Our Favorite Lip Gloss: The 2022 List Beauty Awards

We may receive a commission on purchases made from links.

All prices are current as of time of publication.

Matte lips reigned supreme in the beauty industry for several years, but it's finally time to say farewell to the age of tossing on a liquid lipstick and calling it a day. Why's that? Because glossy lips are making a comeback — and new formulas aren't anything like the sticky ones you may still have nightmares about if you wore lip gloss in the late '90s and early aughts.

All of the recent mask requirements mean that we've spent a good part of the last two years covering up our gorgeous pouts in public. However, we're still seeing the trend of glossy lips growing, which means that it may be time to pick up a lip gloss of your own. If you're a new convert to the modern-day trend, you may not know where to start looking. Have no fear, though — we did the work for you.

The List scoured the web to find five lip glosses with cult followings and picked them up to test out for ourselves. We wore each one at least twice and considered criteria such as how it applied, what it felt like on the lips, what it smelled like, how long it lasted, and what its component looks like. From there, we were able to see that one lip gloss rose above the competition and won our hearts. Let's give it up for The List Beauty Awards: lip gloss edition.

Fenty Beauty Gloss Bomb Universal Lip Luminizer: Winner

Rihanna has the Midas touch when it comes to pop hits (we're desperately awaiting that new album, too), but she's more than just your run-of-the-mill pop star. Rih's also a brilliant businesswoman, as evidenced by Fenty Beauty. The line has been lauded for its extensive shade range and products like the award-winning Stunna Lip Paint. We're here to tell you that the Gloss Bomb Universal Lip Luminzer is also a winner.

One of several gloss formulas available via the brand, this one is billed as providing sheer coverage and shimmery sheen. The formula is available in six shades at Sephora, ranging from clear (Glass Slipper) to deep brown (Hot Chocolit), which is a smaller but still comprehensive range for a sheer gloss. The product retails for $20, contains .3oz, and is packaged in a distinctive, pentagonal component. We snagged shade Fenty Glow — described as a shimmering rose nude — and it was love at first application.

As promised, the product delivered a sheer, glossy look to the lips. The thicker doe-foot applicator made for a quick and mess-free application. Fenty Glow felt nice and light and had a sweet but slightly fruity scent. It didn't move once applied, held up nicely (like any gloss, you'll need to reapply after a while), worked well on its own or over other products like a lip liner, and imbued an enviable glass-like shine. This lipgloss ultimately provides further proof that Rihanna can do no wrong.

Pat McGrath Labs LUST: Lip Gloss: Runner-up

The name Pat McGrath Labs holds a certain cachet in the beauty industry; to many, it's synonymous with the concept of luxury. The brand's products come at a price point that reflects its renowned status, but some items are every bit as good as their price tags imply. For instance, we fell in love with the LUST: Lip Gloss formula, which is available in a variety of shades and three different finishes: high shine, shimmer, and glitter.

While the majority of shades appear to be part of the brand's permanent collection, several are billed as limited edition. We snatched the shade Divine Rose, which is described as having a plum-rose color and shimmery finish. It cost $28 for .15oz., making it the most expensive option on our list. The high price point may have cost this formula top honors. However, it's still undeniably gorgeous.

While not as distinctive as Fenty Beauty, the slim packaging is modern and luxe. We were not as in love with the doe-foot applicator on this one; however, the formula passes muster. Divine Rose's rich hue nicely enhances the natural color of the lips. The product imparts a subtle shimmer and a reflective shine. It had a sugary scent (think crème brulée) and a nice consistency that didn't feel heavy or gummy once applied. It wore well over time and didn't travel. All in all, this is a worthy splurge for a luscious formula and high-end experience.

Jeffree Star Cosmetics Supreme Gloss: Runner-up

Beauty guru Jeffree Star shook up the industry with the unveiling of Jeffree Star Cosmetics. Like its namesake, the brand is bold, luxe, colorful, (at times) controversial, and (always) expertly packaged. It started small, but JSC expanded its range from eyeshadow and liquid lipstick to include a variety of other products, including two different lip gloss formulas. The latest option, Supreme Gloss, offers full-pigment coverage and no shortage of shine.

There are more than 30 shades available in the Supreme Gloss formula, which expands every time the brand drops a new collection. The range includes traditional nudes, berries, and pinks alongside wilder colors such as pastel yellow and vibrant lilac. Each costs $20 for .172oz. and is packaged in a sleek component with 3-D detailing. We picked up the formula in one of the brand's staple shades: Unicorn Blood. Described as a dark brown-red, it did not come to play.

While the doe-foot applicator is unique and takes some getting used to, the formula goes on with serious pigment and noteworthy shine. The color holds up for hours without fading and provides full coverage. Although it's not unpleasant, there is a slightly chemical scent to this formula. After application, there's also the potential for feathering and bleeding over time. It would wear better if applied with a liner (JSC sells one in a matching color). Watch out for transfer because, like any gloss, this doesn't dry down. However, this fun, full-drama gloss is a serious stunner.

Buxom Full-On Plumping Lip Polish: Runner-up

No lip gloss rundown would be complete without including at least one plumping option for those who are looking to add a little extra volume to their pout. For that, Buxom's Full-On Plumping Lip Polish comes highly recommended. The formula is available in a variety of shades with a range that starts at clear and extra glossy and runs all the way through ruby and burgundy. In terms of finishes, you can choose between pearlescent, shimmer, and glitter.

We picked up the formula in shade Tonya, which was described as a melon pink with gold shimmery reflects. The bottle cost $21 for .15oz., making it one of the pricier options on this list, but Tonya really packs a punch. The color is no joke, but it sheers out dramatically once applied. The end result complements the lip's natural color while featuring a shimmery, glassy shine. There is no gumminess, and the formula feels light and nice.

With most plumping glosses, users should expect to experience some tingling on their lips. It comes with the territory, and that's certainly the case here. We found that combined with the formula's sweet scent, the sensation is a little off-putting. It would make more sense if the brand went with a peppermint scent instead of the caramely current option. Otherwise, the sensation isn't terribly unpleasant, and it does provide a subtle plumping effect. We'll reach for this again when our lips need a little extra pick-me-up.

NYX Professional Makeup Butter Gloss Non-Sticky Lip Gloss: Runner-up

We've said it before, but it's worth repeating that makeup doesn't have to break the bank to be worth investing in. Oftentimes affordable options go toe-to-toe with high-end products and provide similar quality. Brands like NYX Professional Makeup prove that daily. You can find the Los Angeles-based line in drugstores or the aisles of your local Ulta. The brand's glitter primer has a cult following amongst eyeshadow aficionados, and its Butter Gloss Non-Sticky Lip Gloss deserves one, too.

The sheer-to-medium coverage formula is said to provide a conditioning treatment to the lips alongside a soft sheen. The gloss comes in a wide array of colors including traditional nudes, but you can also snag it in more innovative shades like periwinkle blue or muted lilac. Each tube comes with .27 oz. of product and costs $5 — that's the best deal by a landslide.

We picked up the product in the shade Tiramisu, which was described as brown by the brand. In reality, it's more of a rosy nude that applies sheerly and emphasizes the natural color of your lips. The applicator is on the smaller side, which makes it easy to get a precise application. Formula-wise, this is very true to its non-sticky title. The product isn't heavy, provides a natural sheen, and has a subtly sweet scent. Its only drawback is that it can feel a little gritty on the lips. Still, it's a great buy at its price point. 

We'll be puckering up with our favorite lip gloss from here on out, though!