assortment of lip gloss tubes on marble surface

These Lip Glosses Offer the Finishing Touch You Didn't Know You Needed

The luxe formulas offer subtle shine and lasting hydration.
By Audrey Noble
June 07, 2021
Each product we feature has been independently selected and reviewed by our editorial team. If you make a purchase using the links included, we may earn commission.

If you're looking to add a hint of color and sparkle to your lips, glosses are one of your best options. Today's formulas and finishes are elevated and subtle (think shine, not shimmer) and boast moisturizing formulas to boot. But when you consider the plethora of options on the market, finding the best product for you can be a challenge. According to makeup artist and CTZN Cosmetics co-founder Naseeha Khan, a lip gloss should check two specific boxes: They need to provide color and skin benefits. "Nailing the right formula is the key to making a good gloss," Khan says, which "should be infused with natural butters, oils, and [other nourishing] ingredients."

Celebrity makeup artist Liz Lash agrees, adding that a lip gloss should also be wearable. "A formula that dries out your lips and makes them crack defeats the whole purpose," she notes. They also shouldn't feel sticky or tacky. "This is critical in the COVID-19 era: You don't want a gloss that's going to make your mask stick to your lips. A lip gloss that goes on smooth is usually hydrating and makes for a better experience." With that in mind, we asked Lash, Khan, and celebrity makeup artist Renée Loiz for their lip gloss recommendations. Scroll down to discover their top picks—alongside a few of our own go-to formulas—and find the right formula for you.

Top Picks

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Laura Mercier Lip Glacé Lip Gloss in Bare Baby
Credit: Courtesy of Sephora

Laura Mercier

This gloss has the stamp of approval from Martha herself (you will always find it in her makeup bag). It's a sheer gloss with a shiny finish and non-sticky formula. This pale nude shade is also perfect for any everyday look.

Shop Now: Laura Mercier "Lip Glacé"  Lip Gloss in Bare Baby, $28, sephora.com.

CTZN Cosmetics NUDIVERSAL Lip Duo in Dubrovnik
Credit: Courtesy of CTZN Cosmetics

CTZN Cosmetics

"It has the perfect pinky undertone that suits my skin tone perfectly," says Khan. "It delivers a high-shine, super pigmented payoff without being sticky, and is really moisturizing."

Shop Now: CTZN Cosmetics "NUDIVERSAL" Lip Duo in Dubrovnik, $25, ctzncosmetics.com.

Saint Jane Beauty Luxury Lip Shine in Mystic
Credit: Courtesy of Credo Beauty

Saint Jane Beauty

Lash appreciates this option's buildable qualities. "One sweep over the lips gives a beautiful stained look, and one more application brings out the universally flattering berry hue for a more drastic, but not overdone look. It's also incredibly smooth," she notes.

Shop Now: Saint Jane Beauty Luxury Lip Shine in Mystic, $28, credobeauty.com.

Tower28 ShineOn Lip Jelly
Credit: Courtesy of Sephora

Tower28

Loiz says these lip jellies are her absolute favorites. "My personal and professional kits are loaded with them," she notes, adding that the "texture is so smooth and silky and they glide on the lips effortlessly."

Shop Now: Tower28 "ShineOn" Lip Jelly, $14, sephora.com.

UOMA Beauty Boss Gloss Liquid Marble
Credit: Courtesy of UOMA Beauty

UOMA Beauty

For a bold lip, turn to this formula, which provides an intense color payoff that makes lips pop. As an added bonus, it is infused with ingredients, like lychee fruit extract, to nourish the skin and protect it from environmental aggressors.

Shop Now: UOMA Beauty "Boss Gloss" Liquid Marble, $7.95, uomabeauty.com.

Pat McGrath LUST Lip Gloss
Credit: Courtesy of Sephora

Pat McGrath

It's lightweight, non-sticky, and glides on so smoothly—what more could you want? The high-shine gloss has just a touch of subtle shimmer.

Shop Now: Pat McGrath "LUST" Lip Gloss, $28, sephora.com.

Dior Beauty Dior Addict Lip Maximizer Plumping Gloss
Credit: Courtesy of Nordstrom

Dior Beauty

This iteration has a subtle plumping effect that tingles, but doesn't hurt. It's also hydrating and stays put for hours—which is rare for a gloss formula.

Shop Now: Dior Beauty "Dior Addict" Lip Maximizer Plumping Gloss, $35, nordstrom.com.

Tom Ford Soleil Sunlust Lip Gloss
Credit: Courtesy of Bloomingdales

Tom Ford

If summer were a lip gloss, it would be this one: The iridescent shimmer in this formula actually goes on rose pink to warm up your natural color, and we think you'll turn to it from May through September.

Shop Now: Tom Ford Soleil "Sunlust" Lip Gloss, $56, bloomingdales.com.

NYX Cosmetics This Is Milky Gloss
Credit: Courtesy of Ulta

NYX Cosmetics

This gloss has a milky texture that makes application a soothing experience; the shades are buildable, which means they work across a myriad of looks.

Shop Now: NYX Cosmetics "This Is Milky" Gloss, $8.50, ulta.com.

Charlotte Tilbury Collagen Lip Bath Gloss
Credit: Courtesy of Sephora

Charlotte Tilbury

Get a gloss that does it all. Charlotte Tilbury's provides shine, hydration (thanks to ingredients like marine collagen and coconut oil), and plumping (due to mustard sprout extract).

Shop Now: Charlotte Tilbury Collagen Lip Bath Gloss, $35, sephora.com.

Maybelline Lip Lifter Gloss with Hyaluronic Acid
Credit: Courtesy of Ulta

Maybelline

Made with hyaluronic acid, this gloss provides intense moisture for hours while also smoothing away any roughness. Plus, it comes in the prettiest shimmer-based shades.

Shop Now: Maybelline "Lip Lifter" Gloss with Hyaluronic Acid, $8.99, ulta.com.