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This wildly popular $14 lip jelly looks like a gloss but hydrates like a balm

It's also a clean beauty must-have.
Ode: Tower28 Lip Jelly
TODAY illustration / Abigail Barr/Tower 28

My work-from-home lifestyle gives me lots of reasons to be lazy. I may want to work in pajamas because it’s comfier, or I might not take care of my hair because no one is seeing me. On those days where my calendar is filled with Zoom meetings, I'd like to perk up my bare face with something easy yet noticeable. Enter: the Tower 28 ShineOn Lip Jelly.

What’s Tower 28, and what do they stand for?

If you’re unfamiliar with Tower 28, they’re a female-founded, clean beauty brand that has affordable and fun skin care and makeup products. Founder Amy Liu has struggled a lot with eczema, so she told Shop TODAY that her products “adhered to the National Eczema Association guidelines to ensure they would have zero potentially irritating ingredients and would be safe for sensitive skin.” Their products are also non-comedogenic, dermatologist tested and gluten-free. As someone with sensitive skin myself, I was excited that this company even applied their clean, non-irritating philosophy to lip products.

Courtesy of Tower 28

What are the benefits of using Lip Jelly?

I wanted a lip gloss that actually hydrated my lips and didn’t just look aesthetically pleasing. I have tried so many products that felt like they were hiding the problem of my dry lips instead of helping. So I loved that this Lip Jelly contains natural oils and ingredients that keep my lips moisturized and nurtured throughout the day. The key? They utilize fruits and plants like apricots, castor seeds, avocados, rosa canina and raspberry seeds.

How does the product perform?

Liu also said she wanted to create a product reminiscent of Lancome’s classic Juicy Tubes that were popular almost two decades ago. I still get fun shine and gloss from Tower 28's Lip Jelly, but my lips never feel sticky. (Plus, unlike with other glosses, an errant strand of my hair never gets stuck in the product.) When I apply it, it gives me a pretty — yet not flashy — wash of color on my lips that pops nicely when I'm on camera inside my little virtual box.

Abigail Barr / TODAY

I love that there’s a variety of colors to choose from, ranging from clear with gold shimmer to a "fearless" berry sheer. Not only that, it also plays nicely with other lip products. If I wanted to amp up the drama by putting a liquid lipstick underneath, the Lip Jelly is a perfect glistening accompaniment. The applicator wand dispenses the perfect amount of product so I don't feel like I'm wasting precious product.

At $14 for an effective product with fun packaging, Tower 28's ShineOn Lip Jelly is a relatively affordable way to put a pep in my step. Even if I'm dressed in super-casual loungewear and I'm not having the best hair day, at least I can impress from afar with my poppin' lips.

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