Remember how those ridiculously sticky and shiny glosses were all kinds of popular in the '90s? Well, I don't miss them and much prefer reaching for all of the non-sticky lip glosses below for my hopeful Valentine's Day smooch. Heck, even if I didn't think I had a V-Day kiss coming my way, I'd prefer non-sticky gloss any day.
The first time I knew my love of sticky '90s lip gloss would eventually end was at an amusement park when I was 13 years old. I grew up in Texas and there was this new rollercoaster called the Titan at Six Flags that allegedly had a "mile long" drop and was a huge deal. I distinctly remember trying to impress my super crush at the time, John, so I swiped on an extra coat of heavens-knows-what-gloss before hopping on the ride next to him.
He went in for a kiss right before the mile drop (swoon), but a huge gust of wind blew all my previously long hair right into my face and it got so stuck to my sticky, shiny gloss. By the end of the ride, my hair was more or less plastered on my face and my hopes of getting a first kiss were totally dashed.
In hopes you never encounter a lip gloss tragedy like me, scroll on to see the best non-sticky lip glosses out there.
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Makeup artist Lauren D'Amelio tells Bustle the Buxom lip cream-gloss is always in her makeup kit. It features a creamy finish that ensures it won't be sticky, and it can be worn alone or over another lip color.
2. Gloss-Mask Hybrid
Laneige's Lip Sleep Mask isn't a traditional gloss, but for those who love it (hi, hello, that's me), it gives you the perfect daytime shine. With a soft tint, hydrating and nourishing ingredients, and non-sticky finish, there's no reason not to wear it as more than an overnight mask.
3. Oil Base
D'Amelia also loves Kylie Skin's Lip Oil as a glossy option without a tacky texture. "This product has the shine of a traditional lip gloss, and the moisture-sealing, hydrating effects of an oil," she tells Bustle.
4. Soft Tint
Want a Billie-Eilish approved gloss? Look no further than Kopari. The Coconut Lip Glossy offers the subtlest of pink color to the lips and a glossy finish with a cushion-like texture.
5. Ultra Shine
Helen Phillips, Sephora Collection’s national artist, recommends this gloss if you're looking for extra sheen. "It is super-duper shiny, not at all tacky, and even has a cushiony texture," she tells Bustle. "It is one of the most versatile formulas I have seen in a gloss because it ranges from translucent to opaque in a variety of shades."
Ulta Beauty pro team member Deney Adam says a multi-use gloss is a must for his makeup kit. Specifically, he loves this gloss from Morphe for its "beautiful wet finish, without any stickiness." Bonus: He recommends creating a glassy look by using it on your eyes, cheeks, and lips.
D'Amelio's other pick: This treatment oil from Hourglass. It looks beautiful on the lips, but also delivers a slew of active ingredients (like vitamins A, C, E, and lipid-rich botanicals) to boost moisture and minimize the appearance of lines and wrinkles.
Want a little more oomph? Try the PYT Plumping Lip Gloss, which hydrates with mango seed butter and avocado oil as it gives your pout a minty tingle. The end result? Fuller-looking, moisturized, glossy lips.
9. Glossy Stain
For those who love long-lasting color, Adam suggests NYX's Shine Loud Pro Pigment Lip Shine. It uses a base coat to give stay-in-place pigment and a gloss topper for shine. For Adam, the product give the "best of both worlds by providing the matte, long-lasting finish of a stain, combined with the high-shine wet effect of a gloss."
For those who love a multi-use product, Mented's gloss lets you choose between a light wash of color or a bolder pop (without it getting messy and sticky).
Fenty Beauty's Gloss Bomb is arguably one of the brand's most popular items, and there's a reason why. It's a non-sticky formula in a shade that's designed to be universally flattering on everyone — so it's basically a perfect gloss.
If you're looking for an option that won't break the bank, e.l.f.'s gloss is just $6 and features a cooling sensation upon application for an extra plump. And, if you love a shimmer finish, it delivers gorgeous radiance.
13. Full Coverage
Love the pigmentation of a lipstick but the texture of a gloss? Uoma Beauty's Boss Gloss is the answer. This rich, color-packed formula will coat your pout in color while giving you the shiny, nourishing finish you want.
For those committed to clean beauty, Tower28 makes a nourishing gloss-oil hybrid that feels soothing on the lips — without a hint of stickiness. It comes in a range of flattering shades for barely-there pigment and plenty of shine.
15. Balm Hybrid
Are you a more of a balm lover? Meet Rare Beauty's Glossy Lip Balm. This hybrid formula gives you the shiny appearance of a gloss but with the cushiony texture and hydration of a balm.
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