Summer always has us craving dewy skin, reflective highlighter, and vivid shades galore—but this year is shaping up to be all about "jelly lips". A close cousin of popsicle lips, this makeup trend comprises glossy, juicy takes on vivid shades of red, pink, and purple, resembling your favorite flavors of jelly, jam, and related fruity treats. We spoke to makeup artists Allan Avendaño and Jillian Dempsey to get their thoughts on the K-beauty-inspired look, and we're happy to report that it's easy to recreate and incredibly versatile. Ahead, learn all about jelly lips, complete with our experts' top tips and 12 delicious examples.
Meet the Expert
- Allan Avendaño is a celebrity makeup artist who works with the likes of Rachel Zegler, Michaela Jaé Rodriguez, and Simona Tabasco, as well as brands including L'Oréal Paris and Well People.
- Jillian Dempsey is a celebrity makeup artist whose notable clients include Kristen Stewart, Jennifer Lawrence, and Kate Winslet. She is the founder of her eponymous beauty brand, which offers a curated edit of makeup, skincare, and hair products.
What Are Jelly Lips?
If jelly lips bring a familiar image to mind, that's because they're exactly what they sound like. "Jelly lips are essentially tinted lips that look juicy and hydrated," Avendaño tells us. "Some people think it’s just a ton of lip gloss, but it’s actually a trend I’ve seen in Korean beauty for a very long time. I don’t know how else to describe it except for how lips look after you eat a lollipop or a popsicle, but with a juicy finish." Dempsey adds, "'Jelly lips' are similar to an ombré lip—a center lip shade with a topcoat of clear, heavy lip gloss over it to frame it in."
Like Avendaño said, the jelly lips look has a solid history in K-beauty, so it's nothing new. However, it's majorly trending at the moment thanks both to summer makeup trends and beauty creator Jael Dorotan's use of the term "jelly lips" to describe the vibrant, glossy look. Below, she shows how to achieve the look in one step with Yves Saint Laurent's Candy Glaze Lip Gloss Sticks ($39), though you'll see later in the article that there are several ways to create a similar look.
About the Trend
As mentioned, the bright, juicy lip look we now call "jelly lips" originated in the world of K-beauty. "I’ve seen the jelly lip trend for so long, and I think it was from my Korean friends that was the first time I had seen it," Avendaño says. "I have seen it so much lately, but like everything, it always comes back into style. This has definitely always been a staple in Korean beauty."
Dempsey agrees on the origin, adding that "versions of this have been widely used for years." Since popsicle lips were so popular last summer, it's no wonder that this glossy version of the look is catching on as a way to switch things up while maintaining the same lively warm-weather vibes. As trends like Barbiecore, coquette beauty, and milk bath nails continue to grow, it seems like we're all leaning into our sweeter, more whimsical sides these days, and a juicy jelly lips look is the perfect extension of that.
As for how jelly lips stand out from other similar trends, "there is more of an emphasis on high gloss as the finishing touch, and plump-looking lips right to the edge," Dempsey tells us. "It looks effortless, healthy, not overdone, and can make your lips look full and plump," Avendaño adds. "It’s not about over-lining—the volume comes from the glossiness. There’s no opaque color, so you see the texture and natural color of your lips come through."
How to Get the Jelly Lips Look
One of the best parts about jelly lips is that you can achieve them in several different ways, depending on your preferred finish and the products you have on hand. "There are so many ways to achieve this look," Avendaño tells us. "The old school way was dabbing a bit of lip color like Well People’s Optimist Lipstick ($16) dotted onto the lips and blended out, then applying a glossy lip balm or ointment such as the Hydrolip Gloss ($15) or Lip Nurture Hydrating Balm ($15). You can even just wear the Lip Nurture balm in the variety of colors it comes in!"
For a precise approach, "begin on your inner lower lip and use a matte lip color to tint (stain) the center of your mouth, then gently close your lips and press to make sure the upper lip gets a hint of that shade," Dempsey says. "Use a small nylon lip brush to buff the stain out towards the outer lip, but stop before you get too close—leave that area clean without anything on it, as the idea is to maintain the shape of the desired shade on the inner area of your lip. Then, layer a clear high gloss over your lips, starting on the bottom lip and sweeping over the upper lip. Make sure to not mix the shades together, but rather coat the lips for a lacquer-like feel. The edges of your lips should look plump if done correctly."
As for what products to choose, "the key is to add a tint to your lip that still shows your natural tone and texture and then apply a gloss that gives you hydration," Avendaño advises. "Not too glossy, but just something that makes your lips look intensely hydrated." When it comes to picking a color, it's up to your preference, but Dempsey recommends that you "use shades that are a little brighter, like a rosy red or punchy pink, for a more youthful look."
The Best Jelly Lips Makeup Looks to Try
Bring the Heat
Whether there's an actual heat wave or you're simply excited for sweltering temps, fiery hues and a radiant finish make for the perfect warm-weather makeup look. A red-orange jelly lip takes center stage and reminds us that a statement moment can be fun even during the carefree days of summer.
High-Shine Jelly Lips
You can also go more subtle with the color for a look that's all about gloss, as Avendaño did for this look on Isabela Merced. We love how the lip look's reflective glow matches the energy of her radiant, subtly blushed complexion makeup.
Embrace a delicious take on jelly lips by going for a rich berry shade. Makeup by Mario's MoistureGlow Plumping Lip Color ($24) has a high-shine finish that allows you to achieve jelly vibes in a single step.
Cherry Jelly Lips
Searching for the perfect way to update your go-to red lip for summer? Look no further. An ultra-glossy jelly finish takes a vivid cherry shade from classic glamour to a delicious beauty treat.
Even if your aesthetic leans darker, you can still embrace a radiant, delectable lip look. For the 2023 Met Gala, Avendaño gave Stephanie Hsu a black cherry jelly lip using Well People's Lip Nurture Hydrating Balm ($15)
Hailey Bieber is the queen of all things glazed, so it's no wonder that she has mastered an understated, nude approach to jelly lips. While it's likely that she has a bit of subtle rosy color as a base, we imagine that the Peptide Lip Treatment ($16) from Bieber's brand Rhode is suitable for creating a glossy, ultra-hydrated finish for any jelly look.
Who said you have to pick just one color? Shake up your summer makeup look by swiping two coordinating hues on your top and bottom lips—we love the fuchsia and ruby shades of Maybelline's Super Stay Vinyl Ink ($13) that Storm Reid wears here, and the jelly texture ties it all together.
Here, Zendaya proves that the jelly aesthetic is all about the texture by completing her radiant makeup with an ultra-glossy lip look. With a shiny, ultra-nourishing lip gloss in your toolkit, you can achieve a similar finish in no time.
If your go-to summer complexion is dewy with a healthy dose of bronzer, nothing completes the look like some sun-kissed jelly lips. This look doesn't actually require much color—simply line your lips in a summery nude shade, then add clear gloss overtop.
Add a sweet boost to an otherwise minimal makeup look like Barbie Ferreira does above by embracing candy pink jelly lips. A shade like this toes the line between subtlety and a bold pop of color.
Cherry Cola Lips
Cherry cola is all the rage this summer in everything from hair color to lip looks, so it's only natural if you want to take the luscious shade in a glossy jelly direction. This look on Byrdie editor Olivia Hancock complements her radiant makeup beautifully and makes us crave sweet soda-based treats like slushies and ice cream floats.
Extra-Plump Jelly Lips
Alix Earle is one of this year's most influential breakout stars, so it's no wonder she has a strong handle on the jelly lips look. Here, she wears a natural-looking pink shade, which looks fresh and juicy thanks to plenty of gloss and plumpness.