Who doesn’t love a twofer? In the case of lip gloss/balm hybrids, aka lip "bloss,” they’re winning TikTok. Some of the most viral products of the past year have been some variation of the category, from Revlon's $11 Glass Shine Lipsticks to Tarte's cult-favorite Maracuja sticks. It’s pretty obvious why they’re so popular. “You’re ultimately getting the best of both worlds: A natural flush of color with a subtle glossy finish that makes your lips look and feel yummy,” says Lex Smith, Tarte’s Global Pro Makeup Artist.
Another perk is that they’re a cinch to apply, making them practically foolproof. You don’t even need a mirror to swipe them on. “Anyone can wear them and look great, whether you’re doing a no-makeup look or going full glam,” says Annie Lawless Jacobs, Founder and CEO of Lawless. “Given TikTok users skew more to Gen Z, these new lip formats are exciting, offer new textures, and some even have novel benefits like our Forget The Filler Lip Plumping Line Smoothing Tinted Balm Stick ($26), which delivers the perfect amount of shine, color, and features Lawless’ signature plumping ingredients in one portable package. They truly are the perfect everyday product—and Tik Tok is all about ease and instant gratification.”
Ahead, everything you need to know about the viral lip bloss trend.
As if we haven’t shared enough reasons to love lip bloss, there are even more. Another benefit of their effortlessness is that they are a major time saver. “Even when I’m leaving the house with nothing on, I’ll pop a little gloss-balm on my lips for that ‘your lips but better’ effect,” Smith says. “You get to save a step of having to layer two products and can feel confident your lips will stay hydrated and healthy throughout the day."
Lip bloss might also be one of the most versatile items in your makeup bag, considering you can wear them anywhere and everywhere. “I think people want easy, efficacious products that work for every occasion,” Jacobs says. “For years, we wore ultra-matte liquid lips and now I see people opting for hydrating formulas that feel as beautiful as they look. [Gloss-balm hybrids] are cushiony, add the perfect amount of color, and anyone can apply them day or night. They are my favorite new product for all-day plumping and hydration that I wear out to yoga, out to lunch, or on a Zoom call with my team.”
In addition to looking gorgeous, lip bloss can also be incredibly nourishing. To maximize their lip-loving perks, make sure you find one with the right ingredients. “I’m super keen on products that are not only great in the color world, but also offer skin benefits,” Smith says. “Our Tarte Maracuja Juicy Lip Balm ($24), for example, is made with a whole fruit stand of ingredients like blueberry, goji, acai, acerola cherry and of course, our cold-pressed maracuja oil which not only has tons of vitamin C, but is rich in essential fatty acids to give you smoother-than-smooth, juicy lips.”
Smith recommends grabbing a lip bloss with vitamin E, as it’s loaded with hydrating and emollient properties that not only drench your lips in moisture, but also support the skin barrier which helps combats dryness. With so many options out there, it’s easy to find a formula that fits your needs. Natural beauty lovers will appreciate Burt’s Bees Squeezy Tinted Lip Balm ($15), since it’s made with 100% natural origin ingredients including responsibly sourced beeswax, as well as cocoa butter for moisture. Another drugstore find, the Honest Beauty Tinted Lip Balm ($9) features avocado oil to boost skin barrier function, while acai and pomegranate sterola deliver antioxidants. If you prefer a higher price tag, Shiseido Color Gel Lip Balm ($26) has patented humectant technology to bind moisture to lips, while Makeup By Mario MoistureGlow Plumping Lip Serum ($24) has a high shine or shimmer finish spiked with shea butter, avocado oil, kiwi oil, and argan oil to condition. Finally, Rare Beauty's With Gratitude Dewy Lip Balm ($16) has buildable color with shea butter and a botanical blend to plump and nourish lips.
How to Apply Lip Bloss
Since the pigments aren’t as intense as what you’d typically find in a lipstick, lip bloss tends to be more forgiving and flexible. These days, many of them are designed to be universally flattering, totally taking the guesswork out.
However, it’s still best to find the right shade that will flatter your complexion. “I always recommend you stick to shades that are like your skin’s undertone,” Smith says. “For instance, if you have yellow or more olive undertones, go for warmer shades. If you have pink undertones, choose more cooler-toned shades.”
Acing application doesn’t get any easier. “It’s super simple!” Smith says. “Just swipe it directly onto clean, dry lips. The great thing is you don’t have to overthink it or be super careful when applying. You can also layer it on top of your favorite lipstick if you want to add more hydration to a bolder lip.”
To help your lip bloss last longer, apply a lipliner first to give it a foundation to stick to. That will also keep it within the edges of your lips. “I also believe in quality when it comes to wearability, so using products that are plant-based are packed full of hydrating ingredients will definitely make a difference when it comes to the staying power,” Smith says.