The best kind of lip service, no cap
Is it just me, or are you avoiding heavy makeup like the plague, too? Never mind the early quarantine hauls and the fact that we’ve checked out more makeup than most would deems socially acceptable. Stacks of unused products aside, I believe I speak for most of us when I say we’ve lost our makeup motivation.
In this economy, this pandemic and, most critically, this heat, I can’t make myself slather on foundation or draw on brows if I tried. Nobody thinks about putting lipstick on when they see “feels like 43 degrees” on their weather app. Not a soul.
But on the contrary, here’s a thought: in this scorching, masked-up world, we need to take better care of ourselves. And yes, our unkissed quarantine lips, too.
Thankfully, beauty is having a lip oil moment. The love child of a balm and gloss, lip oil moisturizes the lips and often delivers a healthy, glassy sheen. They tend to be formulated more consciously than lipstick, too, with ingredients like Vitamin E, hyaluronic acid or shea butter being common go-to ingredients. Nourishing and multitasking, it’s the best kind of lip service, really.
Take a deep dive into the world of lip oil. Ahead, discover five options for your consideration, all ready for checkout.
Best for Nourishment: Hydragloss, Issy & Co. (P299)
4.5 mL, P66.44 per mL
Issy & Company’s Hydragloss takes our perpetual Y2K fixation and answers it with one conveniently packaged bottle of lip product. Instead of hinging on our collective obsession with supersaturated pigment, the Hydragloss offers sheer but buildable application. Rather than being labeled a lip oil, it’s formally branded a lip treatment. Aptly so, too, because slathering this on feels like a treat in itself. Imagine a smooth, non-sticky glide a la melted butter—only with no heavy feel.
The best kind of double agent, the Hydragloss dives deep to hydrate the lips with hyaluronic acid and aloe vera juice. All that good stuff is then sealed in with jojoba oil, coco nucifera oil and shea butter. Sensitive-lipped, irritation-prone folks, fret not—it’s fragrance-free and eczema-approved.
The applicator, on the other hand, isn’t your conventional doe foot. The bottom concaves to closely follow the natural curve of the lip. If you’ve got fuller lips, this’ll feel like a snug embrace—otherwise, you may need to practice your angling a little. The outer portion of the applicator is curved ever so slightly, with a soft tip designed to facilitate a precise application.
Best for Beginners: Fresh Lip Treatment Oil Wondermelon, Blk Cosmetics (P299)
4.6 mL, P65 per mL
Perhaps it’s the fresh minty color of the packaging or the abundance of fruits emblazoned on the tube, but something about Blk Cosmetics’ Fresh Lip Treatment Oil just screams summer.
Priced at P299 for 4.6 mL of product, this is the most affordable option on this list. It’s arguably the most beginner-friendly one, too, lending only a subtle pink tint to the lips. It’s the cherry on top of a no-makeup makeup look. Simple, subtle—all some really want in lip oil.
In terms of formula, watermelon seed oil, Vitamin E and hyaluronic acid mix and mingle in Blk’s lip oil cocktail. It’s fairly moisturizing and sinks comfortably into the lips. It isn’t very long-lasting, though, and frankly might not be as effective of a lip treatment as its name lets on.
Best for a Natural Finish: Lip Treatment Oil, Happy Skin x Love Marie (P599)
7 mL, P85.57 per mL
If you want something fool-proof, easy and effortlessly chic in the Heart Evangelista kind of way, the Happy Skin x Love Marie Lip Treatment Oil is a quick pick.
The formula is petroleum-based, which normally isn’t a favorite ingredient. But it works in tandem nicely with—you guessed it—hyaluronic acid to seal hydration in. There’s also a helping of Vitamin E in there; always nice for a little extra softness and moisture.
Released as part of a larger lip makeup collection, the Lip Treatment Oil understandably comes in just two shades. There’s the self-explanatory Clear and Rosé, a sheer magenta. Use them solo or apply an even coat over your favorite satin lippie for a summer-ready refresh.
Best for a Punch for Pigment: Shot of Colour Lip Oil, MAC Cosmetics (P1,300)
2.7 mL, P481.5 per mL
Higher up the price range, MAC Cosmetics offers a spin on lip oil. With shade names like Shots! Shots! Shots!, K-Pop Boyfriend and Flash Me!, the Shot of Colour Lip Oil range is just as extra as it sounds.
Unlike the rest on this list, Shot of Colour offers total, unadulterated supersaturation. There are 14 pigmented shades in the line-up, all falling somewhere along the pink, red and brown spectrum. I’d argue the must-haves in the range are the bright unapologetic reds—nothing encapsulates the hot girl summer mentality quite as perfectly. For those who like a subtler, popsicle-esque lip, the product blends easily and leaves a long-lasting stain in its wake.
Besides the full-coverage color and wet, high-shine finish, the superstar of MAC’s lip oil is its applicator. Curved at 45 degrees, both sides work to follow the lip’s natural fullness.
My only gripe, however, is the claims about hydration. It’s certainly moisturizing, but doesn’t do much to hydrate chapped lips. To avoid flaking and fine lines showing through, I suggest prepping the lips with separate balm or clear oil (in abundance if you’re prone to chapping!). Thereafter, layer on Shot of Colour in your shade of choice.
Pack on the color with MAC Cosmetics’ Shot of Colour Lip Oil, available online via MAC’s Lazada Flagship store.
Best for Comfort: Instant Light Lip Comfort Oil, Clarins (P1,450)
7 mL, P207.14 per mL
This is a dead giveaway, but Clarins’ Instant Light Lip Comfort Oil is the clear winner when it comes to, well, comfort.
Feel reigns supreme for this product, meaning it delivers a natural glossy sheen without the stickiness. It doesn’t just sit pretty like a gloss would—it gives the lips a moisture boost with plant-based oils. Fair warning, though: the formula is also subtly flavored. It’s a slight sweetness at best, but it can be a polarizing factor for those who prefer straightforward lip products.
The applicator has a wider tip than the usual doe foot wand. This makes spreading the oil easier for fuller portions of the lip, while angling can help you get into the corners without making a mess. The applicator also scoops in ever so slightly, a barely-there bend, to pick up just enough product for a smooth, even swipe.
Shop the Clarins Instant Comfort Lip Oil online via Rustan’s the Beauty Source.
Looking for other ways to heat-proof your beauty routine? Check out our round-up of freshly dropped summer staples.
Art Matthew Ian Fetalver