Best Lip Glosses (2021) | Editor's Top Picks

Best Lip Glosses (2021)

If you’ve been reaching for glosses this year for something easy to apply but offers some hydration and comfort, you’ll find this guide to the best lipglosses (2020 edition) will give you a lot of insight into the top-performing lipgloss formulas that I’ve tested and tried over the years. For later in the year updates, there were actually several formulas that were discontinued!

Every product recommended below has been tested and reviewed by me, your resident Editor-in-Chief, and I test thousands of products every year–so these are truly the best lipgloss formulas I’ve tried and they’ve earned their spot on this list. To read more about a specific shade or view swatches, make sure to use the drop downs and buttons below, as we’ve tried to make this guide comprehensive and easy to use!

Pat McGrath LUST Lip Gloss

The formula is supposed to have "multidimensional shine" with a "non-sticky texture" that "nourishes" with "exceptional adherence." The opacity ranges from "opaque to transparent." The color coverage really does vary quite a bit, but most of the shades I've tried are sheer to medium in coverage--the brand could be clearer on which shades are opaque. Read more...

Fenty Beauty Gloss Bomb Lip Luminizer

The formula is supposed to have a “peach-vanilla” scent (I’d agree–sweet, lightly fruity) and be “conditioning.” It was designed to be worn alone or layered over other lip products. The consistency was very smooth, light-to-medium in weight, non-sticky, and comfortable to wear. It had a plusher consistency that helped it stay out of most of my lip lines. The shimmer was moderate but noticeable, and it distributed evenly across the lips. They last about three hours on my lips but are hydrating.

Pat McGrath OpuLUST Lip Gloss

The formula is supposed to "seamlessly glide" onto lips with "multidimensional sparkle with a smooth, non-sticky finish" that has a "shimmering, move-resistant glasslike finish" and "otherworldly opacity." The pigmentation varied from semi-sheer to mostly opaque depending on the shade, and "otherworldly opacity" combined with the brand's promotional images and swatches all points in the direction of "pigmented'," and I think there are at least a couple of shades that were designed as sheerer on purpose but lack any description suggesting they were different than other shades in the range. Read more...

ColourPop Ultra Glossy Lip

The formula is supposed to have "hi-shine" with a "non-sticky" texture that "feels amazing" and includes five finishes "from 3-D pearl to sheer tinted colour." They are designed to be a sheerer formula, so many shades are sheer with a smattering of shimmer or sparkle and then a few are more tinted with sheer to semi-sheer coverage but no shimmer. Each gloss has a short, brush-type applicator, which worked better than I expected and didn't leave streaky results behind (in general). They had a sweet, vanilla scent but no discernible taste. Read more...


Bobbi Brown Crushed Oil-Infused Gloss

The formula is supposed to be "ultra-shiny" (it is) with a "cushiony, comfy feel" (nailed it) that has a "burst of color" (sheer to medium coverage) that is "ultra-hydrating." It has more of a smooth, gel-like texture, which is where it gets that "cushiony, comfy feel," and it spread easily over my lips and felt comfortable to wear. Read more...

Tom Ford Beauty Lip Lacquer Liquid Patent

It's supposed to be a “lip stain with an ultra-glossy finish” that has “intense, vibrant color” and is "long-wearing." The formula feels lightweight, almost watery, when initially applied but thickens and feels more like a moderately tacky gel after thirty to forty seconds. Read more...

Urban Decay Hi-Fi Shine Ultra Cushion Lip Gloss

The formula is supposed to be "ultra-shiny" with a "cushiony-soft" texture that has "long-lasting wear that's comfortable, not tacky." They are scented with "vanilla-mint," which I did detect, and I could taste slightly (more like a vague sweetness). There was a slight minty tingle upon initial application, but it was very subtle and more of a cooling sensation than anything painful. Read more...

Huda Beauty Lip Strobe

The Lip Strobe formula is supposed to be “sheer to full coverage” depending on the shade and can be worn “alone or layered.” Per the brand, the semi-sheer shades are: Posh, Enchanting, Ritzy, Snobby, Shameless (sheer base), Mystical, and the full-coverage shades are: Boujee, Saucey, Foxy, Fearless, Moody (Angelic’s coverage was not described). Read more...

Patrick Ta Major Glow Lip Shine

The formula is supposed to have a "high-shine" finish that has the "cushion and slip of a lip balm" without being tacky designed to be sheerer. If you love a balmy, gel-like gloss that isn't tacky, has a lot of shine, and a bit of sparkle to it (without being gritty), it's a very comfortable, easy-to-apply formula. It's not particularly long-wearing (three to four hours) but definitely hydrating and glass-like in its shine. Read more...

NARS Velvet Lip Glide

It's supposed to be a hybrid between lipstick and lipgloss that is hydrating, richly pigmented, and comfortable to wear. They have stronger color payoff, a non-tacky consistency, and a smoothness to their consistency that is a lot like a good lipstick, while they have a plusher, thicker texture that gives lips a plumper, fuller look along with a glossy sheen that is more like a gloss. Read more...

Our Methodology

The way I approach my guides is by focusing permanent formulas that have stood the test of time–they are high quality, consistent, and all formulas that have performed well. Every shade is thoroughly tested and reviewed, and these are formulas where I’ve often tested every shade in the line of, so I really grasp each formula’s strengths and weaknesses!

More product guides: Best Blushes, Best Highlighters, Best Eyeshadow Palettes, Best Single Eyeshadows, Best Lipsticks, Best Blush Brushes, Best Eyeshadow Brushes.

Top Rated Lip Glosses from 2021

Check out the current top 10 highest-rated lipglosses (individual shades) reviewed by the editor in 2021–this list will update automatically!

We hope you'll consider supporting Temptalia by shopping through our links below. Thanks!
We hope you'll consider supporting Temptalia by shopping through our links below. Thanks!


Comments that do not adhere to our comment policy may be removed. Discussion and debate are highly encouraged but we expect community members to participate respectfully. Please keep discussion on-topic, and if you have general feedback, a product review request, an off-topic question, or need technical support, please contact us!

Please help us streamline the comments' section and be more efficient: double-check the post above for more basic information like pricing, availability, and so on to make sure your question wasn't answered already. Comments alerting us to typos or small errors in the post are appreciated (!) but will typically be removed after errors are fixed (unless a response is needed).

We appreciate enthusiasm for new releases but ask readers to please hold questions regarding if/when a review will be posted as we can't commit to or guarantee product reviews. We don't want to set expectations and then disappoint readers as even products that are swatched don't always end up being reviewed due to time constraints and changes in priorities! Thank you for understanding!

Leave a Reply

This site is protected by reCAPTCHA and the Google Privacy Policy and Terms of Service apply.

We hope you'll consider supporting Temptalia by shopping through our links below. Thanks!

Wow! You’re getting these lists up so fast! Thank you so much for posting them before the Sephora sale time.

Fenty glosses have been the big winners for me this year. They don’t look terribly exciting in the tubes, but somehow they’re amazing looking on the lips. I wore Fenty Glow/Universal more than I have any lipgloss in a long time! Great formula, too: Not too sticky or too runny, nice shimmer dispersal, comfortable and moisturizing. They smell really yummy, too.

I really want to try some of the Pat McGrath glosses.

Because I love me a good glossy lip, I have at least one of each out of the first 5 brands mentioned, plus a few of the other brands mentioned. I love Fenty Gloss Bomb, PMG LUST Gloss and one not mentioned, MAC Lipglass.

I love the PM glosses so much! I really enjoy the Fenty ones, too.

And I rediscovered my Buxom glosses and realized that they’re really good. Haha. I like the Colourpop So Juicy lip glosses, too.

For some reason, I didn’t like the ABH ones and I’m not sure why.

Excited to try some of the ones you listed!

Lipgloss is mostly love/hate for me. It can really elevate and look incredible over lipstick, but I find it interferes with wear time and reapplying two layers on the go is just too much fuss. I also find if I want a glossier lip, I tend to grab lip balm instead..something that might actually hydrate my desert lips. It does looks fabulous in photos.

Sephora Ultra Shine and UD Hi Fi Shine are definitely my favorites. I have about 10 of the Ultra Shines and just love them. Colourpop will return to a favorite when the fix those darned brushes. I have quit buying them at this point. I got an Ofra gloss recently in an Ipsy and I like that formula as well. I’m such a gloss girl! I can’t wait to try some of the other ones listed here. I think the only other one on this list I’ve tried is the Huda Lip Strobe and I keep it because it can look cool as a topper, but I don’t like the stickiness and how it wears down.

I must say.. my all time favorite lip glosses are Pat McGrath. I love love love them. I used to buy MAC because of the color selection but they always make my lips peel. PMG formula is amazing and there colors simply beautiful. I do have other glosses but I just don’t reach for them now that I have my PMG

Most of these aren’t sticky in my experience? But sticky isn’t something that is negative. Goopy, sure, when something is thick and sticky to the point where it streaks or is hard to manage to keep in place.

For me MAC makes the best lip glosses, I try other brands, but get back to MAC again and again.
From this list of brands I only have one from PMG, I like it, it’s shimmery and quite nice.
I’m going to order Spark Joy today, I think I’ll love it.

Thank you for these lists by the way. Put together like this it makes it so much easier to decide what to buy, or if to buy.

We try to approve comments within 24 hours (and reply to them within 72 hours) but can sometimes get behind and appreciate your patience! 🙂 If you have general feedback, product review requests, off-topic questions, or need technical support, please contact us directly. Thank you for your patience!