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Winning over the internet one doe foot applicator at a time, lip oil seems to be the latest make-up product in everyone’s shopping baskets. But just how do they work?
If you’ve spent any time in the never-ending consumer wormhole of Beauty TikTok, you may have noticed the recent buzz around lip oil.
What essentially looks like a mini lip gloss is sweeping social media. These lauded lip saviours are big for summer because they promise to be more long-lasting than regular lip gloss, more hydrating than lipstick and more pigmented than a regular balm. But how do they work exactly?
Putting oil on your lips may sound unpleasant, but this viral Dior number is winning over make-up lovers everywhere. The Dior Addict Lip Glow Oil promises to give gloss and “deeply protect and enhance the lips, bringing out their natural colour”. But what does a beauty expert make of the recent lip oil phenomenon? Are they worth our time and money? And which are the best ones to try?
Dr Najia Shaikh is a GP, skin doctor and the founder of One Skin Clinic on London’s Harley Street. When asked where a lip oil falls in terms of categorisation, Dr Shaikh says that “in general, lip oils are more nourishing than lip balms”.
“Lip balms tend to carry ingredients, like petroleum, that instead of penetrating deep to moisturise, only coat your lips. This means you have to constantly reapply them as there’s no real moisturising going on.”
So how do lip oils work exactly? “When applied to the lips, lip oils penetrate deep to moisturise and nourish the skin. This is as opposed to ‘coating’ the skin, which lip balms such as those containing petroleum do, meaning you have to reapply them constantly,” she explains.
“Additionally, many lip oils are formulated with moisture-replenishing and moisture-attracting ingredients, such as hyaluronic acid and vitamin E, to keep lips soft, smooth, plump and unchapped.”
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The thought of a pigmented oil-based product may deter many from using lip oils, but Dr Shaikh attests to their efficacy, especially when the temperature decreases.
“Lip oils are a good way to provide moisture to the skin and avoid dry, chapped or cracked lips, which are more prevalent in the colder months. Aesthetically, lip oils are sometimes avoided as they can leave a shiny finish, however the shine should fade quickly once the oil has penetrated the skin.”
Hyaluronic acid is a star ingredient to look out for when shopping for a lip oil, Dr Shaikh explains. “Make sure to look for an ingredient list that contains naturally sourced oils as opposed to synthetic variants, as these ingredients are said to mimic the lipid content of skin to protect, hydrate and accentuate lips.”
Many of us know how drying lipsticks and lip stains can often be, but Dr Shaikh says that “aesthetically, lip oils can be used as an alternative to lipstick when they include a coloured tint”. They will give a glossier effect than using lipstick on its own, though, she explains: “A tinted lip oil with top-tier ingredients can be a good two-in-one and help keep lips soft and protected without the need for having too many products – oils, lipsticks and balms – in your make-up bag.”
So with all of that in mind, here’s a mini round-up of some of our current favourites…
1. Dior Lip Glow Oil
A nourishing lip oil that I always make sure to pop in my bag, this non-sticky, high-gloss slick is the finishing touch when I wear make-up and when I don’t. Available in nine shades – from pinks to oranges, browns and purples to clear – I’ve converted a fair few friends to this hardworking, hydrating lip gem.
Shop Dior Lip Glow Oil, £29.50
2. Lottie London Oil Slick
Another non-tacky, super shiny lip oil, Lottie London’s totally vegan formulation is enriched with almond oil to soften and smooth.
Shop Lottie London Oil Slick, £5.95
3. Gisou Honey Infused Lip Oil
Part of the influencer-founded brand Gisou, this lip oil is richly moisturising, infused with hyaluronic acid and honey from founder Negin Mirsalehi’s family bee garden.
Shop Gisou Honey Infused Lip Oil, £24
4. Tower 28 Beauty ShineOn Lip Jelly
Part of sensitive-skincare brand Tower 28, the ShineOn Lip Jelly is a vegan lip oil with a shiny, nourishing finish. A blend of five oils – apricot, avocado and raspberry to name a few – creates the perfect mix to soften and condition the lips. Available in seven translucent shades, a wash of shiny, sheer colour is a slick away.
Shop Tower 28 Beauty ShineOn Lip Jelly at Cult Beauty, £15
5. Clarins Lip Comfort Oil
A tinted lip oil that’s available in eight light and deep shades, the comforting formula includes hazelnut and jojoba oil to treat the dry, thirsty skin on your lips.
Shop Clarins Lip Comfort Oil at Boots, £20
6. Hourglass No.28 Lip Treatment Oil
Part lip oil, part conditioning treatment, Hourglass has combined active ingredients, essential oils and vitamins in a tinted lip oil designed to help increase the plumpness and moisture levels in your lips.
Shop Hourglass No.28 Lip Treatment Oil at Cult Beauty, £48
7. Ciaté London Fruit Burst Lip Oil
Another lip oil that rattles around the bottom of any bag, big or small, that I happen to be toting around, the Ciaté lip oil is smooth and silky, enriched with avocado oil to lock in moisture and soothe soreness.
Shop Ciaté London Fruit Burst Lip Oil at Lookfantastic, £14
8. Iconic London Lustre Lip Oil
A lightweight lip oil that contains protecting vitamin C and hydrating hyaluronic acid, it comes in five shades ranging from pink to tan to clear.
Shop Iconic London Lustre Lip Oil at Lookfantastic, £21
9. Kosas Wet Lip Oil Plumping Treatment Gloss
A brand beloved by celebrities, Kosas’ lip oil has cult status when it comes to high shine with skincare benefits. Packed with hyaluronic acid and peptides, the sheer oil-infused treatment softens, plumps and cushions lip in moisturisation. Plus, Konjac root creates a gel-like barrier to keep hydration in and the environment out. Winning.
Shop Kosas Wet Lip Oil Plumping Treatment Gloss at Revolve, £21
10. Pixi Glow-Y Lip Oil
The only rollerball applicator on our list of the best lip oils, this pocket-sized product is perfect to take on the go. It’s refreshing and moisturising, packed with hydrating ingredients and feels wonderful to apply, thanks to the cool metal rollerball.
Shop Pixi Glow-y Lip Oil at Lookfantastic, £14
11. Refy Lip Gloss
While it’s sold as a gloss rather than a lip oil per se, the Refy Lip Gloss does contain jojoba oil to nourish the lips. Über smooth to apply, it coats the lips in a genuinely long-lasting shine while also deeply hydrating. Wear alone or over lipstick for a wash of reflective moisture.
Shop Refy Lip Gloss, £14
12. Jouer Cosmetics Essential Hydrating Lip Oil
This Jouer lip oil is made with 99% plant-derived ingredients and is cruelty-free and vegan. It’s also non-sticky for all of those worrying about those ‘hair stuck in gloss’ mishaps.
Buy Jouer Cosmetics Essential Hydrating Lip Oil, £15
13. Kiehl’s Love Oil for Lips
This lightweight hydrating lip oil boosts moisture for softer, smoother lips. It also comes in a range of berry colours, so perfect for autumn wearing.
Buy Kiehl’s Love Oil for lips, £18
14. Revolution Pro Goddess Glow Lip Oil
Formulated with a blend of plant-based cherry, raspberry and jojoba oils, this lip oil provides ultimate nourishment with a barely-there tinted look.
Buy Revolution Pro Goddess Glow Lip Oil, £7
Images: main image Stylist; product shots courtesy of brands
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