Once upon a time, you had to choose between moisture or color when picking a lipstick or gloss. But not anymore. Updated lip hybrids—meaning lipsticks, lip stains, balms, and glosses—provide equal parts moisture and durable color. You can kiss those old lip products goodbye.
We all love the tried and true Clinique Chubby Stick, a moisturizing lip balm with a hint of color. But check out this hybrid, Clinique Superbalm Moisturizing Gloss ($15). This high-gloss lip balm has antioxidants and moisturizers that keep your lips luscious while relieving dryness. In nine different sheer colors including the classic Black Honey as well as versatile Lilac, these subtle glosses are easy to apply and stay put.
Another shimmering gloss we love is Buxom Lips Full Color ($10). The creamy formula has hyaluronic filling spheres that add intense moisture to lips while vitamins A and E help keep those smackers stay supple, smooth, and protected. The velvety smooth colors—Carmen, a golden plum, and Stella, a plum brown—provide full coverage for an intoxicating sheen.
Deceptive in appearance, Laura Mercier Stick Gloss ($22) may look like a regular lipstick but it’s actually a lot more. Part lip balm, part lip color, and part lip glacé, this stick gives your lips a sheer tint of color while providing moisture. Easy to apply, after one application, your lips will feel healthier and fuller. Try Black Orchid, a sheer black cherry tint, for a more mysterious look, or Courtisane, a mauve rose, for a sweeter look.
Dior Addict Lip Glow ($30) looks like a lipstick but is actually a lip balm that both enhances your natural lip color and protects with SPF 10. Lip Glow is formulated with hydrating mango butter to nourish and soothe lips while a herbal loofah extract moisturizes and heal lips. Dior’s “Color Reviver” technology reacts with the chemistry of your lips to create a unique shade just for you that lasts all day.
In nine sheer and bold colors, NARS Velvet Gloss Lip Pencil ($24) has a buttery smooth texture that we love. With vitamin E as well as hyaluronic spheres and phytosterol esters—common compounds in your skin’s natural oil—this lip pencil keeps your lips conditioned while the colors stay on and on trend. For a girl’s night out, we like Mexican Rose, a hot pink that will surely stand out in a crowd. For a day-to-day low-key look, opt for a sheer color like Buenos Aires, a nude beige pink, or Hopi, a honey beige.
We would be remiss not to extol the virtues of Yves Saint Laurent Rouge Pur Couture Vernis À Lèvres Glossy Stain ($32). Combining the texture and shine of a gloss but with the long-lasting power of a stain, this lightweight formula instantly melts onto your lips, forgoing the flakiness of glosses from the past. For a natural shine, we recommend applying one coat onto the center of your lips and then brushing the gloss towards the outer corners. For a bolder look with more coverage, apply two coats using the curved side of the applicator and then dab the color all over lips. With 20 different colors, there’s a color for every one and for every occasion, day or night.
With so many lip products on the market that marry moisture and beautiful color, there’s no excuse to go back to the sticky glosses of your middle school years.