Like the investigative reporters we are, we went all out on trying the good, the bad, and the just plain ugly of budget lip glosses. Some were good. Some were horrible. And some were fantastic. Those are the ones we’re showing you today.
We can’t lie, this stuff smells good enough to eat. (It, consequentially, tastes good enough to eat.) But the sweet vanilla cupcake scent isn’t even the best part. This Butter Gloss is like actual butter: non-sticky, softening, smooth, and feels creamy and moisturizing on the lips. It’s sheer enough to pop on the lips alone without too much color, but packs enough pigment to give your lips a nice tint. Standout colors: Madeleine (a browny nude) and Merengue (a bubblegum pink).
Okay, we would never lie to you, and for that reason, we have to tell you…this stuff stinks. Badly. Like strongly scented soap from your granny’s bathroom. Not cute. But the formula of this stuff! Amazing! It is quite pigmented and gives off tons of color and tons of shine. Standout color: Blushing Belgraves (a glittery mauve).
Since we love scented lip gloss (we grew up with Lip Smackers, can you blame us), this stuff is a must. Each shade smells (and tastes) different. It is moisturizing, buttery, and non-sticky. It doesn’t last a very long time, but that just gives you an excuse to pile it on. The formula is very sheer, so the color doesn’t matter too much, but we do have some favorite scents. Standout colors (flavors): Berry Chic (a true red) and Coral Craze (a light coral).
If you hate sticky lip gloss, stay away from this one. This gloss is ultra sticky, ultra shiny, and ultra beautiful. The name fits it perfectly: luxe. Standout color: Prettiest Pink (a very pretty pink).
This might be the shiniest formula we tried out and good grief is it gorgeous. This stuff is pigmented and packs a real punch in the shine department. Plus, it’s rumored that Kim Kardashian’s makeup artist is a big fan. Sign. Us. Up. Standout colors: Natural (a pigmented, heavy-shine mauve) and Sugar Pie (a glossy, glittery, pinky sheer color to make your 90s beauty dreams come true).
This gloss is proof that you can get great quality makeup for a couple of bucks. This stuff is exactly what we mean when we talk about the perfect lip gloss: shiny, comfortable, pigmented, and long-lasting. The packaging is flimsy and cheap, but for $2, you really can’t beat it. Standout color: Joe (a tangerine orange).
If you want color that sticks around all day long, this gloss by L’Oreal is your girl. It’s said to be a dupe for YSL’s Glossy Stain, so if you want to save 30 bucks, pick this one up. It doesn’t smell great, but the flat doe-foot applicator and impeccable high-quality formula, not to mention the gorgeous packaging, all but makes up for it. Standout colors: Pink Perseverance (a mauvey pink), Pink Resistance (a coral), and Stubborn Plum (a sheered out purple).
This gloss stays on all day long, and has more pigment than most glosses we tried. It goes on super pigmented, like a glossy lipstick, and wears off naturally throughout the day, leaving behind a beautiful, defined stain. This has a spot on our top shelf. Standout colors: London Posh (a golden nude), India Intrigue (a beautiful berry), and Cannes Crush (a bright coral).
This gloss is incredibly glossy, incredibly pigmented, and incredibly sticky. But boy…does it make your lips look fly. Its glittery and bright formula is just right for any special occasion. Standout color: HD Tourmaline (a glittery bright pink).