lines or migrate
What We Didn’t Like
- A bit sticky-feeling
LipSense Gloss – Most Publicized Product
In many ways, yes.
What is it, exactly?
It’s a long-lasting lip gloss that is waterproof, smear-proof, and so on. Easily put, it just does not want to come off. If you have a hectic lifestyle where you don’t always have the time to reapply multiple times during the day, this is for you!
Just how long does it stay on?
LipSense claims that you can wear it for up to 18 hours. We tried this, while also eating and drinking, and while we didn’t wait a full 18 hours (we were tired, okay?), it definitely lasted well up until it came time to remove it.
If you have dry lips, you’ll also love LipSense.
The lip gloss features a Shea Butter base, and in addition to that, it also has beeswax. Both of these ingredients feel lush and work to hydrate and nourish your lips while wearing it, and after you take it off. It even has a tiny bit of alcohol to help exfoliate lips, as well as aid in the removal of previous gloss applications.
Now, let’s get to the colors they offer.
We’re not going to list all of them. Why? Because there’s a mind-boggling 70 colors and finishes to choose from. The finishes are available in Matte, Pearl, Glitter, Moisturizing, and Diamond. Matte was our personal favorite because it was so great for everyday wear, and transfers well to nighttime looks.
The feel is very comfortable, too.
It goes on very easily, but be careful, because once it’s on, it does not budge. They, in fact, sell an “Oops Remover” to get rid of any accidental applications or areas outside of where you want to apply it.
After application and drying, you’ll find that you probably won’t even remember you have it on. It really feels that natural! You don’t have to worry about any stickiness or any transfer to anything your lips touch.
So, was there anything we didn’t like?
The only thing that we really weren’t fans of was the price. It’s definitely on the more expensive end of the spectrum, however, we’d also like to put into perspective how long this lip gloss lasts.
One application of this stuff lasts potentially four times as long as some other products on our list, so this tube is going to last you much longer. With that in mind, the price is much more reasonable.
What We Liked
- Comes in a huge variety of 70 different colors and finishes
- Wear time is incredible: up to 18 hours
- No transferring or migrating
- Very natural-feeling with no stickiness
What We Didn’t Like
- On the more expensive end of the price spectrum
How To Pick The Right Lip Gloss For You
Now that you’ve had a chance to read through each of the best lip glosses, you may still have some questions about which one to select. That’s okay! We’ve created this buying guide to help you go through each aspect of the purchasing process so you have complete confidence in what you’re putting on your lips!
What exactly are you looking for? Are you looking for something more natural-looking and subtle? If that’s the case, then you may want something more transparent, a shade closer to your natural lip color, and/or less sheen.
However, if you’re looking for something with more pigmentation, make sure it has that. Many consumers just go off of the color of the product when it’s in the container. This can lead to you getting something that doesn’t look like you imagined. Also, keep in mind your natural lip color and how this may affect the gloss color you desire.
If you want something that will look good for sure, no matter what your lip/skin color is, we highly recommend the Fenty Beauty Bomb Gloss!
What’s your lifestyle like?
Do you find yourself constantly running around, doing errands, at work, etcetera? If that’s the case, then it may be wise to select a gloss with a longer wear time, where you don’t have to worry about touching up your application every few hours.
There are quite a few on our list that fit this criterion, however, we can say with full confidence that when it comes to wearing time, nothing quite compares to LipSense Lip Gloss. Keep in mind that you need to be extra careful when applying the gloss, as it doesn’t budge once it’s on.
When dealing with just about any personal beauty product, it’s important to keep the scent in mind. This comes ultimately down to personal preference, but if you have a sensitive nose, you know that a strong/unpleasant smell can quickly turn a great product into one you avoid using.
About half of the glosses on our list are unscented or feature a very mild, natural scent. The others have a more strong fragrance, but there really weren’t any that we disliked.
Try to get that concept of the older lip glosses out of your mind. You know, the ones that were super goopy-feeling, that seemed to catch every stray hair and hold them hostage to your lips, even without a breeze.
Now that we’re all adults, we can use an adult lip gloss that doesn’t have time for that. You should look for a gloss that’s comfortable to wear; not goopy, sticky, and thick-feeling. Believe it or not, there are lip glosses that feel natural.
How much are you willing to spend on one of the best lip glosses? Get this sorted before you start your search, so you don’t spend more than you want. The best glosses vary greatly in price, depending on what you’re looking for.
With that being said, the price isn’t necessarily a determining factor in how well a gloss will perform. There are plenty out there that are on the most expensive end of the price spectrum that can’t hold a candle to some of the least expensive options!
When paying attention to the price, always pay attention to how much of the product is needed in one application and how long the wear time is. For example, LipSense is going to last four times more than many other glosses. When taking that into consideration, LipSense ends up being just as inexpensive as some of the lesser-quality glosses!
Which of the lip glosses caught your attention? For us, we loved each one of the products reviewed today. However, there were a couple in particular that really stood out to us. The first, as you could probably guess, was our editor’s favorite: Fenty Beauty Universal Gloss Bomb.
The main reason, is that it literally looks amazing on everyone who puts it on; regardless of skin/lip color! A huge part of purchasing a lip gloss is choosing the color, and making sure it goes well with your lip color. Eliminating this portion of the purchasing process makes things a whole lot easier.
In addition, the gloss works to hydrate and nourish the lips not only while it’s being worn, but even after it’s taken off! It is a non-sticky formula that feels great on the lips, and what makes it even more amazing is that it’s never tested on animals!
A close second was the LipSense Gloss.
The fact that it lasts pretty much an entire day is extremely impressive. The natural, comfortable feel of the gloss makes it easy to forget you even have it on. It also doesn’t transfer to anything that touches your lips, so you don’t have to worry about touching it up during the day!
So, which one of the best lip glosses will be making its way to your home?