A Guide To Lip Oil: The Multitasker That Delivers Hydration And Shine
A Guide To Lip Oil: The Multitasker That Delivers Hydration And Shine

A Guide To Lip Oil: The Multitasker That Delivers Hydration And Shine

5 minutes read

Lip oils are trending, and we know why. They embody what we’re all looking for in our make-up right now. The clean, glossy aesthetic is taking over – our social feeds are bursting with imagery of dewy skin and shiny, hydrated lips. But now, we also want our make-up to deliver care along with colour. But what does lip oil do? And what is the best lip oil to get your hands on now? We reveal all.

model wearing lip oil

What is lip oil and what does it do?

Have you ever investigated the ingredients label on a lip gloss tube? Most of us haven’t, because for years, we didn’t really care about the ingredients in our make-up products.  

“People don’t tend to think too much about the ingredients in a make-up product because make-up gives an instant result,” says Charlotte McHale, Clarins Training Manager. “You’ve got to like the way it looks before you care about what’s in it. But lip oils have shown that it’s possible for brands to do both. And especially for high-end brands, this should be non-negotiable.” 

But what does lip oil do to your lips? “With a lip oil, you’re still getting the colour and the shine. But, instead of being sticky and gloopy, it feels comfortable and moisturising.”

Tip: Lip oils are great for anyone who has fine lines above the lip as they deliver loads of hydration and also give the illusion of fuller, plumper lips.

“As a brand, creating a product just for its aesthetic quality isn’t good enough,” says McHale. “We want our customers to have high quality in terms of aesthetics but without having to compromise on the ingredients and benefits to the skin.”

Is lip oil good for dry lips?

Lip oil is generally excellent for dry lips as it combines the nourishing properties of oils with a lightweight, non-greasy texture. Ingredients commonly found in lip oils are the likes of jojoba, coconut, or argan oil which all provide deep hydration, helping to soothe and replenish dry, chapped lips. The oil forms a protective barrier, locking in moisture and preventing further dehydration – and many lip oils also contain antioxidants, promoting overall lip health and leaving lips feeling soft, smooth, and revitalised.

How does it compare to other lip products?

Lip oil stands out among lip products due to its unique combination of hydration and light texture. Unlike traditional lip balms, glosses, or lipsticks, lip oil delivers deep moisturisation with a non-greasy feel. It nourishes, soothes, and protects dry lips, offering a versatile and comfortable solution for a soft and supple pout.

The best lip oil

Clarins Lip Comfort Oil

Clarins tinted lip oil

Looking for the best lip oil for dry lips? 65 years of expertise in plant oils led Clarins to create the OG Lip Comfort Oils, £22 that paved the way for so many others.  

McHale explains: “We started working with plant oils in the 1950s, so we really know what works. We use hazelnut oil that’s rich in vitamin E and sweet briar oil that’s really hydrating for the lips, and not often used in cosmetics.” 

She elaborates: “These are not necessarily the cheapest ingredients. It would be super easy to throw mineral oil in the formula and get the same sheen. But as a brand we know that there’s a lot of competition when it comes to make-up. You can get a lip gloss for pence nowadays. But what you’re putting on your lips should be good quality. And we don’t think our customers should compromise on the quality of a product, just because it’s make-up.”

How to use lip oil

1. On bare lips

Apply a clear lip oil on bare lips for an effortless sheen that feels comfortable. They’re easy to reapply and will easily fit into back pockets or tiny purses.

2. As a lip mask

If your lip oil is packed with nourishing ingredients, why not let it work its magic overnight? Before bed, gently exfoliate your lips with a scrub or a damp towel (McHale recommends the Comfort Scrub, £26 for lips too) and then apply a lip oil. 

To preserve your sheets, choose a colourless formula, and if you want something with an extra plumping effect, opt for a collagen lip oil instead.

3. Over lipstick

Create a bold, glossy lip by layering your lip oil over a lipstick. For a long-wearing finish, choose a matte lipstick or lip liner as your first layer before adding two coats of lip oil.

4. On the cheeks

“I think it’s quite cute to put a little bit on the cheek,” says McHale. “It can really give you a very editorial, glossy cheek look. And if you choose a tinted lip oil you get some colour too.”

Can lip oil be used as lip balm?

Yes, lip oil can be used as a substitute for lip balm. With its nourishing oils and moisturising properties, lip oil effectively soothes and hydrates dry lips. Its lightweight texture makes it comfortable for daily use, providing a glossy finish while promoting lip health and preventing chapping.

How to make lip oil last longer

To prolong lip oil wear, exfoliate your lips regularly for a smooth base. Apply a thin layer of lip balm before lip oil for added hydration, and use a lip liner to create a defined boundary. Blot excess oil with tissue and set with a translucent powder – and you can even reapply throughout the day for continuous nourishment and shine.

Is lip oil the same as lip gloss?

Wondering about lip oil vs lip gloss? While lip oil and lip gloss share similarities, both providing shine and enhancing the lips, lip oil focuses on moisturisation with nourishing oils, offering a lightweight, non-sticky feel. Lip gloss often contains more traditional gloss ingredients, providing shine and sometimes a thicker, stickier texture without the same emphasis on hydration.

Are lip oils sticky?

Lip oils are generally not sticky. They provide a lightweight, non-greasy feel, focusing on moisturisation and a smooth texture. This makes them comfortable to wear without the stickiness associated with some lip glosses.

Next read: The Essential Summer Lip Care Edit 

Sign up for our newsletter

We will keep you in the loop for special offers, exclusive gifts and product news.

Lip Perfector - 335 x 100
Hydra-Essentiel - 1180 x 200