I Can’t Stand Lipstick, But I Tried e.l.f.'s Lip Lacquer and Now I'm a Believer

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e.l.f. Cosmetics Lip Lacquer

e.l.f. Lip Lacquer Hero Small
Byrdie / Leigh Weingus.

Byrdie / Leigh Weingus

What We Like
  • Formulated with vitamin E

  • Keeps lips moisturized

  • 100% vegan

  • Affordable

What We Don't Like
  • A little bit sticky

If you’re looking for an affordable way to keep your lips moisturized and vibrant-looking without the chemicals, the e.l.f. Lip Lacquer is a great pick.


e.l.f. Cosmetics Lip Lacquer

e.l.f. Lip Lacquer Hero Small
Byrdie / Leigh Weingus.

Byrdie / Leigh Weingus

We put the e.l.f. Lip Lacquer to the test after receiving a complimentary sample from the brand. Keep reading for our full product review.

I’m a big fan of makeup. I love how a dash of mascara, a little cheek tint, and some concealer dabbed under my eyes can take me from exhausted-looking to vibrant. One thing I’ve never been able to get behind, though, is lipstick. I love the way it looks, but I constantly worry about getting it on my teeth and even on my face, and I hate how it seems to dry my lips out instantly.

I’ve always been more partial to lip gloss, but I have a hard time getting behind that one, too: Again, it always seems to dry out my lips, and I sometimes get it on my teeth or in my food when I eat. When I got the opportunity to try the e.l.f. Lip Lacquer, I was simultaneously skeptical and excited: It had been a while since I’d dabbled in the world of lip gloss, and I was curious to find out if a formula made with moisturizing ingredients could really make a difference. Here’s how it worked for me.

Fast Facts

Best For: Anyone looking for a hydrating, chemical-free way to add some shine to their lips.

Uses: Lip gloss, hydrating for lips

Potential Allergens: None

Active Ingredients: Vitamin E

Byrdie Clean: Yes 

Price: $3

About the Brand: e.l.f. is an American skin care brand that makes bath and skin care products, mineralized makeup, professional tools, eyeliners, lipsticks, and more.

e.l.f. Lip Lacquer Display
Byrdie / Leigh Weingus.

Byrdie / Leigh Weingus

About My Lips: Prone to dryness

While I wouldn’t say if I have dry skin in general, my lips are another story. Thanks to a combination of genetics, daily chapstick use, and a bad lip-picking habit, my lips tend to get incredibly dry, and I can’t stand the feeling. Winter is a brutal season for my lips, and I usually can’t fall asleep until I’ve adequately moisturized my lips, even if it’s just preventative. 

That’s one of the reasons why I’m typically so against putting anything but chapstick on my lips—the dryness just isn’t worth it to me.

 “It definitely gives my lips a vibrant look, and when it wears off my lips don’t feel dry and chapped.”

The Feel: A little bit sticky but definitely drying

I was in high school in the early 2000s, and my friends and I were all obsessed with MAC Lipglass. Whether it was the name or the actual product, I was never without mine—but I remember it being extremely sticky and drying.

Truth be told, the e.l.f. Lip Lacquer is pretty sticky, too, and the entire time I’m wearing it, I know I’m wearing it. Beyond that, though, I have very few complaints: It definitely gives my lips a vibrant look, and when it wears off, my lips don’t feel dry and chapped.

e.l.f. Lip Lacquer Before After
Byrdie / Leigh Weingus.

Byrdie / Leigh Weingus

The Ingredients: Top-notch

For me, the very best thing about the e.l.f. Lip Lacquer is that it doesn’t dry my lips out. I’ve actually used chapsticks and lip balms that are more drying than the e.l.f Lip Lacquer, which is very impressive. I attribute that to the fact that it’s made with vitamin E, which is known for being extremely moisturizing. Plus, it’s phthalate- and paraben-free and 100% vegan. What more can I ask for in a lip lacquer? 

The Results: Moisturized, shimmery lips

I tried three different versions of the e.l.f. Lip Lacquer: Wild Rose, Love Bite, and Bubbles. Wild Rose reminded me most of MAC’s Lipglass, both color- and smell-wise, whereas Wild Rose and Love Bite simply added a nice, shimmery coat to my lips. I’ve actually layered Bubbles, which is clear and sparkly, on top of Wild Rose quite a few times, and I love the way it looks. 

I also love the way this lip lacquer feels. Yes, it’s a little bit sticky, but I don’t end up with dried-out lips that I’m constantly picking at.

While I haven’t tried this, I can also see how this lip lacquer would look great layered over lipstick, adding a nice shine to your lips.

The Value: Affordable

At $3 per lip gloss, there’s no question that e.l.f. Lip Lacquer is affordable. It’s an especially good value when you think about how high-quality the ingredients are: Typically, clean, vegan, moisturizing products like this tend to be more expensive.

Similar Products: e.l.f.’s Lip Lacquer stands out in a crowd

MAC Lipglass ($19): As I’ve mentioned throughout this review, e.l.f.’s Lip Lacquer reminds me of MAC Lipglass, which I used daily in high school. But if you ask me, e.l.f.’s version is significantly more high quality, not to mention more affordable: Lipglass retails around $19, compared to e.l.f.’s $3.

Final Verdict

 If you’re looking for a high-quality, non-drying lip lacquer or gloss, this is it.

If you want to add some shimmer to your lips without breaking the bank or drying them out, it’s hard to go wrong with the e.l.f. Lip Lacquer. Whether you want to layer it over lipstick or where it is on its own, it’s a great pick.


  • Product Name Lip Lacquer
  • Product Brand e.l.f. Cosmetics
  • 2506905
  • Price $3.00
  • Weight 0.08 oz.
  • Color Clear

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