While, for many of us, clear lip gloss is a blast from the past we’d rather forget about, it does actually have plenty of redeeming qualities if applied right. That means staying well avoidant of the strawberry tasting, hair sticking, magazine-freebie clear lip glosses of our past, and using it in a more refined manner for natural lip enhancement or to give your favourite lippy that additional splash of va-va voom (yes we did just say that) if you’re hitting the tiles.
- In need of a boost? Check out our guide to the best lip plumpers
- Keep it subtle with our round up of the best lip balms
So where do you start when it comes to detailing the ins and outs of the best clear lip gloss - after all, aren’t they all the same? Well… kind of. When applied correctly, they all do a good job of making thin lips look plumper but some, like our 5th pick, Buxom Full On Lip Polish, contain an irritant, or plumping formula, to physically enlarge your lips, providing more than just an illusion.
Alternatively, clear lip glosses can be nourishing, like our second pick, Nars Lip Gloss. When lipsticks themselves are often dry and waxy with an emphasis on colour, lip glosses are usually packed full of ingredients such as hyaluronic acid, which makes your lips look plump and juicy. With their sticky nature, lip glosses fill in the cracks and lines around your lips, making them look well moisturised, too.
When it comes to shopping for the best clear lip gloss, more expensive brands have a better reputation when it comes to staying power - that means you should be able to walk around with it on your lips for a good couple of hours before it needs to be reapplied. If you’re lips are sensitive, it’s worth avoiding lip glosses that contain natural irritants, as they will make your lips drier than they already are.
With all that in mind, we’ve sourced the best clear lip glosses from the likes of Nars, MAC and Clarins, bringing you a wide variety when it comes to choosing the best clear lip gloss for you.
1. Bobbi Brown Crystal Lip Gloss
The best lip gloss for layering
Shade: Clear | Size: 15ml | Plumping formula: No
This go-to lip gloss should be an ideal makeup bag or handbag staple. With no wand to use, it’s easy to apply on the go, whether it’s topping up your gloss on a night out or giving your lips that quick moisture fix. Bobbi Brown market it as the best lip gloss for wearing on its own or over lippy, with users commending its staying power, no matter how they choose to wear it.
2. Nars Lip Gloss
A lip gloss with staying power
Shade: Triple X (Clear) | Size: 6ml | Plumping formula: No
Promising smooth application and moisturising properties, this Nars lip gloss is another handbag essential, especially if you like the controlled application of a wand, rather than direct application from the tube itself. With a range of other shades in the range, you can choose to wear this clear lip gloss over your own lipstick, or consider another shade for that splash of colour.
3. Elizabeth Arden Crystal Clear Lip Gloss
Freshen up your lips with this minty number
Shade: Clear | Size: 8.5ml | Plumping formula: No
If you’re looking for a flavoured clear lip gloss but don’t like the sickly sweetness of fruity ones, this minty number from Elizabeth Arden may be just the ticket. Many users note that the mintiness isn’t particularly prominent, so if you’re worried about it coming across too strong, you can take comfort. With the option to wear it on its own or over your favourite shade, this lip gloss promises a high level of shine with minimal stickiness.
4. MAC Clear Lipglass
An incredibly versatile lip gloss for soft, conditioned lips
Shade: Clear | Size: 15ml | Plumping formula: No
With the name Clear Lipglass, you know this MAC number is cut above the rest. Not only can it be worn over lip pencil and lipstick, it can be mixed with pigment, too, so you can invent your own shade. This clear lip gloss contains Jojoba Oil, which helps to soften and condition the lips and only the smallest amount is needed, which makes it a cost effective buy, especially when the tube holds the same amount as our first pick.
5. Buxom Full On Lip Polish
A tingling lip gloss for extra plumpness
Shade: Dominique | Size: 4.44ml | Plumping formula: Yes
The ingredients in this lip gloss act as a slight irritant, making the lips naturally plumper. Containing vitamins A and E, it should help lips feel soft and smooth, however the irritants may be too harsh for sore or chapped lips. With an off clear colour and a shimmery finish, it is a makeup bag must-have if want to give your lips the edge, and with a range of other shades available, there’s a lip polish for every outfit.
6. Clarins Instant Light Lip Comfort Oil
A slightly tinted, light gloss oil
Shade: Raspberry | Size: 7ml | Plumping formula: Yes
For a clear lip gloss that provides just that hint of colour, give Clarins Instant Light Lip Comfort a go. It contains three plant extracts which help to plump lips and keep them nourished at the same time. Perhaps its most attractive selling point is its non-stickiness, and users comment that it’s not too greasy either, making it a great alternative to regular lip gloss.