Viral Lip Glosses: Save or Splurge?

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Photo illustration by Ryla Manalang / el Don

If you’re like me, you can’t leave the house without applying some of your favorite lip gloss and of course taking it along with you. It is essential to have a good lip product in your bag at all times. 

With the variety sold at Sephora and Ulta, it’s hard to choose which ones are worth the money. Social media has popularized many products and I’m here to tell you that some really aren’t worth the hype. 

Lip glosses aren’t just a luxury; it’s an investment in yourself.

To be the best of the best, a product has to have maximum hydration, long-lasting durability, high glossiness and affordability. 

As a lip gloss enthusiast I have bought, tested, kept and returned some of the most viral products over the last year. From my experience, to get the glossiest and juiciest lips here’s what is worth saving or splurging. 

Rhode Peptide Lip Treatment

The Rhode Peptide Lip treatment has recently been in the limelight for lip glosses. Hailey Bieber who is the founder of Rhode Beauty and creator of this peptide treatment has advertised the product on her platform. But for $16, it gave me chemical burns twice that took weeks to heal with a medicated grade balm. Being one of the most sought after models, the glossiness of her lips is something that the public yearns for. The creation of her brand made this attainable – or so I thought. I noticed that I was waking up the next morning after using the gloss with burning, numb and tingly lips. After trying the product again I ended up with the same results. Despite the hype around her product, others are sharing similar experiences of chemical burns on social media. Use at your own risk. 

Summer Fridays Lip Butter Balm

The Summer Fridays Lip Butter Balm had online visibility the past two years. Although advertised as a balm, it works just as well as a gloss with the hydration benefits of chapstick. This product is definitely one of my go-tos. Take one glance of my purse and you’d see four of them in different flavors. Sold on their website or at Sephora for $24, there are a variety of sugary and fruity flavors to choose from which all have a coordinating lip tint to the color of the package. This lip butter has something for everyone. Whether you prefer a clear, red, pink or brown gloss, Summer Fridays has just what you want. The smell and packaging are a big plus too. One whiff and you’ll be wishing it was edible. 

Gisou Honey Infused Lip Oil

The Gisou Honey Infused Lip Oil was circulating on TikTok earlier this year and caught my eye with its unique and fun packaging. Obviously, I had to try it. The excitement I felt when holding the product was as far as my satisfaction got. This $28 lip oil was destined to be unsatisfactory from the moment I smelled it. It’s as if their company got some generic cooking olive oil from their kitchen and put it in a consumer-alluring container. I’ve seen others enjoy this product, so I used it to give it a chance. But as much as it smelled like olive oil, it felt like it too. I returned to Sephora to get my money back. 

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Tower 28 Lip Jelly

If there’s one product I could influence you to buy it would be the Tower 28 Lip Jelly. I have never been more satisfied with a lip gloss as I am with this one. Tower 28 checks all the boxes on my list and at $16, this product surpasses other lip glosses in affordability and gives me the glossiest lips without having to reapply every few minutes. The lip jelly comes in many different flavors and gives a slight tint within each one. I receive the most compliments on my lips when wearing this gloss. They also recently came out with a hydrating tinted lip balm with all new flavors and it is just as amazing. 

Dior Lip Oil

Right at the top of my Christmas list was the Dior Lip Oil. It became so popular last year that it was difficult for me to find because it was sold out everywhere I went. When the hype mellowed out, I was finally able to buy it. After I used the insanely overpriced $40 product, I realized that it wasn’t worth it and it went right back to the store. The lip gloss itself was decent: good applicator, high gloss and sufficient durability. But for $40, I would much rather spend my money on two Tower 28 Lip Jellies. 

Aquaphor Healing Ointment

Despite all the hype around expensive lip glosses, the holy grail of all products available on market would have to be a $5 tube of Aquaphor. Aquaphor is the best of the best. It may not be a high-end luxury product but the magic it works for your lips sure is luxurious. As a healing ointment, Aquaphor will hydrate your lips like no other product can and also heal wounds and tattoos. Surprisingly, the quality of the glossiness is just as good as a $40 product for an eighth of the price. Definitely don’t underestimate the Aquaphor at your local Target. The highest quality lip product also saves you the most money.

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