The Best Lip Glosses For Grown Ups

Woman applying lip gloss
Woman applying lip gloss
(Image credit: iStock)

We all know fashion is cyclical (hello again velvet!) and the same goes for beauty trends.

Lip gloss last had a moment back in the early noughties when everything was a bit shiny, from our lips to our excessively ironed poker-straight hair. Later, we all moved on to bright mattes, which look cool and punchy but left our lips flakier than a bowl of dry granola, and since then lipstick has come in just about every texture imaginable from velvety liquid to creams and sheer oils.

Now we've gone full circle back to gloss, and if you tried this trend the first time, this news might worry you. Will they still be greasy, flecked with unflattering shimmer or suck the ends of your hair into a gummy vortex every time you leave the house? Nope. This time around, things will be different. The sticky, glittery abominations are still out there, but let's leave those to the teenagers. The new generation glosses that we're talking about today still have the flattering, optical lip-volumising effect of a gloss, but dry down to soft, creamy textures and stay put for longer than your first coffee of the day too.

Fancy getting to know gloss again? Discover our pick of the best lip glosses for grown ups right here.

Clinique Chubby Plump & Shine Liquid Lip Plumping Gloss, £18

Classic portabe crayon in a very 'now' glossy finish. 'Normous Nude works on eyes too.

Available from XXX on 26th April 2017.

Smith & Cult The Tainted Lip Stained in Sweet Suite

Super-cool LA brand Smith & Cult make fantastically sexy makeup in well thought-out formulas - no gloopy gloss here. This lightly sheeny stain reacts to the PH in your skin to bring out a subtle pink shade that sticks around for a good few hours. Killer packaging too.

Buy now at for £20

Clarins Instant Light Lip Perfector in Plum Shimmer

The shade is a bit of a misnomer in my opinion. This deliciously sweet cream isn't really shimmery, it just has a hint of light reflection about it, so lips look plump and juicy - with an on-trend berry colour that's sheer enough to wear to work, as well as a party.

Buy it now for £18 at

Givenchy Rouge Interdit Vinyl in Beige Indecent

This looks like a lipstick in the tube, but becomes a highly-pigmented gloss on lips, all the while feeling like a cushiony, comfortable balm. Trust Givenchy to take the glossy trend and run with it in such sophisticated style - this nude-beige shade is so easy you can pop it on without using a mirror.

Buy it now at for £24

Glossier Balm Dotcom

We waited forever for these to cross the Atlantic from cult US website Into The Gloss. Why? Because these innocuous-looking tubes are filled with the most useful glowy, glossy balm since Paw Paw (and we still struggle to get our hands on that). Pop a slick on top of your favourite lipstick and hey presto! Perfect non-sticky gloss. You have to buy three at once, but you can also do about 100 other things with it so that's probably a good thing.

Buy now at Net-a-porter for £30, set of three

Elizabeth Arden Beautiful Colour Bold Liquid Lipstick in Passionate Peach

Tons of shine, packed with pigment in a handy clickable applicator that lets out the perfect amount and will never spill inside your pretty party clutch. What more could you want? How about a promised eight hours of wear, which when put to the test saw us through breakfast, mid-morning meetings and just to the other side of lunch too. Nice work Elizabeth Arden.

Buy it now at for £18

Romantic Bear Long-Lasting Lip Colour

You'll never have used anything like this before. What starts as a thick gloss then dries down to a gel that, when peeled off leaves a pretty and ridiculously hard wearing stain behind. The shades are all very wearable, which is good thing because once this sets in it's with you for the day, impervious to eating drinking, kissing - whatever you're up to. The formula is infused with rosehip oil so lips keep a slight gloss, but if you prefer a really high shine finish, top it with a dab of balm - perhaps Glossier?

Buy it now at Beauty Mart

for £8.50

Fiona McKim
Beauty Editor,

 As woman&home's Beauty Channel Editor, Fiona Mckim has tried more products than she’s had hot dinners and nothing makes her happier than raving about brilliant finds on or her instagram grid (@fionamckim if you like hair experiments and cute shih-tzus). Fiona joined woman&home as Assistant Beauty Editor in 2013 under industry legend Jo GB, who taught her everything she needed to know (learn about ingredients and employ extreme cynicism). She has since covered every corner of the industry, from interviewing dermatologists and celebrities to reporting backstage at Fashion Week and judging the w&h Beauty Awards.