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What is lip oil? Makeup artists share why you should use this gloss alternative

Pucker up! We've rounded up 12 amazing lip oils that are worth trying.
Three close up images of different Women's glossy lips
TODAY Illustration / Getty Images / Sephora
/ Source: TODAY

Lipsticks, glosses, stains, oh my! There are so many different lip care products in the beauty realm and it can be hard to keep track of what sets each of them apart from the crowd. So when we saw that lip oils were having a moment, we decided to do some investigating and figure out what makes this trending lip category so special.

Just in case you fall in love with the product as much as we did, we also did some legwork for you and rounded up 12 lip oils that are worth your time and money.

What is lip oil?

At a quick glance, lip oils look a lot like lip gloss and have similar packaging. But the two products have some pretty significant differences.

"Lip oil is extra hydrating and more conditioning as it is absorbed into the lip over time, [while] lip gloss sits on top of the lip," celebrity makeup artist Stephen Moleski told us.

The two products also have somewhat different finishes when applied to the lips. "Lip oils give a more natural shine, while gloss leaves a high gloss finish," celebrity makeup artist Renee Loiz said.

What are the benefits of lip oil?

Many lip gloss formulas are somewhat drying and they can feel a bit sticky, but lip oils give your pout a pop of color and some TLC.

"Lip oils are multitaskers. You can get the cute gloss you're looking for while still treating and hydrating your lips," celebrity makeup artist Amber Amos said.

Oils tend to be thinner in consistency than glosses and they sort of double as a lip treatment and a lip color.

"Because it’s an oil, it goes deeper into the lips for lasting hydration (lips don’t make their own oils)," Loiz said.

What ingredients should you look for in lip oil?

Since they're known hydrators, lip oils come with their own set of beneficial ingredients, and the experts that Shop TODAY spoke with suggested keeping an eye out for these four in particular.

  • Coconut oil: "Coconut lip oils are my favorite. Any essential oils will offer antioxidants and extra moisture," celebrity makeup artist Cara Lovello said.
  • Hyaluronic acid: "This ingredient is great for moisture and offers plumping benefits," Lovello said.
  • Jojoba oil: "Jojoba seed oil locks in the moisture that keeps lips hydrated all day long," Moleski said.
  • Vitamins A and E: "These help in healing and keeping skin tones even," Amos explained.

Best lip oils, according to shoppers

ChapStick Total Hydration Tinted Lip Oil

Hydration doesn't have to be boring! ChapStick's tinted lip oil comes in six hues ranging from nudes to pinks and purples, and offers sheer color and subtle shine. With the help of two rock star ingredients (vitamin C and E), the popular product helps hydrate lips as it coats them in color. No wonder it has 1,200+ five-star ratings on Amazon!

CoverGirl Clean Fresh Lip Tint

CoverGirl's lightweight lip tint oil is available in six gorgeous colors that define lips without leaving behind a sticky, greasy mess. The vegan formula is also free of undesirable ingredients like parabens, sulfates, phthalates and formaldehyde.

Burt's Bees Passionfruit Lip Oil

Coconut oil is one of the star ingredients in this Burt's Bees lip oil that's also formulated with hydrating passion fruit oil, shea butter and sunflower seed oil. It provides eight hours of moisture and a subtle shine, but it also works to reduce the appearance of fine lines and leave lips looking smooth and healthy.

florence by mills Glow Yeah Tinted pH Lip Oil

A lip oil that creates custom color for your pucker? Yes, please! Millie Bobby Brown's makeup line includes this oil that adjusts to your pH levels to form a custom tint for your lips. Oh, and it also hydrates and softens skin with the help of African mango butter and paracress flower extract!

Tarte Sugar Rush Lip Sip Vegan Lip Oil

The name certainly caught our attention, but this lip oil's nourishing properties definitely had us coming back for more. Jojoba, hazel and sunflower seed oil combine to create a formula that brightens up lips without leaving them feeling sticky. The lip oil comes in three colors, including our fave: Cherry Slush (aka a sheer red).

Ciaté London Burst Hydrating Lip Oil

Whether you prefer a golden or pink finish, this lip oil has a shade for every personality. The paraben-free, vegan formula is full of nourishing ingredients like vitamin E and watermelon seed oil and combines the benefits of an oil and a gloss. It comes in four high-shine shades (we particularly love the Lychee & Acai hue), plus it smells absolutely delightful!

e.l.f. Tinted Lip Oil

Talk about a trifecta of ingredients! This lip oil combines jojoba, apricot and vitamin E to treat lips as it covers them in a sheer layer of color. The brand is vegan, cruelty-free, and free of parabens, and can be layered to create just the right level of coverage. Not bad for $6!

Almay Color & Care Lip Oil-In-Stick

Some lip oils actually come in stick format and this one from Almay has all the pizazz of a lip crayon balanced with all the hydrating benefits of an oil. Evening primrose and sunflower oils blend together with buckthorn berry and abyssinian oil to create a lightweight formula that offers high-pigment color, shine and moisture. Out of the six available shades, our favorite is a sassy blend of pink and red named Raspberry Rush.

Charlotte Tilbury Magic Lip Oil Crystal Elixir

Want the benefits of a lip oil without the pop of color? This lip conditioner has you covered. It's formulated with hyaluronic acid and plant extracts that help hydrate and plump lips and it also helps improve skin texture. Other powerhouse ingredients include organic aloe vera and vitamins A and C.

Jouer Cosmetics Essential Hydrating Lip Oil

Jouer's lip oil has three ingredients the pros swear by — apricot oil, jojoba seed oil and vitamin E — and is a true multitasker since it moisturizes, softens and smooths lips, all while making your pout shine. Other notable ingredients include rice bran oil, sunflower oil and mulberry fruit extract.

Flower Beauty Chill Out Soothing Lip Glaze

Drew Barrymore's beauty line includes this lip glaze/oil that's formulated with hemp-derived CBD. Coconut oil works hand in hand with the ingredient to condition, calm and hydrate the delicate skin on lips. It also comes in six shades ranging from pink and green to orange and peach.


If you're all about the sensory experience of lip products, this NYX Cosmetics lip oil will be right up your alley. From the tempting vanilla-cherry blossom scent to the uplifting burst of shiny color, it's a fun experience from start to finish, and it comes in a range of bold colors like blue and lavender.

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