Lip Gloss vs Lip Oil Featured Image

Shine or Nourish? A Complete Guide on Lip Oil vs Lip Gloss Choices

Disclosure: I only recommend products I would use myself and all opinions expressed here are our own. This post may contain affiliate links that at no additional cost to you, I may earn a small commission.

Featured Image by @dasique_thailand

Ever found yourself caught in the glossy dilemma of choosing between “lip oil vs lip gloss”?

We got you!

This expert guide is here to answer all your questions, from understanding the difference between the two formulas, to knowing when to use which, and even how to apply them on for that perfect pout.

Key Takeaways

  • Discover the perfect blend of makeup and skincare with lip oils and glosses!

  • Get nourished lips or a glammed up evening look – learn what key ingredients to look for, how to apply them step-by-step, plus pro tips & tricks.

  • Excitingly follow do’s & don’ts for healthy hydrated lips with multi dimensional vibrant looks!

Understanding Lip Oil and Lip Gloss

Image of Lip Gloss and Oils by Beauty_ObsessionUk
source: @beauty_obsessionsuk

Lip oils and glosses are more than just beauty products; they are a blend of makeup and skincare benefits, designed to give your lips that extra oomph or hydration.

People who love lip oils appreciate that lip oil – an exquisite hybrid beauty product, can be formulated with natural oils like almond, jojoba, and coconut, coupled with vitamin E and hyaluronic acid. These elements work together to treat, hydrate, and nourish your lips, fighting off dryness and chapping while providing a dewy natural oil-based shine.

On the other hand, lip gloss is all about adding that vibrant touch of color and pigmentation to your lips. It can be thicker in consistency compared to many lip oils and lip balms, and leaves a glossy or shimmery finish. Lip glosses come in a wide range of colors, from sheer to highly pigmented, and textures, providing a variation for many lip looks!

Both lip oil and lip gloss share some common ingredients, like hydrogenated polyisobutene and polybutene, that contribute to the shine and thickness of these products. They may also contain castor and mineral oils. However, the key difference lies in their benefits; lip oil is all about hydration and nourishment, whereas lip gloss is about shine and color.

Key Ingredients in Lip Oils

The effectiveness of lip oil lies on its hydrating ingredients. Here are our favorite ingredients to look for when purchasing lip oils:

  • Jojoba oil.

  • Rosehip oil.

  • Coconut oil.

  • Grape seed oil.

  • Sunflower oil.

  • Evening primrose oil.

These oils work together to keep your lips feeling buttery soft, hydrated, and free from chapped lips.

Furthermore, ingredients like Chenopodium Quinoa Seed Oil and Squalane provide substantial hydration above and beyond what natural oils offer. These ingredients are found in products like MERIT Shade Slick Gelée Sheer Tinted Lip Oil and are also a great emollients!

However, not all ingredients are created equal, and some should be avoided in lip oil formulas like menthol, camphor, and salicylic acid. These ingredients can disrupt the moisture balance of the lips, leading to dryness and possible inflammation.

Key Ingredients in Lip Glosses

Contrarily, lip glosses depend on synthetic polymers and waxes to create their glossy allure.

Synthetic polymers like Polybutene and Hydrogenated Polyisobutene give lip glosses their yummy, ultra-juicy look. However, if hydration is your primary focus, lip oils with their nourishing ingredients might be the way for you.

Lip gloss formulations often include beeswax, carnauba wax, and rice wax. These contribute to the texture and durability of the gloss, making them a great choice for those who are after that high shine and long-lasting finish.

Most lip glosses contain a blend of:

  • Oils.

  • Pigments.

  • Waxes.

  • Polymers.

Comparing Lip Oil and Lip Gloss: A Side-by-Side Analysis

Beauty blogger choosing between lip gloss or lip oil

If hydration and very thin texture is your priority, lip oil unequivocally triumphs! Thanks to its film-forming polymers and nourishing oils like jojoba oil, lip oil not only keeps your lips hydrated but also lasts longer than lip gloss.

Lip gloss, although providing a shine, can sometimes make your lips feel dry over time and usually is a bit thicker, except for higher end formulas.

As for luminosity or finishes, lip gloss indisputably outshines lip oil. It provides a more intense finish shine than lip oil. You can also get it in many different textures such as glitter, shimmer, satin, metallic, matte, and lip plump finishes.

In terms of color payoff, lip gloss has a higher pigment concentration, giving a rich color on the lips, while lip oils are usually more sheer or medium coverage.

Choosing Between Lip Oil and Lip Gloss: Desired Looks and Benefits

Back of hand applying lip oil swatches
source: @milkmakeup

When it comes to lip oil vs lip gloss, which one to use is largely affected by what your desired aesthetic and makeup outcome is.

If you want a nourished or Korean makeup look with an extreme high shine finish, either on its own or layered over lip liner, lip oil is your go-to. It offers hydration and a soft shine, perfect for a natural, dewy look.

However, if you’re looking for a more playful, glamorous lip that still offers a beautiful shine, lip gloss is the way to go. It’s perfect for a tempting evening look or when you want your lips to stand out!

You can also incorporate lip oil for additional skincare benefits. It can be used as a base under lipstick or even under lip gloss for extra moisture! Just make sure to blot your lips with a tissue before applying other lip makeup products.

So, based on your needs and the look you’re going for, both lip oil and lip gloss can be an amazing addition to your makeup routine and makeup kit.

How to Apply Lip Oil: Step-by-Step Guide

Closeup of Lip Oil with Lips in Background
source: @shea_leh

Before applying lip oil, make sure your lips are clean and smooth with no cracking skin (exfoliate before if you need to) to avoid an unwanted textured lip look. Here’s how to apply lip oil:

  1. Make sure your lips are clean.

  2. Start with a small amount of lip oil and apply it to your lips with the applicator or with your ring finger.

  3. Build up the amount as needed, but be careful not to apply too much. Less is more!

Lip oil can be applied on bare lips for a glossy shine, on top of lipstick for a sheer gloss finish, and before bedtime as an overnight conditioner – just make sure it’s clear.

You can even use lip liner with lip oil for a more defined look while keeping the lip oil in place. Using a fragrance-free, neutral color like Gisou’s Honey Infused Lip Oil is the perfect everyday lip oil choice!

How to Apply Lip Gloss: Step-by-Step Guide

Woman with braces applying Lip Gloss

Similar to lip oil, lip gloss application is pretty straight forward and great for beginners! Here are the steps to follow:

  1. Start by exfoliating your lips with a gentle scrub if needed.

  2. Hydrate them with a lip balm, lip primer, or lip mask.

  3. If you’re looking for extra pop and definition, use a lip liner to outline the lips.

If you have problems with lipstick or gloss feathering or bleeding up the lip lines, use a clear wax anti-feathering lip liner ABOVE the lip line to prevent the gloss from bleeding.

  1. Begin at the center of your lips and gently drag the applicator towards the edges.

  2. Dab a small amount of gloss on the middle of your bottom lip and repeat.

  3. Press your lips together to distribute the product evenly.

Do’s and Don’ts for Using Lip Oil and Lip Gloss

  • Do use both lip oil and lip gloss to layer on top of other lip products like lip liner and lipsticks! This can help create different looks, dimension, and enhance the performance or longevity of the lip products.

  • Do use a lip makeup brush or your ring finger to blend out the product around the lip line for a blended look.

  • Have both formulas in your kit to explore with so that you can create the best lip look for your makeup needs!

  • Do use a lip makeup remover or wipe to get the sparkle or sticky texture fully off your lips.

  • Do use a thin layer of lip oil to avoid your hair from sticking onto your lips if you’re out for an event or photoshoot.

  • Don’t use lip gloss at night before going to bed, only use clear lip oil.

  • Don’t feel like you have to spend lots of money to get a high end lip product. Reviews are key!

  • Don’t purchase lip products without looking at the ingredients list! You consume and digest the product. Make sure everything is safe.

Pro Makeup Tips and Tricks for Lip Oil and Lip Gloss

Here are our pro expert advice tips from a makeup professional you can trust!

  • Lip oil and gloss looks AMAZING when your lips are peeling or cracked. As the formula enhances texture on the skin.

  • Prep your lips with a lip balm, mask, or primer before applying lip oils.

  • Using a lip liner before or after will help to create fullness and shape.

  • Starting the distribution of oil from the center of the lips to make the formula evenly melt into the skin.

  • To test for stickiness in lipgloss without trying it actually on the lips, rub a dot of the formula between your thumb and forefinger while making a pinching motion!


If you still don’t know which lip makeup product to use, lip oil and lip gloss both have unique purposes and definitely have a place in your makeup bag!

So, whether you’re a fan of the glossy shine of lip gloss or the extra hydration of lip oil, remember that the key to beautiful lips is confidence and self-care. So, keep those lips moisturized, exfoliate regularly, and let those lips shine…because what man can resist a juicy lip?!

Frequently Asked Questions

Are lip oils better than lip gloss?

Lip oils are not better, just different as they are a great alternative to lip gloss – adding shine and hydration to your lips without being sticky! Gloss has more textures and finishes, making it a more creative outlet for your makeup look.

Should I use lip gloss or lip balm?

Lip balm is best for hydration, protection, and prep before the rest of your lip products. While lip gloss adds shine, pigmentation, and colour. Pick one or use both that completes your lifestyle, occasion, and/or look.

What oils are best for lip gloss?

For the perfect lip gloss, use a combination of castor oil for shine, olive oil for moisture, coconut oil for stretching the lip gloss base, and vitamin E oil as an antioxidant. All of these together will give you beautiful, healthy, high-shine lips!

Does lip gloss contain oil?

Not all but most lip glosses often contain nourishing plant oils to help keep your lips looking soft and healthy.

What is the main difference between lip oil and lip gloss?

Lip oil is all about hydration and juiciness, while lip gloss brings a shiny, glossy finish to your lips.