(Main Squeeze)

Trust, These Lip Glosses Give Main Character Energy In One Swipe

High-shine looks ahead.

Originally Published: 
Best lip glosses
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Join TZR editors for Main Squeeze, the series dedicated to sharing beloved beauty products — be they bold, effective, or simply fun — that make our week just a little bit better. Ahead, Team TZR spotlights their favorite lip gloss of the moment.

When the temperature begins to climb it’s a sign to shift to a ‘less is more’ approach. Heavy garments are traded in for lightweight fabrics and breezy styles, and the same goes for your makeup routine. While thick, matte lipstick formulas work well for the colder months of the year, the summer season begs for ones that are lightweight and effortless to apply. Enter the lip gloss, a glassy and often translucent product that adds shine without looking (or feeling) heavy and weighed down. The mention of a gloss may bring back memories of roller-ball applicators and sticky formulas, but today, the best lip glosses are created with as much intention and care as your go-to lipstick or lip balm.

Looking for a product to hydrate and plump lips? There’s a hyaluronic acid-infused gloss out there made to deliver this specific result. Alternatively, maybe you’re looking for a simple glass lips look. Whatever the case, there are tons of options available to suit every preference. One thing is for sure, with summer rolling along, you’ll definitely want to have one (or three) on hand. Ahead, the top lip glosses TZR editors turn to for lasting shine.

“No shade to Ariana Grande, but I’ve always thought her r.e.m. beauty line was a little too teenage and trendy for me. I changed my tune, however, when this lip gloss crossed my desk: it’s shiny but never sticky, and stays in place without ever feeling heavy. Sure, it looks a little like something I could’ve owned in 2003, but that, too, has become part of its charm — I don’t want to feel like I’m back in high school, but I don’t mind looking like it every once and awhile.” — Alison Syrett, deputy fashion editor, TZR

“This tinted gloss in the shade “Caramel” has been a go-to of mine for years thanks to its subtle honey hue and creamy formula. It easily glides onto my lips, and has a smooth but glass-like finish that instantly makes them look juicy without a plumping effect. But the sheer color is also something I really love. With just a quick swipe, it delivers a wash of golden brown color that works well on bare lips.” — Jessica Fields, beauty writer, TZR

“Yes, I realize this is a throwback. In fact, the first time these glosses touched my lips was likely senior year of high school some 20 years ago — and I've been hooked ever since. In addition to the scrumptious smell, this gel formula plumps my lips perfectly, leaving them with a shimmering, bubble-like finish that makes me feel like a girl of 18 again.” — Angela Melero, executive, editor, TZR

“This Tower28 tube is the anomaly of lip glosses – it offers high shine, a sheer wash of color, and moisturizes lips without any stickiness. While all of the available shades are stunning, I'm partial to XOXO, a soft pink that delivers a my-lips-but-better look.” — Erin Lukas, deputy beauty editor, TZR

“While this product isn't a traditional gloss, Summer Fridays’ Lip Butter Balm makes my lips the glossiest they've ever been. My lips look phenomenal when I use this balm – whether it be by itself or over my favorite lip shade. Not to mention, the main purpose of this product is to hydrate, so my lips are never dry.” — Maggie Haddad, senior social media strategist, TZR

“Behold, the perfect beachy, bronzey shade of lip gloss: Jones Road's Cool Gloss in shade Mocha Shimmer. Though it looks super sparkly in the tube, it turns into a natural sheen when dabbed on, blending beautifully with a summer tan. It feels both polished and low-key on the lips, which I think is the ultimate combination.” —Amanda Ross, beauty editor, TZR

“When I'm looking for a high-shine, juicy finish on my lips, I reach for Lawless Forget The Filler. The new Watermelon shade is my summer go-to. It smells fruity and delicious, and it leaves behind the prettiest cool-toned pink, glossy, mirror-like shine.” — Faith Xue, executive beauty director, lifestyle, BDG

“I’ve tried countless tubes of lip gloss (I’m a firm believer a statement pout takes your makeup look to the next level), and none quite measure up to Glossier’s iteration. The formula gives my lips a gorgeous shine, and even better, it’s not sticky like other products I’ve tested. I give it a 10/10.” — Kelsey Stewart, associate fashion editor, TZR

“A clear gloss is always a good idea and this one by AMI COLÉ is a favorite of mine because of its nourishing formula and non-sticky texture. As an oil-to-gloss, it feels like a moisturizing balm but gives the perfect juicy pout. I usually wear it on bare lips but have been known to layer it on top of lipsticks for a glassy finish. “ — Fields

“I still remember the day I lined up at Sephora to buy Fenty Beauty’s first launches and, unsurprisingly, they’re still some of my favorites in 2023. The original Gloss Bomb color will always be near and dear to my heart, but it’s been edged out by the shade FU$$Y, a shimmer-packed pink that feels like a hydrating, protective cover for the lips without any stickiness or migration. The size of the tube is perfect for a tiny clutch, and the giant doe-foot applicator means you can slick it on anywhere even without a mirror.” — Ross

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