Somewhere between the high-shine of lip gloss, color payoff of matte shades, and utilitarian ease of balms is the hugely underrated category of lip oils — otherwise known as the answer to almost all of your winter-worn woes. Formulated to deliver only the best parts of other products in one, these products, featuring skin-softening oils, lend a natural shine sans the usual gloss stickiness, and double up as a subtle (or not so subtle) stain. To seal the deal, they're expert-approved, too.
"Lip oils are a great way to add a hint of color and a lot of hydration," Mary Irwin, celebrity makeup artist, tells NYLON. "I love them in the winter instead of a lipstick, as most lipsticks are wax-based — which can be protective, but can also just be drying."
While formulas vary from brand to brand, Irwin notes that the most consistent thing about lip oils is that they work as a treatment while you're wearing them. Often infused with power players like hyaluronic acid, jojoba oil, vitamin E, and collagen-boosting peptides, lip oils are designed to combat dry, chapped, and rough skin on the lips without compromising your overall look.
Whether you plan to wear them alone or layered with other products, opt for a clear shade or lean for something more colorful, you won't regret throwing a lip oil into your cold-weather beauty rotation.
Shop 11 of the best lip oils available right now — from drugstore favorites to luxe formulas — below.
Kosas Wet Lip Oil Gloss
Kosas, Wet Lip Oil Gloss in Jellyfish, $27, available at Kosas.
This new hybrid treatment-gloss from Kosas is meant to be flexible — wear it alone for a juicy slick of color or layer with other lip products. It's packed with hyaluronic acid to lock in hydration, collagen-boosting peptides, primrose oils, and a handful of other botanicals that work to plump and protect the lips all day.
Clarins Lip Comfort Oil
Clarins, Lip Comfort Oil in Honey Glam, $22, available at Nordstrom.
Available in seven super-sheer shades, this formula is infused with pure plant oils — like organic jojoba and hazelnut — to plumpen and hydrate dry, damaged lips. Like the name suggests, it offers smooth and comfortable application and wear that won't feel sticky.
Milk Makeup Glow Oil
Milk Makeup, Glow Oil in Glimmer, $15, available at Milk Makeup.
If you're a fan of multi-use products, look no further. This vegan Glow Oil from Milk Makeup can be worn on the cheeks as a glow-y blush as well as on the lips for a sheer, popsicle-like stain. Infused with antioxidant-rich rice bran oil, just a few swipes provide the lips with a surge of hydration and significant color payoff.
NYX #ThisIsEverything Oil
NYX, #ThisIsEverything Oil, $4, available at Target.
NYX talks a big game with this product — coined #ThisIsEverything — but, according to the over 200 near-perfect reviews on Target, it appears to live up to its name. Infused with both jojoba and argan oil, this light-weight, sweetly-scented lip oil moisturizes and nourishes throughout the day for a natural-looking glow.
Hourglass No.28 Lip Treatment Oil
Hourglass, No.28 Lip Treatment Oil in Cameo, $49, available at Nordstrom.
This luxe metal pen, complete with a 24-karat gold-plated tip, is packed with a soothing, hydrating blend of vitamins, essential oils, and three powerful active ingredients to deeply nourish the lips while offering a sheer, glossy color.
Lilah B. Lovingly Lip Tinted Oil
Lilah B., Lovingly Lip Tinted Lip Oil in b.remarkable, $30, available at Sephora.
Available in three colors, this formula from clean beauty brand Lilah B. is infused with antioxidant-rich bilberry seed oil, milk thistle extract, and vitamin E to soften, smooth, and diminish visible signs of aging on the lips.
Florence by Mills Glow Yeah Lip Oil
Florence by Mills, Glow Yeah Lip Oil, $12, available at Ulta.
Featuring a pop of shine, this lip oil is made using African mango butter, which adds moisture, and Paracress flower, an extract that softens dry lips.
Memebox Nooni Lip Oil
Memebox, Nooni Applecoco Lip Oil, $12, available at Memebox.
This silky formula brings together the nourishing and moisturizing powers of vitamins A, C, and E, as well as a handful of botanical oils, to soften the lips, and apple water which sloughs away dry skin. Apply it before adding additional lip color, or wear it solo for a soft, hydrated glow.
Butter London Sheer Wisdom Lip Oil
Butter London, Sheer Wisdom Lip Oil in Rich Nutmeg, $22, available at Ulta.
This click-pen applicator comes in six shades with incredible color payoff, like this deep burgundy shade. The creamy, non-greasy formula is infused with a hydrating blend of oils — from prickly pear seed oil to chia seed oil — and offers buildable, sheer color.
Too Faced Sweet Peach Creamy Peach Oil Lip Gloss
Too Faced, Sweet Peach Creamy Peach Oil Lip Gloss in Papa Don't Peach, $20, available at Sephora.
This moisture-rich formula is about as close as you can get to the high-shine of a true gloss — perfect for anyone who hates the stickiness but loves everything else. It goes on silky smooth, and is infused with soothing coconut oil and vitamins for all-day hydration.
Yes To Cooling Lip Oil
Yes To, Cooling Lip Oil, $9, available at Walmart.
For under $10, this lip oil from drugstore favorite Yes To packs a punch. In an easy-to-use applicator pen, the formula is stacked with nutrient-rich oils like virgin coconut, olive, and cooling eucalyptus.
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