A lip gloss can upgrade your makeup look and add moisture, while also making your lips appear younger.
“Glosses do a good job at hiding lines while enhancing a fading lip tone,” says New York City-based cosmetic dentist Sonny Torres Oliva, D.D.S.
This is all great news — if only the gloss doesn’t feel goopy on your lips or get caught up in your hair! Fortunately, there are plenty of options on the market that'll make your pucker feel silky smooth instead of sticky.
How to shop for non-sticky lip gloss
Before buying, check the label for polybutene — a polymer that provides long-lasting benefits but can result in a tacky texture.
“Look for a gloss without it or make sure if it’s in your gloss that it’s accompanied with ingredients that thwart stickiness and seal in moisture like hyaluronic acid, butters, oils and waxes,” says Sabrina Noorani, founder and CEO of ClearForMe, a beauty platform that offers ingredient information to retailers and brands.
Based on its liquid-y texture, lip gloss can also fade faster than lip liners or lipsticks, so you may need to reapply more often. “Opt for a formula that’s a little more opaque or richer in pigment for a longer-lasting look,” adds celebrity makeup artist Robert Sesnek. “When you find the right product and color, it’s worth the upkeep!”
How to apply lip gloss
For great-looking results, prep your lips with a light exfoliating scrub and then apply a balm to create a smooth base prior to gloss, advises Sesnek. “Place the gloss in the center of your top and bottom lips — you don’t want to go above or below the natural lip line as it could lead to bleeding — and rub your lips together.”
Lip glosses that won't leave you feeling sticky
Keep your hair and hands clean while leaving your lips feeling moist with this high shine e.l.f. lip gloss that contains both vitamin E as well as coconut oil. "This is my favorite lip gloss ever. It’s not sticky and gives a nice shine," said one verified five-star Amazon reviewer.
Hydrating hyaluronic is the star ingredient in this Neutrogena lip gloss that glides on easily with no stickiness or gooeyness.
This vanilla scented gloss delivers a wet shine with zero tackiness thanks to ingredients like vegan milk, sunflower seed oil and sweet almond seed extract. It comes in six colors — including the bestselling pink shade, Milk It Pink.
Infused with hyaluronic acid and featuring an extra-large wand to coat lips, this formula from Maybelline leaves lips smooth, not sticky.
Enriched with vitamin E and natural oils like coconut and jojoba, this non-sticky vegan lip gloss has the lasting wear of a lipstick. It comes in six colors, including the bestselling light pink shade, Devine.
Moisturizing ingredients like shea butter, cocoa seed butter and elderberry extract help create softer lips sans the stickiness. It comes in five colors, including the bestselling mauve shade, Val.
This vegan creamy lip gloss from Tarte is non-sticky and includes hydrating ingredients such as vitamin E and coconut oil. "Nice, smooth and not sticky. Love this gloss," said one verified five-star reviewer on the brand's website.
This long-wearing Glossier lip gloss has a glassy non-stick finish thanks to ingredients like vitamin E and jojoba oil, while its doe-foot applicator holds just the right amount of product.
Skin conditioning emollients such as vitamins C and E create a less sticky and lightweight lip gloss with zero drag. Plus, it comes in 14 colors, including the bestselling shimmery pink shade, Fancy Nancy.
This Huda Beauty gloss disguises as a balm yet has the shine of a gloss and includes hydrating hyaluronic acid, plumping soybean and soothing licorice extract.
Silicone-free and made with certified organic ingredients like sunflower and rosehip oil, this formula doesn’t feel heavy or sticky.
Enriched with hyaluronic acid and vitamins C and E, this gloss’s wand has a rollerball-like tip for easy application.
This vegan formula from Jane Iredale includes hyaluronic acid to hydrate and lock in moisture, peptides to plump and lactic acid to exfoliate and reduce the appearance of fine lines.
Formulated with hydrating plant-based botanicals including mango seed butter, avocado, grapeseed, peppermint and coconut oil, this lip gloss goes on slick with no stickiness.
Infused with nutrient-rich botanical oils, hyaluronic acid and vitamins C and E, this Bobbi Brown gloss smooths and hydrates without leaving a sticky feel on the lips.
Marine collagen, menthol crystals, vitamin A, plus coconut and peppermint oils combine to create a cooling yet non-sticky gloss. This Charlotte Tilbury pick comes in five colors, including the iconic nude-pink shade, Pillow Talk.
Hyaluronic acid attracts and retains water in this mint-scented gloss from Dior. It comes in 13 colors, including the bestselling shade, Rosewood Glossy.
How we chose the best non-sticky lip glosses
The Shop TODAY team chose the best non-sticky lip glosses for this story by enlisting the recommendations of a cosmetic dentist, the CEO of a beauty platform and a celebrity makeup artist. We also read through various user reviews and searched top-rated products to help round out the list.
Meet the experts
- Sonny Torres Oliva, D.D.S. is a New York City-based cosmetic dentist.
- Sabrina Noorani is the founder and CEO of ClearForMe, a beauty platform that offers ingredient information to retailers and brands.
- Robert Sesnek is a celebrity makeup artist.