Make choosing between your trusty lip balm for comforting hydration and your lip gloss for a high shine finish a thing of the past. You can now have both, thanks to the latest skincare-makeup hybrid innovation. Let us introduce you to the lip oil that fuses the best of both worlds.
Lip oils are, yes, you’ve guessed right, enriched with skin-loving oils that provide hydration and protection to the delicate area, so they stay soft, smooth and comfortable – similar to a lip balm or treatment. However, they also impart a glossy veil of subtle tinted or untinted colour – just like a lip gloss.
The balm-gloss wands fit into two big beauty trends of 2022, so it’s no wonder lip oils have been going viral on TikTok. Firstly, we’ve been asking more from our beauty products, we want each to work harder for us to become multi-tasking buys as well as for a ‘skinimalist’ approach. And secondly, our obsession with everything Y2K. You wouldn’t have been seen dead without your lip gloss in the mid-90s and early 00s.
Thankfully, lip oils may give you the mirror-like shine you would have spotted on your favourite Spice Girl, but they don’t give you the gloopy stickiness we had to endure to get the look. Think of them as a next-generation sticky-free lip gloss that doesn’t leave lips feeling greasy either – just super smooth and silky. Yet, they are easy to apply mirrorless as it doesn’t matter if you slightly go over the lip line, so are perfect for keeping in your handbag for on-the-go touch-ups.
And with hiding our lips under masks for so long, we’re glad to put some focus back on our pout. Lip oils provide comfort to every day, alongside a touch of effortless glamour. Apply them neat onto lips or over lippy, either way they reflect light to also give you the illusion of a fuller pout.
The only downside to lip oils is their price tag. Good purse-friendly options with adequate hydration are hard to come by. So that’s why we’re bringing you this beauty-editor approved list of slick finds, so there’s no chance of you wasting your money on a dud…
Dior Addict Lip Glow Oils
These superstar lip oils went viral on TikTok and with good reason. They’re every bit as amazing as the hype around them, but sometimes they feel as hard to get hold of as a Glastonbury ticket – always selling out.
Get your hands on one and you’ll be rewarded with a plump and plush texture that’s like no other, as the oil somehow manages to have a filler-effect in both look and feel. Cherry oil is the not-so-secret ingredient that saturates the pout to lock in moisture, and leave it super soft with shiny. What’s really impressive is the longevity of the formula that stays put even through a long lunch with the girls.
Available in eight shades, they all enhance the natural lip colour with just a slight hint of colour.
Buy now £29.50, Dior
Clarins Lip Comfort Oils
Being the first beauty brand to launch an oil for the lips, Clarins knows how to make an innovative part-lip hydrator, part-slick gloss. And the label has just gone and made its already iconic offering even better. Now it comes with even more organic plant oils in the form of sweetbriar rose, jojoba and hazelnut to form a comforting, nourishing and protective blend.
Expect the veil to leave your pout so smooth and silky, you won’t go back to using lip balm again. There are an impressive eight shades from golden honey to rich plum, so there’s a tint to suit match every shade of lippy, but on its own, it’s glamorous too.
Buy now £20.00, FeelUnique
Charlotte Tilbury Magic Lip Oil Crystal Elixir
Keep chapped lips at bay with this seriously nourishing lip oil that gets to work instantly exfoliating dead skin cells, plumping lip lines and feeding the delicate skin with nourishment. The brand describes it as a lip serum as its infused with so many skin-loving ingredients to keep lips conditioned during the day and as a lip mask in the PM routine.
Pick from the original clear formula, or try and get your hands on the often sold-out rosy pink or berry shades for a stain effect. One use and lips feel smoother, but ongoing use keeps the pout soft and supple and always with a glossy finish. Plus, the rollerball applicator is a nice touch to the award-winning bestseller.
Buy now £28.00, John Lewis
Kylie Skin by Kylie Jenner Lip Oil
More well-known for her pout these days than her famous family, Kylie Jenner has made her fortunes from lip products so it’s no surprise she has a top choice lip oil in her collection too. Coupling lip-hydrating coconut oil and vitamin E with a pillowy high-shine gloss, expect your mouth to feel silky-soft after just one application.
It comes in a crystal clear finish, so it’s a good pick for adding dimension to lips on top of your favourite lipstick too. And as you’d expect it has a subtle coconut scent - which is a bit like Marmite, so you’ll either love it or hate it.
Buy now £22.00, Selfridges
Westman Atelier Squeaky Clean Liquid Lip Balm
This luxe option is so much more than a lip balm, so it firmly deserves a spot in this line up. From renowned makeup artist Gucci Westman, who’s worked with the biggest stars in Hollywood, it’s an all-in-one lip pigmented gloss and treatment that’s packed with lip-caring goodness.
The gel-oil texture leaves a thick cushion of sheer colour (choose from six) that oozes shine. It instantly leaves lips feeling well-hydrated thanks to a dose of nourishment from jojoba oil, almond oil and argan oil (do you see why we’ve put it in a lip oil round-up), as well as shea butter.
Housed in black glass, everything about this product screams finesse making it a pricey treat worth every penny.
Buy now £35.00, Cult Beauty
Typology Lip Oils
Teaming a stripped-back approach to skincare ingredients with minimalistic monochrome packaging, if you haven’t tried anything yet from this affordable, effective and ever so chic French beauty brand the new lip oils are a great place to start.
Providing instant comfort to the lips, these pack a hydrating punch thanks to moisturising superstar squalane that leaves lips feeling continuously soft and balmy. Add to the mix antioxidant vitamin E, jojoba oil and plum oil, and you’ve got a naturally-derived cocktail of actives to both shield the delicate skin and lock moisture in place.
Pick from five shades for a subtle hint of colour, including an untinted one if you prefer a clear formula. A true natural lip balm meets a super glossy finish lip oil.
Buy now £15.90, Typology
Nars Oil-Infused Lip Tint in Orgasm
First came the iconic blush of the same name, and then followed ‘multiple orgasms’ later in the form of an array of beauty offerings with the suit-all peachy-pink shade – including this first-class lip oil.
The formula drenches the mouth with a glass-like, subtle version of the hue that’s infused with faint golden shimmer (just like the blush) adding to the illusion of a fuller pout.
Lips even feel plumper thanks to the luxurious, gel-oil texture. Nourishment and protection is provided by raspberry seed oil and vitamins A and E that leaves the lips feeling soft and comfortable even long after use.
Buy now £23.00, Boots
Vieve Lip Dew Glossy Lip Oil
From makeup artist and beauty influencer Jamie Genevieve, think of this sparkly lip oil as a lip balm, lip gloss and lip plumper in one. Raspberry seed oil, vitamin E and green tea combine to soothe and nourish and leave lips feeling well-hydrated, while the super high shine veil it leaves on the pout lasts an impressive amount of time - even after eating and drinking.
And the light-reflecting golden shimmer plays with light to make lips appear pouty, which can be exaggerated further by only applying to the centre of the mouth – a trick makeup artists often use on their clients.
Buy now £17.00, Cult Beauty
Lottie London Oil Slick
Our favourite budget-buy lip oils still provide a hydrating tacky-free shine, but just at a fraction of the price. Almond oil is the slick-operator in this formula that seals the lips to prevent moisture from evaporating, leaving them feeling ultra-smooth.
Teamed with vanilla or cherry extract (depending on the shade you choose), they leave a sweet-tasting shiny finish you can’t help but taste. Pick from four shades, in varying peach to pink delicate tints, or a clear formula. These really are a bargain!
Buy now £5.95, lookfantastic
Ciate London Watermelon Burst Hydrating Lip Oil
This tube reminds us of a certain Y2K iconic juicy lip gloss, even down to its subtle fruity scent. Yet, this is more than just a high shine finish, as it provides nourishment too in the form of a blend of avocado oil and jojoba oil.
With just a hint of suit-all pink, this is a great option for using as a lipstick topcoat to seal in moisture as well as worn on its own for a just-been-kissed colour. It may be a dupe, but it’s a sticky-free one.
Buy now £11.20, FeelUnique
Believe the hype and get your hands on any of the Dior Addict Lip Glow Oils before they inevitably sell out once again. They’re unbeatable for a hydrating, plump and high shine finish with impressive staying power. If you find them too pricey, the Typology Lip Oils are the way to go.