Home Featured 16 Best Lip Glosses, Tested & Reviewed – WWD

16 Best Lip Glosses, Tested & Reviewed – WWD

0
16 Best Lip Glosses, Tested & Reviewed – WWD


If you purchase an independently reviewed product or service through a link on our website, WWD may receive an affiliate commission.

Though a perennial staple for many, lip gloss is rising in popularity as trends from the early aughts continue to dominate the internet and IRL, with the pendulum swinging away from matte and steadfastly in the direction of high shine. The best lip glosses are no longer sticky, tacky, and gone within a few minutes, as improvements to formulas mean glossy pouts are now possible with long-lasting pigments and good-for-your-lips ingredients. In place of favorites from 20 years ago, you’ll now find many options that pair megawatt shine with the smooth, buttery texture of a lip balm.

“Originally, glossy lips were created on film by the actors continually licking their lips,” says Lori Taylor Davis, Global Pro Lead Artist, Smashbox Cosmetics. “Modern formulas are longer-wearing, pigment-dense, non tacky, and some plump and condition as well. The modern gloss has conditioning ingredients that add to the health of the lips over time.” Celebrity makeup artist Jenna Kristina adds that lip gloss “has evolved in a way in which it has treatment [included]. It’s not as sticky and some have stay-all-day claims.” 

In addition to hydrating and plumping properties, expanded shade ranges offer many ways to complete a makeup look. Clear formulas remain a classic way to dial up the sheen of your go-to lipstick and lip liner, while trending colors like sheer red and opaque pink are an easy way to enhance a smile for daytime wear. 

“Glosses attract the eye to the lips immediately and when lips have color on them, they appear fuller and eye-catching,” says ROEN CEO and cofounder Tiffany Thurston Scott. “If you don’t normally venture out to brighter shades, try applying just a touch to your lips and smacking them together and you’ll get just a hint of the color on your lips.”

Of course, a healthy base is a prerequisite to any lip look. We recommend starting with a lip scrub or lip mask to get the best results from your lip gloss, but Scott adds that, in a pinch, “an easy way to exfoliate your lips is to simply rub them with a damp washcloth.” 

To help you build out your perfect lip gloss wardrobe, we’ve put together a list of the best glosses based on our own experiences and extensive wear tests, research into top-rated formulas, and interviews with the expert makeup artists who regularly reach for them.

Top Lip Glosses

Sign up for WWD Shop’s newsletter to get the scoop on the best in beauty and style with in-depth reviews of exciting new releases and buyer’s guides to find the products you need to try ASAP.

Testing Verdict: The Top 3 Lip Glosses of 2023

Lip glosses span price points, color payoff, and texture, so finding just one best overall lip gloss was out of the question. Rather, our panel of testers landed on the top three formulas that suit various preferences, skin tones, and desired results. The below are shining examples of everything a lip gloss should be.

  • Tower 28 ShineOn Lip Jelly Gloss: An overwhelming favorite for its softening feel, Tower 28’s lip gloss delivered the least sticky finish of all the options we tested. Our testers loved how buildable and flawless each of the shades apply, and the variety of opaque and sheer shades. Few brands create a red lip gloss that’s easy to pull off, and Tower 28 does exactly that with its Spicy shade.
  • Maybelline Lifter Gloss: For a budget-friendly option, you can’t do better than Maybelline’s Lifter Gloss. A chubby doe foot applicator makes swiping the balmy texture onto your lips a breeze, and the pigments stayed put on one tester during a three hour-long concert.
  • Charlotte Tilbury Collagen Lip Bath Lip Gloss: After lasting shine? Go with Charlotte Tilbury’s gloss. Not only does this formula keep your lips looking reflective for hours, but the nourishing ingredients also fill out fine lines for a slightly fuller look — think a lip plumper, but without the irritation or dryness.

16 Best Lip Glosses, Tested & Reviewed

Best non-sticky lip gloss

Tower 28 ShineOn Lip Jelly Gloss

Size: 0.13 oz./3.9 ml
Shades available: 12
Key ingredients: A blend of five hydrating oils, including rosehip oil that contains vitamins A and E
Amazon Top-Quality Store Badge on Google: 4.5/5 stars
Sephora Top-Quality Store Badge on Google: 4.8/5 stars

We’ve tested hundreds of lip glosses over the years, and Tower 28’s Lip Jelly Gloss has firmly secured a spot on our list for its non-sticky feel, full range of colors, and ingredient list developed for sensitive skin. It’s also a favorite choice of Kristina, who says she loves the gloss “because of its incredible high-shine effect.”

With 12 shade options, you can choose from shimmery clear to semi-opaque pink to sheer red. We also like how the tinted versions offer a decent color payoff while having the texture of a lip oil, thanks to a blend of five nourishing plant-based oils included in its formula. The Tower 28 Lip Jelly Gloss has earned fans across the internet with 2,000 five-star reviews on Sephora and nearly 300 million views on TikTok. It’s also vegan and gluten-free.

Price upon publish date of this article: $16

16 Best Lip Glosses, Tested & Reviewed

Best drugstore lip gloss

Maybelline Lifter Gloss

Size: 0.18 oz.
Shades available: 20
Key ingredients: Hyaluronic acid
Amazon Top-Quality Store Badge on Google: 4.5/5 stars

With nearly 40,000 five-star reviews on Amazon, the popularity of Maybelline’s Lifter Gloss is tough to top. “​​The lip gloss I’m most obsessed with right now is Maybelline Lifter Gloss because of the fact that it has hyaluronic acid in it. I sometimes use it in place of a lip balm when my lips feel dry,” says Kristina.

What’s better than a hydrating formula and a huge shade range? The extra-large doe foot applicator easily covers lips with a quick swipe. Color options run the gamut from baby pink to hot pink to glittery bronze, and our testers are partial to the Moon shade that flatters fair to dark skin tones. Plus, Prime shipping makes it all too easy to stock up.

Price upon publish date of this article: $8.98

16 Best Lip Glosses, Tested & Reviewed

Best Long-Lasting Lip Gloss

 Charlotte Tilbury Collagen Lip Bath Lip Gloss

Size: 0.26 oz./7.9 ml
Shades available: 5
Key ingredients: Marine collagen, coconut oil
Sephora Top-Quality Store Badge on Google: 4.8/5 stars
Nordstrom Top-Quality Store Badge on Google: 4.8/5 stars 
Revolve Top-Quality Store Badge on Google: 4.8/5 stars 

With its heart-tipped applicator, Charlotte Tilbury’s Collagen Lip Bath tube is as aesthetically pleasing as the shimmery formula inside. Though this gloss only comes in five neutral shades, all a variation of pink, each is versatile enough to warrant a place in your makeup bag for everyday wear. Giving the gloss its namesake, marine collagen washes over lips to deliver major moisture. Other ingredients of note are coconut oil, which leaves your pout feeling softer even after the gloss wears off, and mustard-sprout extract for a light plumping effect. Similar to Dior’s Lip Maximizer gloss, the Collagen Lip Bath has a fresh minty scent.

Price upon publish date of this article: $35

16 Best Lip Glosses, Tested & Reviewed

 Nars Afterglow Lip Shine Gloss

Size: 0.17 oz./5.5 ml
Shades available: 10
Key ingredients: Pomegranate flower complex, raspberry seed oil
Nordstrom Top-Quality Store Badge on Google: 4.8/5 stars 
Sephora Top-Quality Store Badge on Google: 4.8/5 stars

As far as lip glosses go, the Nars gloss in Orgasm is an icon. The peachy pink hue with gold flecks is one we’ve been wearing for years. From smoky eyes to minimalist makeup, you can wear this lip gloss shade any which way. And if you’re looking for something outside the classic color, Afterglow offers plenty more options ranging from shiny taupe to completely clear. In terms of texture, it’s formulated with conditioning agents like jojoba oil and vitamin E-rich raspberry oil for a feel that’s smooth, not sticky. The doe foot applicator is custom-designed to hug the curves of your lips and help you get a more precise swipe. 

Price upon publish date of this article: $21.10

16 Best Lip Glosses, Tested & Reviewed

Best lip gloss for dry lips

Merit Shade Slick Classics Tinted Lip Oil

Size: 0.23 oz./7 ml
Shades available: 8
Key ingredients: Rosehip oil, shea butter, grapeseed oil, jojoba oil
Sephora Top-Quality Store Badge on Google: 4.8/5 stars
Merit Beauty Top-Quality Store Badge on Google: 4.7/5 stars

Merit’s tinted and clear lip oils are packed with hydrating ingredients that work to soften your lips as you wear it. While most lip oils are sheer with a light tint, this one offers a formula that’s pigmented enough to rival the look of a nude lipstick. When our lips are feeling too dry for a traditional gloss, we find ourselves reaching for this one for its smoothing properties, buttery soft feel, and ability to deliver color in a way that a lip balm can’t.

The shade range is a curated list of classic neutrals, from soft peach to dark brown to crystal clear, that can be worn as a “your lips but better” look to match most skin tones. This original version has received the most hype, but Merit more recently released the Gelée Sheer Tinted Lip Oil with less pigment and more shine as an additional option.

Price upon publish date of this article: $24

16 Best Lip Glosses, Tested & Reviewed

Best lip gloss plumper

Dior Lip Addict Lip Maximizer Gloss

Size: 0.2 oz./6 ml
Shades available: 21
Key ingredients: Cherry oil, hyaluronic acid
Nordstrom Top-Quality Store Badge on Google: 4.8/5 stars 
Ulta Top-Quality Store Badge on Google: 4.8/5 stars

If plumping is what you’re after, this lip gloss from Dior is a popular option loved by makeup artists and beauty fans alike. There are more than 1,000 five-star ratings on Nordstrom alone, and Kristina counts it as one of her favorites as well. 

The key to this pout-improving formula is hyaluronic acid that smooths lips and helps them look fuller. Plus, a minty scent leaves your lips feeling extra fresh. Despite its plumping properties, our testers swear this gloss doesn’t sting and feels comfortable on the lips. And with 21 shades, Dior’s Lip Maximizer has one of the best color ranges we’ve seen. There’s something for everyone, whether that’s a glitter-packed pink or a high-gloss cherry red.

Price upon publish date of this article: $34

16 Best Lip Glosses, Tested & Reviewed

Best clear lip gloss

 Glossier Lip Gloss

Size: 0.14 oz./4.2 ml
Shades available: 3
Key ingredients: Vitamin E, jojoba oil
Sephora Top-Quality Store Badge on Google: 4.8/5 stars

No frills, just shine. Glossier’s Lip Gloss is where our testers turn for an ultra-shiny option that leaves lips with a glass-like effect. The minimalist product only comes in three colors — clear, red, and holographic — but each is perfect for wearing solo or layered over a lipstick, depending on the level of drama you hope to achieve.

Packed with jojoba oil and vitamin E, the formula conditions lips and has a texture we’d describe as tacky but not sticky. We’ve also found it to have more staying power than the typical gloss. While we wouldn’t mind a bigger tube, the petite size makes this especially easy to stash in a small handbag.

Price upon publish date of this article: $15

16 Best Lip Glosses, Tested & Reviewed

Best Hydrating Lip Gloss

Rhode Peptide Lip Tint

Size: 0.3 oz./10 ml
Shades available: 4
Key ingredients: Shea butter, peptides, cupuaçu, babassu
Rhode Top-Quality Store Badge on Google: 4.5/5 stars

Achieving near-instant cult status with its original Peptide Lip Glaze, Rhode is at it again with a new lineup of tinted lip glosses featuring a slew of conditioning ingredients paired with a splash of color. Available in four shades, the Lip Tint goes on sheer but has buildable coverage that lets you customize the look. 

As a treatment first and a gloss second, lips benefit from hydrating shea butter and peptides, as well as a buttery texture that melts upon contact with your pout. A convenient tube design makes this easy to use on the go without a mirror. It’s also fragrance-free, gluten-free, and vegan.

Price upon publish date of this article: $16

16 Best Lip Glosses, Tested & Reviewed

Best Nude Lip gloss

Róen Kiss My Liquid Lip Balm

Size: 1.34 oz.
Shades available: 2
Key ingredients: Mango oil, grapeseed oil
Amazon Top-Quality Store Badge on Google: 4.5/5 stars
Dermstore Top-Quality Store Badge on Google: 4.4/5 stars 
Neiman Marcus Top-Quality Store Badge on Google: 4.5/5 stars 

What Róen’s lip gloss lacks in shade range, it makes up for in quality. The brand prioritizes the use of non-irritating formulas housed within luxe packaging that feels like a treat to use. “The most important evolution I have seen with lip glosses — and makeup, in general — is more options are available for clean products that are equally as high performing, if not better, than conventional products,” Scott says. “Brands that develop clean lip glosses have proven they can have the same high shine and pigment but without many harmful ingredients. Since we all tend to re-apply our lip gloss multiple times a day, it is particularly important that the product be as clean as possible.” Our testers also love how smooth the texture feels on our lips.

Price upon publish date of this article: $26

16 Best Lip Glosses, Tested & Reviewed

Best tinted lip gloss

NYX Fat Oil Lip Drip

Size: 0.63 oz.
Shades available: 8
Key ingredients: Vegan squalane, raspberry oil, and cloudberry oil
Amazon Top-Quality Store Badge on Google: 4.5/5 stars

We put the TikTok-famous NYX Fat Oil Lip Drip to the test, and it lived up to the hype. Neon packaging and a sheer, shiny finish bring you right back to the ’00s, while the formula hydrates lips for a full day thanks to the inclusion of vegan squalane. In terms of colors, all eight are universally flattering, but “My Main” and “Supermodel” have earned particular accolades on TikTok. The oversized applicator delivers full coverage on the first swipe. While non sticky, we did find this Amazon beauty product can feel tacky with additional layers.

Price upon publish date of this article: $8.97

16 Best Lip Glosses, Tested & Reviewed

Best for dark lips

Fenty Beauty Gloss Bomb Universal Lip Luminizer

Size: 0.3 oz./9 ml
Shades available: 8
Key ingredients: Shea butter
Sephora Top-Quality Store Badge on Google: 4.8/5 stars
Ulta Top-Quality Store Badge on Google: 4.8/5 stars

Famed for its inclusive foundation shade ranges, Fenty Beauty has another hit on its hands with the Gloss Bomb Universal Lip Luminizer (which has more than 1 million hearts on Sephora). Each of the eight colors is designed to work for all skin tones and ranges from a soft peach to a bold, clear iridescent. Although the formula is shimmer-packed, fans describe the texture as completely smooth instead of grainy, leaving lips softer after wear from ingredients like shea butter. 

Makeup artists often name this as a favorite for a long-lasting finish, and Kristina says it’s a good choice if you’re chasing the “high shine lacquer effect you would think about from the 2000s.” While we approve of all the colors, the iridescent hue is an especially fun option to pull out for special occasions. 

Price upon publish date of this article: $26

16 Best Lip Glosses, Tested & Reviewed

Rare Beauty Stay Vulnerable Glossy Lip Balm

Size: 0.12 oz./3.8 ml
Shades available: 5
Key ingredients: Lotus, gardenia, white water lily
Sephora Top-Quality Store Badge on Google: 4.8/5 stars

Designed to feel like a lip mask within a gloss, Rare Beauty’s Stay Vulnerable lip gloss saves the day when you want high shine but need conditioning. You won’t find glitter in the tightly edited range of five shades, just simple, pretty neutrals that include iterations of peach, mauve, and berry.

Out of all the best Rare Beauty products, this gloss has remained a TikTok favorite since launch, with over 18 million views on the app. The colors are also buildable so you can swipe on a light wash or layer up for a more noticeable pop. With a comfortable, cushiony texture of a balm, it’s a gloss you’ll look forward to wearing.

Price upon publish date of this article: $20

16 Best Lip Glosses, Tested & Reviewed

 Pat McGrath Labs Lust Gloss

Size: 0.15 oz./4.5 ml
Shades available: 15
Sephora Top-Quality Store Badge on Google: 4.8/5 stars
Ulta Top-Quality Store Badge on Google: 4.8/5 stars

“The most beautiful sparkly and shimmery glosses out there! They’re fun and festive and give that shine you’d expect from the mother of editorial makeup,” says Kristina of Pat McGrath’s Lust Gloss. Outside of their luxe, non-sticky formula, our testers loved the full range of finishes available, spanning from high shine to shimmery and glittery.

Plus, leave it to Pat McGrath to offer more than just pink. Beyond gorgeous neutrals, the Lust Gloss comes in colors like Astral Moon Flower, an iridescent periwinkle, and Blitz Gold, described as a 24-karat gold pearl. Whether you’re after a little daytime shine or evening drama, the Lust Gloss has a lippie to match. 

Price upon publish date of this article: $29

16 Best Lip Glosses, Tested & Reviewed

Buxom Full-On Lip Plumping Lip Polish Gloss

Size: 0.15 oz./4.44 ml
Shades available: 8
Key ingredients: Hyaluronic acid, peptide complex, vitamins A and E
Amazon Top-Quality Store Badge on Google: 4.5/5 stars
Sephora Top-Quality Store Badge on Google: 4.8/5 stars

Say hello to volume with this bestseller from Buxom. You’ll feel the plumping effect kick in from the tingling sensation, courtesy of its peptide complex. Aside from a plumped-up pucker, the formula is infused with vitamin E to improve softness, along with ultra-hydrating hyaluronic acid for a fuller look. There’s no shortage of shine with the choice of glitter or shimmer finishes.

Standout shades include Sarina, a sparkly nude brown; and Jessica, a sheer mauve. Swipe this on to give your lips a literal glow-up. “I love the smell and feel of this plumping gloss and how it comes in a large range of colors. They make my go-to nude lip gloss,” says Kristina.

Price upon publish date of this article: $25

16 Best Lip Glosses, Tested & Reviewed

Bobbi Brown Crushed Oil-Infused Lip Gloss

Size: 0.2 oz./6 ml
Shades available: 13
Key ingredients: Hyaluronic acid, vitamins C and E
Sephora Top-Quality Store Badge on Google: 4.8/5 stars
Saks Fifth Avenue Top-Quality Store Badge on Google: 4/5 stars 

$33

$28.05

$33

15% off


Buy Now at saks fifth avenue

In the past, we found Bobbi Brown glosses to fall on the sticky side, but the legendary brand’s Crushed Oil-Infused Lip Gloss impressed our testers with an oppsoite effect. This popular gloss, a favorite of editors and makeup artists, contains vitamins C and E plus a host of botanical oils that help the formula melt into your lips to deliver shine without that tacky feeling. In addition to the hydration-packed formula, we’re impressed by the spectrum of beige and berry tones that go beyond classic pink. 

The gloss has an impressive 4.8-star rating on Sephora (one of the highest we’ve ever seen), but reviewers note it’s not the gloss if you prefer something packed with pigment — though with hyaluronic acid, you’ll never be lacking for comfort and shine. Bare Sparkle, a sheer glitter, is a perfect top layer to amp up a neutral pink lipstick.

Price upon publish date of this article: $33

16 Best Lip Glosses, Tested & Reviewed

Chantecaille Brilliant Gloss

Size: 1 oz.
Shades available: 13
Key ingredients: Green tea extracts
Nordstrom Top-Quality Store Badge on Google: 4.8/5 stars 
Saks Fifth Avenue Top-Quality Store Badge on Google: 4/5 stars 

$40


Buy Now at Saks Fifth Avenue

$40

After putting Chantecaille’s Brilliant gloss to the test, WWD editors found it worthy of a spot among the best. More than just pretty to look at, this bestselling and award-winning gloss treats lips to free radical-foraging antioxidants from the inclusion of green tea extracts. While most glosses have a doe foot applicator, Chantecaille instead opts for a brush that feels a little more luxe. If glitter isn’t your thing then you’ll want to look elsewhere, but the all-shimmery shade range imparts a gorgeous sheen that’s sure to attract compliments. Despite all the shine, our testers report that the texture feels silky smooth and not grainy or sticky. Fans of sheer, pale pink hues will find plenty of options to choose from.

Price upon publish date of this article: $40

What to Look for in the Best Lip Gloss

When choosing a lip gloss, the best one will depend on your desired result. With so many options available, there are lip glosses to cover every need, whether that’s a clear top coat that pairs well with lipstick, a glitter-infused formula that shines from space, or a bright color that completes an otherwise simple look. If the goal is to achieve a plumper pout, then sticking with a plumping gloss may be the best bet. Additionally, options like a lip oil tend to condition more but skimp on color payoff, while other glosses are more pigment-packed. It all just comes down to preference.

Aside from the aesthetics, we also recommend paying attention to the formula. Look for ingredients such as hyaluronic acid, shea butter, and vitamin E that condition lips over time, leaving them softer and healthier even after the gloss wears off. Plus, they’ll be less likely to have a dreaded sticky feel. Even the best lip glosses can only be so long-wearing due to their slick nature, but Kristina tells us one way to make any gloss last longer is to use a lip liner that helps the pigments stay contained. “If you’re not a lip liner fan, there are brands that also make a clear lip liner that does the same thing without the color,” she adds.

Is Lip Gloss Good for Your Lips?

Thanks to modern formulas, some lip glosses can actually improve your pout with wear. Ultra-hydrating options such as the Rhode Lip Tint and Merit Tinted Lip Oil are designed to deliver all the benefits of a balm while adding a hint of color at the same time. Whenever lips are feeling extra dry, reaching for one of these gloss-balm hybrids will let you skip adding a coat of Chapstick underneath. Also, starting with a lip scrub can exfoliate any flakes. Scott says that in addition to amping up your look, “a nourishing lip gloss can protect your lips from drying out.”

Since it’s likely you’ll ingest some amount of gloss before it fully fades, we also suggest ensuring a formula is vegan or gluten-free if that’s a requirement for you. You may also want to look for brands that feature plenty of plant-based ingredients, such as Tower 28 and Róen. 

Lip Gloss vs. Lip Oil

The main difference between a lip gloss and lip oil is in the texture and amount of coverage, though some lip products ride the line between both. Lip oils have a consistency that’s the opposite sticky and soothe with their conditioning nature — though they’re almost always more sheer than their gloss counterparts and the slickness is less likely to stay in place. These are best for treating lips in need of moisture while adding a natural tint. “A lip oil gives hydration and a tiny bit of color, where a lip gloss has varied benefits but always has a high shine and longer-lasting finish,” adds Kristina.

Lip gloss, on the other hand, can be just as sheer, but you’ll also find fully opaque options to fit a wider variety of makeup looks. Some glosses can be just as bold as a bright lipstick. With lip gloss, you’ll also find a variety of textures, from sticky to smooth. While likely to have more tack than a lip oil, this is also what helps it to stay put. We sought out options for this list that are long-lasting but still manage to feel soft.

How We Selected the Best Lip Glosses

Beyond our own years of testing lip glosses in the name of journalism, we sought out the advice and recommendations from three professional makeup artists, sifted through thousands of reviews, and performed research on key ingredients to seek out in a formula. We also prioritized lip glosses with the most versatile shade ranges for different skin tones and made sure to include options to cover all types of makeup looks. You’ll find several of these glosses in our own makeup bags as proof that we stand by our picks. The below runner ups almost made the cut:

  • Nyx Professional Butter Gloss: While many of our testers loved this formula’s feel and color payoff, we resoundingly agree that the brand’s Fat Oil Lip Drip, which made our top list, delivers more shine and lasting hydration.
  • Sephora Collection Glossed Lip Gloss: Our testers were initially impressed with this formula’s even color payoff, however we noticed a sticky feeling with multiple coats. That said, Sephora Collection’s lip gloss is a great choice for those who usually stick to one swipe.
  • CoverGirl Exhibitionist Lip Gloss: For a drugstore lip gloss, CoverGirl’s option has an expensive feel on the lips — you can tell this gloss hydrates. The caveat: Testers reported difficulty getting an even application due to the pigmented formula.

best lip glosses on a vanity

WWD Shop editors review the best lip glosses in our New York City office.

WWD/Adam Mansuroglu

How We Tested the Best Lip Glosses

In order to select the best lip glosses, our panel of testers swatched over 30 formulas during a month-long testing window. These lip glosses were put to the test for a duration of two to 12 hours during testing to determine the pros and cons of each formula. We evaluated key factors of the formulas, including the texture, color payoff, and whether or not the lip glosses smeared or transferred while eating, drinking, and talking. Below are the specific criteria our testers considered while testing lip glosses:

  • Texture: The first lip glosses excluded from our list were ones that delivered a tacky texture — you know, the type of lip product that attracts stray hairs and feels akin to plastic on your pout. Our top lip glosses shine for their buttery soft, balm-like texture, with many on our list earning bonus points for melting into the lips during a long wear time. Any lip glosses that left residue or dry lips in their wake were also excluded from our list.
  • Shade range: Clear lip gloss is a staple, as you can layer it over any lip liner or lip stain you apply underneath for a hint of shine. However tinted lip glosses are handy for easy, everyday wear. We took note of the number of shades available for each formula on our list, making sure the options we’ve highlighted include neutral and bold colorways for fair to deep skin tones. A few on our list have limited colors to choose from, but our testers reported universally-flattering shade options for those selections.
  • Color payoff and finish: The beauty of a gloss is that it’s sheer enough to apply without a makeup mirror on hand — unless the formula applies unevenly, leaving you with splotches. Our top lip glosses deliver color that doesn’t require touching up, whether it’s a watercolor-like finish or more noticeable pigments. As for shine, we took note of the sheen upon initial application, then followed up to see how long that luster lasts. Any lip glosses that needed reapplication within an hour were removed from our list.

woman holding mirror with lip gloss swatches

WWD Shop editor Claire Sullivan swatches lip glosses at our New York City office.

WWD/Adam Mansuroglu

Why Trust WWD

Since 1910, WWD — often referred to as “the fashion bible” — has been the leading industry voice of authority for senior executives in the global women’s and men’s fashion, retail and beauty communities, while also informing the consumer media that cover the market. Today, WWD’s breaking news and trend coverage continues to be a trustworthy resource for both fashion insiders and consumers alike. Our shopping editors continue to uphold WWD’s editorial standards and values with quality, expert-backed product selections. Learn more about us here.

Meet the Experts

Lori Taylor Davis is the Global Pro Lead Artist at Smashbox Cosmetics and has more than 20 years of experience with the brand as a professional makeup artist.

Tiffany Thurston Scott is the CEO and cofounder of Róen cosmetics and a passionate clean beauty advocate.

Jenna Kristina is an LA-based makeup artists known for amplifying her clients’ natural beauty with a fresh-faced glow and effortless cool. Kristina has been credited with several of Hollywood’s most viral looks over her career. Her celebrity clientele includes It girls, such as Megan Fox, Zoey Deutch, Christian Serratos, Eiza Gonzalez, Lucy Hale, Lily James and more.

Meet the Author

Ashley Phillips is a freelance writer with more than 10 years of experience reporting on fashion, beauty, and lifestyle beats. Phillips’ work has been published in outlets like Harper’s Bazaar, Cosmopolitan, Town and Country, and Best Products. Whether it’s the latest TikTok sensation or a longtime icon, she’s always researching the next best of everything to help readers find new favorites, including lip glosses.

This article was fact checked and reviewed by Leanna Yip, a veteran copy editor with over 12 years of experience, including eight years text editing researched shopping stories and in-depth product guides across several categories, including fashion, beauty, home, footwear, tech, gifts, and more.