I’ve Tested Thousands of Lip Glosses, and This Is The Only One That’s Earned a Permanent Place in My Routine

Photo: Getty Images/ Lilly Bloom

Lip gloss ruined my first kiss. Like many pre-teens who came of age in the early 2000s, I refused to leave the house without my lips frosted in baby-pink product—and of course, I doubled down for the sake of my first real "date." The butterflies were real when my "boyfriend" leaned in for a smooch, but stopped fluttering immediately when he pulled away and asked, "Why are your lips so... sticky?It was not at all the perfect moment that She's All That had taught me to expect. Though I eventually got over that tween trauma, it put me on a lifelong hunt for a gloss that didn't make my mouth feel like super glue (to Jacob's credit, those early aughts formulas were pretty sticky). For years, I relied on tinted lip balms to give my lips a swath of color, until I discovered Tower 28's Multi Shine On Jelly ($14).

Tower 28 Multi Shine On Lip Jelly, $14

Photo: Tower 28

Shop now: Tower 28 Multi Shine On Lip Jelly, $14

While it may look like your run-of-the-mill gloss, it's got good-for-lips ingredients that you'd usually only find in balms. It's made with a blend of five natural oils, including apricot kernel oil to soothe lips, antioxidant-packed raspberry seed oil that protects against free radical damage, and rosehip oil, which contains nourishing vitamin E and cell-regeneration-stimulating vitamin A. But most importantly? It isn't sticky. At all. I've worn it on even the windiest winter days, and my hair somehow doesn't get stuck to my lips.

The gloss comes in 10 translucent shades, including fiery red, hot pink, bright orange, and deep raspberry. Though the colors definitely pack a lot of punch, they're somehow subtle enough to give lips just the right amount of color while making them look juicy and moisturized. Personally, I'm a fan of the "Magic" formula, which goes on clear but has a subtle shimmer that looks gorgeous on my natural lip color or layered on top of any lipstick in my arsenal. Since discovering the product last year, I can honestly say that I have never left home without it. Plus, none of my recent makeout partners (pre-COVID, at least) have complained about the texture of my lips, which feels like a definite plus.

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