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We wholeheartedly love and appreciate a glossy lip. Whether bare or bright, there’s something about a high-sheen finish that’s always stunning, sophisticated, and sexy. The only issue? As much we love ‘em, most lip glosses admittedly have their fair share of drawbacks. Think that annoying stickiness (heaven forbid you swipe on gloss while wearing your hair down), not to mention the repeated touch-ups needed in order to maintain said glossy finish. And, more likely than not, they can end up drying out your pout, too.
That’s why lip oils are our latest obsession. The balm-gloss-stain hybrids are, in a word, ingenious. Delivering the hydration of a balm, shine of a gloss, and long-lasting prowess of a stain, they combine the best of all your go-to lippies in a one-stop-swipe. But the proof is in the pucker.
Check out our roundup of the best lip oils we love and see for yourself what all the hype is about.
Best Overall: Clarins Lip Comfort Oil
Byrdie editors unanimously agree that this oil is hands-down (er, lips down?) one of the best there is. There’s no shortage of things to love, including a hydrating blend of jojoba and hazelnut oils for plenty of moisture and an oversized doe-foot applicator that’s specially curved to hug the contours of your lips. There are eight options available, some of which deliver a sheer wash of color, others that react with the pH of your lips for a personalized hue, and a few that simply have a yummy flavor.
Best Budget: NYX Professional Makeup Slip Tease Full Color Lip Oil
Delivering a powerful hit of both hydration and pigment, this lip oil gives you a serious bang for your buck. Not to mention that at such an affordable price point, you can easily justify trying as many (or all) of the dozen pretty shades. Also nice: Those who don’t love a ton of sheen will appreciate the semi-matte finish that’s more satiny than in-your-face shiny.
Best Drugstore: Milani Moisture Lock Oil Infused Lip Treatment
Along with offering multiple different shades, each one contains unique oils meant to address specific concerns. The common denominator among all of them? A healing blend of jojoba, avocado, and tsubaki oils, plus plenty of eye-catching shine.
Best Lightweight: Kiehl’s Love Oil for Lips Glow-Infusing Lip Treatment
As anyone who uses oils as part of their skincare routine will tell you, not all oils are created equal. Some are notably heavier and richer than others, and the same goes for lip oils. Sure, sometimes you may want a thicker finish, but if you prefer a more featherweight texture, this option can’t be beaten. Despite being packed with a long list of different oils and butter, it still feels light and nearly undetectable on lips. Also nice: A variety of four different hues, as well as a clear option.
Best Splurge: Hourglass No. 28 Lip Treatment Oil
This splurge is well worth every penny, boasting several unique ingredients that do everything from increase moisture levels to improve lip texture to reduce the depth of wrinkles (as well as 14 different essential oils). The 24-karat gold-plated tip not only looks super luxurious, but it’s also antibacterial, a major boon for germaphobes. And no matter whether you opt for the clear version or one of the three tinted options, you’re guaranteed high-impact shine.
Best Long-Wear: CoverGirl Clean Fresh Tinted Lip Oil
As a general rule of thumb, lip oils tend to have pretty good staying power, but this one takes the cake, leaving your pout smooth, conditioned, and shiny for up to six hours. The formula is now vegan and cruelty-free, packed with natural ingredients like coconut and pomegranate oils, and comes in five fun shades.
Best Plumping: Elizabeth Arden Sheer Kiss Lip Oil
Swipe on this pick if you’re looking to create the illusion of a plumper pout. Coconut and avocado oils hydrate and condition lips, while tsubaki oil makes them appear fuller in that natural, ‘I just had a serious makeout sesh’ kind of way. It feels lightweight, and also looks equally pretty worn on its own or swiped over lipstick for a little bit of a plumping boost.
Best for Chapped Lips: ChapStick Total Hydration Vitamin Enriched Lip Oil
Nothing against the classic ChapStick stick, but this gives the OG a run for its money. Boasting vitamins C and E, along with omega 3, 6, and 9 fatty acids, it can pretty much knock out chapped lips and dryness in one fell swipe. It’s super affordable, too, so we highly recommend stocking up and keeping one in your purse, your nightstand, at work…you get the picture.
Best Color: Butter London Sheer Wisdom Lush Lip Oil
Those who crave lots of color will appreciate the buildable pigment of this pick, one of our go-tos. One swipe delivers a sheer tint, though you can easily swipe on more coats for a more dramatic pop o’ color. Plus, no matter how many layers you add, it never gets tacky. Speaking of, there are six pretty shades to choose from, though someone always compliments us when we’re wearing the ‘Cinnamon Spice’ hue (just saying.) A long list of good-for-your lips oils in the formula deliver hydration and antioxidant protection, and we also appreciate the mess-free click-pen applicator.
Best Scent: Too Faced Sweet Peach Creamy Peach Oil Lip Gloss
An oil-infused gloss, this is the perfect formula for anyone who’s hesitant to make the transition from gloss to oil. Coconut oil gives it a silky smooth, high-shine (though never sticky or tacky) finish that leaves lips looking extra lustrous. The range of eight hues—a mix of nudes, peachy pinks, and corals—offers a flattering option for all complexions. And yes, it does indeed smell and taste like peaches. Delish.
Best Natural: Lilah B Lovingly Lip Tinted Lip Oil
Clean beauty queens should try this cushiony color, which is free of over 50 questionable ingredients. Instead, it’s loaded with hydrating bilberry seed oil, antioxidant-rich vitamin E, and protective milk thistle extract. Also nice: The range of six flattering colors, all with mirror-like shine and sheer-to-medium coverage.
Best Two-in-One: Rodin Olio Lusso Luxury Lip & Cheek Oil
Multi-taskers and makeup minimalists alike are sure to be fans of this double-duty choice. From the brand beloved for their classic skincare oil, this makeup variant is loaded with botanical safflower seed, jojoba seed, and sunflower seed oils, as well as moisturizing ceramides. It comes in five colors that are equally flattering worn on both lips and/or cheeks, not to mention are totally goof-proof to apply; just dab on and go.