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Best clear lip gloss

Which clear lip glosses are best?

For days when you want to look fresh-faced and clean, a good clear lip gloss adds sheen and depth while keeping lips moisturized. Clear lip gloss can serve as a base for when you want to get creative with dabbing a bit of your favorite blush to add color to your face, or as a way to give your favorite lipstick a more glassy finish. If you’re looking for a great all-purpose clear lip gloss, the Lancome Juicy Tubes Original Lip Gloss is the top choice.

What to know before you buy a clear lip gloss

Solo application or layer

The same thing that makes clear lip gloss a great choice in middle school is what makes it a handy tool to keep around today: It’s hard to apply wrong, it’s versatile and a bit of shine adds instant brightness and interest to your face. However, its use doesn’t end with a simple beach-day shine. As a base, it gives you a blank canvas to let your imagination run wild. Dab your favorite gold eye shadow over it for instant shimmer or layer it on over a shimmery lipstick to amp up its look.

Plain gloss vs. plumping action

If you want to keep it clear but still want your lips to stand out, a plumping formula of clear lip gloss can add significant volume to your lips. Plumping lip glosses range from those that use moisturizers such as hyaluronic acid to add volume to the lips to stronger ones that use irritants to increase blood flow to the lips. If you don’t like the sensation of a plumping lip gloss, the non-plumping variety can still add dimension to your lips.

Tint or fully clear

There are fully clear lip glosses and mostly clear lip glosses with a hint of color. Clear lip glosses are versatile and work over any lipstick or as a base, but if your lip color is pale, they may not give you as much as you’re looking for. In contrast, a lip gloss with a hint of color can restrict your options for mixing but give the lips a more uniform, brighter look. The key, if you’re going to go for a tint, is to pick one that looks great with your skin tone.

What to look for in a quality clear lip gloss

The right formula

Do you need long-lasting shine? Opt for a longer-wear lip gloss. Mature lips can use the extra pick-me-up of a plumping gloss. Pale lips really pop with a hint of tint. Figure out what issue you’re correcting to get the perfect gloss.


Do your lips tend to dry out? A high-moisture lip gloss can help keep them hydrated. Look for hydrating ingredients that will help lock in moisture and nourish the skin on your lips. Emollients like shea butter, argan oil and coconut oil.

Nonsticky shine

If you’ve had negative experiences with lip gloss, chances are you’ve come across the gloss of the 1980s and ’90s: sticky, goopy and a magnet for strands of your own hair. The good news is that modern formulas are far less sticky and much smoother, adding a glassy shine without feeling heavy on the lips.

How much you can expect to spend on a clear lip gloss

You can buy drug store brand clear lip gloss for under $5, while high-end options can cost as much as $50. 

Clear lip gloss FAQ

What are some ingredients to look for in a moisturizing lip gloss?

A. Lip gloss with a “butter” (shea butter, mango butter, cocoa butter) glides on smooth and helps seal in moisture. Hyaluronic acid is another great ingredient to look for for a gloss that holds in shine and keeps lips soft.

How can you make lip gloss last longer?

A. The easiest solution is to buy a long-lasting clear lip gloss formulated with staying power. In addition to that, a bit of prep can help. Exfoliate and moisturize lips regularly. Layer on a primer or a dab of foundation, then line the lips with a good, nude lip liner. Apply gloss, and if you really want your gloss to last, spray on a setting spray.

What are the best clear lip glosses to buy?

Top clear lip gloss

Lancome Juicy Tubes Original Lip Gloss

What you need to know: A makeup-artist favorite, this clear lip gloss works as a perfect hydrating base or a glassy finish.

What you’ll love: Vitamin E makes this gloss extra hydrating, leaving lips soft and supple.

What you should consider: This gloss can go on thin and require reapplication, so if you’re looking for thick coverage, this may not be the gloss for you.

Where to buy: Sold by Sephora

Top clear lip gloss for the money

Rimmel Stay Glossy 6-Hour Lip Gloss in Seduce Me

What you need to know: You get a great value for a high-quality gloss that layers on or looks great on its own.

What you’ll love: Long-lasting and moisturizing, this gloss is lightweight and lasts a long time.

What you should consider: While it lasts longer than the average gloss, the six hours in its name is optimistic. You may want to carry it and be prepared to reapply for longer wear.

Where to buy: Sold by Amazon

Worth checking out

Smashbox Gloss Angeles Extra Shine Clear Lip Gloss

What you need to know: A cult favorite, it really does offer extra shine.

What you’ll love: Free of parabens, formaldehyde and other allergens, the company bills it not only as a lip gloss, but one you can apply anywhere else you want a bit of shine, like over cheekbones or brow bones.

What you should consider: Some users reported they didn’t like the applicator. You may want to consider using a lip brush to apply instead.

Where to buy: Sold by Sephora

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Maria Andreu writes for BestReviews. BestReviews has helped millions of consumers simplify their purchasing decisions, saving them time and money.

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