Was there life before lip oil?

Madeleine Spencer certainly doesn’t think so, as she celebrates the speediest way to add some shine

The Evening Standard's journalism is supported by our readers. When you purchase through links on our site, we may earn an affiliate commission.

Getty Images

I am, quite frankly, amazed that we muddled along all these years without lip oils. Part colour, part hydration, much shine; they are the perfect speedy answer to dressing lips.

And, yes, pioneers did of course give us a glimpse of what lip oil life might be like, most notably Clarins, with its 2015 Instant Light Lip Comfort Oil, but largely the jobs of adding the aforementioned colour, hydration and shine were divided and we all duly carted around lipsticks and lip balms and lip gloss — and our shoulders and spirits suffered.

But hurrah, lip oils have taken hold and how brilliant they are is perhaps partially to thank for the proliferation of shiny, shiny, shiny lips we’re seeing everywhere (I’m sure there’s some term for it, probably something appropriated from the food world: glazed? Glacéd? Iced, even?!).

Famous fans who’ve been vocal about their love of a well-oiled lip include Bella Hadid and Georgia May Jagger, but ask any celebrity make-up artist what their clients are lusting after and they invariably mention lip oil, which is unsurprising given the ubiquity of the - oh shall we just go with glazed? - look. But this isn’t just one for the famous contingent of make-up wearers: peruse any make-up brand and you’re as likely to find a lip oil now as a lipstick, and TikTok suggests they’re being heartily embraced: #LipOil currently has more than 147 million views.

The best aren’t sticky in the slightest and really imbue lips with hydration, which, let’s face it, is quite handy given that spring is springing around us but most of us are still sporting dry lips after yet another long, cold winter.

Gisou Honey Infused Lip Oil


First came the bestselling hair oil (which is well worth investing in if your hair is dry), and now here’s the lip oil, which is also infused with hydrating Mirsalehi honey and seriously softens while wearing.

Buy now£24, Cult Beauty

Milk Makeup Kush Lip Oil

Milk Makeup

With a strong line up of colours, these sheer shades offer a whammy of shine alongside delectable scents.

Buy now Cult Beauty

Vieve Lip Dew


If your lips are really dry and you want something that’ll thoroughly cosset them, this blend of vitamin E and camellia oil is the one to go for (the most flattering shade is unquestionably Pesca).

Buy now£19, Vieve

MERIT Tinted Lip Oil


The colours here are quite saturated, so you’ll definitely see the hue if you opt for a brighter one. Oh, also this is by far the most lightweight in texture, so get it if you don’t like an overload of product on your lips.

Buy now£26, Merit Beauty

Dior Lip Glow Oil


Very glossy, very hydrating, a very good colour range — these are in the bags of many in the know for good reason.

Buy now£32, Dior

Clarins Lip Comfort Oil


The OG lip oil, this is still one of the very best. Expect the three plant oils within to soften, in eight colour options (three sheer, five which will adapt slightly to your lip’s pH to intensify — or reduce — the colour).

Buy now£25, Clarins