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Vegan cosmetics are all the rage! The modern consumer understands that animal exploitation in cosmetics is awful. While supporting cruelty-free brands is a must, more makeup enthusiasts want to take animal welfare a step further and use products made without any animal-derived ingredients. This is why the vegan cosmetics industry is expected to be worth over $20 billion by 2025.
I’m definitely someone who tries to use vegan cosmetics as much as possible. Because of that, I understand that finding vegan makeup products isn’t easy. A brand may say they’re cruelty-free, but that doesn’t mean they’re vegan. And some brands have vegan options but that doesn’t mean all of their products are vegan.
Fortunately, there are plenty of vegan makeup options on the market, such as lip gloss. In my best vegan lip gloss options guide, I will recommend some of my favorite products and will tell you what to look for in vegan lip gloss.
Bottom line up front
The e.l.f. Lip Lacquer is the gloss I recommend the most. This lip gloss is shiny and gives your lips a subtle color tint. Even though they do have a sticky texture, these are great vegan lip glosses that only cost $2. e.l.f. is also such a great drugstore brand and all of their products are vegan.
My Top Picks Up Front
- e.l.f. Lip Lacquer
- Tarte H2O Lip Gloss
- Milk Makeup KUSH Lip Glaze
- Hourglass Velvet Story Lip Cream
- Anastasia Beverly Hills Crystal Gloss
- Too Faced Lip Injection Power Plumping Lip Gloss
- Colourpop Lux Gloss
- Milani Highly Rated Diamond Lip Gloss
- 100% Pure Fruit Pigmented Lip Gloss
- Wet n’ Wild Ice Cream Bee Lip Gloss
- Urban Decay Vice Plumping Shine Balm
- Pacifica Color Quench Lip Tint
What Makes a Lip Gloss Vegan?
Vegan lip gloss is a product that doesn’t contain any animal-derived ingredients. Many lip glosses contain non-vegan ingredients, such as beeswax, carmine, and lanolin.
Some other animal-derived ingredients you may see include retinol, gelatin, and collagen. Unfortunately, many popular brands do use these animal-derived ingredients in their lip glosses, so it’s best to make sure the lip gloss you choose is 100% vegan.
While vegan and cruelty-free are terms that aren’t interchangeable, many vegan cosmetic enthusiasts also support brands that don’t test on animals. In my list, I made sure the brands I chose are also cruelty-free.
Tips to Choose the Best Vegan Lip Gloss
First, look for vegan ingredients that are good for your lips. Some examples include:
- Almond oil
- Avocado oil
- Fruit oil
- Coconut oil
- Shea butter
- Vitamin E
- Jojoba oil
All of these are plant-based ingredients that are extremely moisturizing. In addition to these common vegan ingredients, you’ll also want to pay attention to the gloss texture. I’m personally not a fan of sticky lip glosses, though I know some prefer this finish (my mom always did). Some glosses have color and others don’t. Consider if you want to add color to your lips or just shine.
Next, consider the brand’s reputation. While there are more vegan beauty brands coming out, it’s best to support a brand that makes high-quality products.
How I Chose These Vegan Lip Glosses
In addition to ensuring the product is vegan and cruelty-free, I also looked at the ingredients list to see if the product contains the plant-based moisturizing ingredients I mentioned previously. The last thing you want is for your lip gloss to dry out your lips.
I also considered other factors that buyers would like, such as scent and taste. I also understand some users have more sensitive lips than others, so I included hypoallergenic lip glosses, as well. Some readers want specific effects, such as plumping and shimmer. I tried to find as many diverse lip glosses as I could, including ones with a tint and clear glosses.
Some lip glosses are more difficult and annoying to apply than others, so I looked for certain aspects such as a wand that will help you apply the gloss. I also considered company reputation and made sure to include as many of my favorite companies as possible — or at least ones I’ve used in the past.
My Favorite Vegan Lip Gloss Options
Are you ready to try vegan lip gloss? Here are some of my product recommendations!
The main lip gloss I will recommend is the e.l.f. Lip Lacquer. e.l.f. is a brand that has always been vegan and cruelty-free. I love their products because everything I’ve tried is amazing. And at $2, this e.l.f. lip gloss is one of the most affordable options on this list.
These glosses are great because they glide on easily and even have a good taste. While e.l.f. says these don’t have a sticky texture, I think they do. Just keep that in mind when buying these glosses.
The Lip Lacquer received the highest ratings and is available in a variety of colors. I love the shades Wild Rose and Love Bite the most. Keep in mind that the more colorful ones aren’t super pigmented, you have to do a few swipes in order to see noticeable color.
You can order e.l.f. products online and they’re available in a variety of stores. I get my e.l.f. products at Target, though you can also find this brand at Ulta and Amazon.
If you want something a bit more prestigious, I suggest choosing the Tarte H2O Lip Gloss. This is one of my favorite lip glosses ever — it’s infused with hydrating ingredients such as vitamin E so your lips feel amazing all day and night. This lip gloss is available in a variety of colors.
I have Zen, which is a natural shade. If you want something more pigmented, I suggest choosing Room Service (mauve) or Escape (red). All of these colors are vegan and Tarte is a cruelty-free brand.
In addition to color, these lip glosses offer the perfect amount of shine in a non-sticky formula. They’re the perfect glosses to complete a makeup look or carry around in your purse for a little bit of shine and softness on the lips. You can get the H2O Gloss on the Tarte website or Sephora. On the Tarte website, these glosses are on sale for $10 (usually $19).
Milk Makeup is not only a vegan and cruelty-free brand but they also release clean products. While these glosses only have three colors, they produce amazing shine and they’re super moisturizing. The formula is pretty thick — I prefer a thinner gloss, so this aspect doesn’t score points with me.
Again, I understand some people prefer thicker and stickier glosses. I will say this gloss doesn’t feel sticky, you just have to be careful when applying it.
While I do wish they had more colors (I do like the shade Rose), I do like how it has a smooth texture and a refreshing mint taste. You can buy Milk Makeup products on their website and I’ve purchased this brand from Sephora.
Hourglass isn’t a vegan brand (though they are cruelty-free), but many of their products are vegan, such as this lip cream. I think this lip cream is luxurious. It has a lightweight mousse texture that feels amazing on the lips. The gloss is available in quite a few shades — I like Touch (beige) and Indulge (rose).
Instead of a typical gloss, this lip cream has a matte finish. This is a great product if you don’t want to wear lipstick but want something more extravagant than a gloss when you go out. Plus, these lip creams don’t transfer. There is a downside. At $49, this is the most expensive lip product on this list. It also doesn’t last a long time, especially if you eat or drink anything. I suggest choosing products by e.l.f. or Tarte over this one.
If shine is all you’re looking for — no colors, tints, or gimmicks — then I suggest choosing Anastasia’s Crystal Gloss. This gloss feels weightless on your lips but has such a shiny finish it looks like glass. This is the perfect gloss if you’re going out and want something more intense than your average lip gloss.
Since it’s a non-sticky formula, this gloss feels very comfortable on the lips. It’s also not too thick or too thin, just the perfect consistency. Plus, the peach scent is absolutely amazing. As with all Anastasia products, the packaging is absolutely beautiful. The flat applicator also makes it easy to apply this gloss.
There are some downsides. At $20, this lip gloss is pretty pricey. You can get cheaper and high-quality glosses from brands such as e.l.f.
If you want vegan lip plumper that will give you kissable lips, I suggest choosing this one. The Too Faced Lip Injection products are the real deal. I have to be honest, I hate lip plumpers and never used these. But they were some of the most popular lip glosses when I worked at Sephora, so I have to include them.
What I do like is how these are available in many fun colors. If I were to get these, I would buy Stars Are Aligned (sparkly clear), Say My Name (sparkly brown), Hot Love (sparkly mauve), and Wanna Play? (rustic mauve). Unlike other lip plumpers, these glosses feel plush and hydrated. These glosses aren’t sticky and the packaging is beautiful.
I love Colourpop! I have so many products from this brand and I love them all. Their glosses are some of my favorite. They have several vegan lip gloss options, but I really like the Lux Gloss. This gloss delivers high shine for fuller-looking lips without stickiness.
These glosses are also formulated with moisturizing ingredients such as poppy seed, black rose, and Madagascar vanilla. They have so many unique shades, including limited edition ones. You can wear these glosses alone or over lipstick. The brush applicator feels very comfortable on your lips. This gloss also has a nice scent!
If you’re looking for a shiny lip gloss, I suggest the Diamond Lip Gloss by Milani. Even though it’s a clear gloss, the shine on this gloss is blinding enough as it is to where you don’t need color. The diamond-like finish also makes your lips look more volumized, which works for me because I hate lip plumpers.
It’s also formulated with moisturizing ingredients such as hyaluronic acid so it feels comfortable on your lips. You can wear this gloss alone or over lipstick. The packaging is also beautiful and has the same aesthetic as Too Faced.
There are some downsides. The gloss has a sugary scent but it’s very strong. It does go away, but I wouldn’t recommend this to anyone sensitive to scents. The applicator itself is bigger than others, which can be difficult to apply. I personally hate huge applicators so this is a big turn-off for me. It is a bit on the sticky side but it’s also not the stickiest I’ve tried. The shiny finish also only lasts a couple of hours.
100% Pure is a clean beauty brand that I’ve been wanting to try. As the name suggests, this gloss is pigmented with fruit extract and is available in a few colors. Even the neutral shade Naked is really pretty. The color on these glosses is pretty sheer, but I still recommend them.
These glosses have a very shiny formula that’s rich in nutrients such as vitamin E. The result is a lip gloss that feels smooth and comfortable on the lips.
If you want a simple and affordable lip gloss to carry in your purse at all times, I suggest choosing this vegan Ice Cream Bee Lip Gloss by Wet n’ Wild.
This gloss is available in three shades, though the colors are very sheer. The glosses have a pearly finish that makes your pout look full and sumptuous. All of these glosses are made with moisturizing ingredients such as marula oil, watermelon seed oil, sunflower seed oil, sunflower seed oil, baobab seed oil, and more. To finish it off, the glosses have a sweet scent. And at $2, you can’t complain.
There are some downsides. The gloss is sticky and tacky. If you want a serious color payoff, you will be disappointed by these.
Urban Decay is one of my favorite brands and I love so many of their products, including their lip glosses. These glosses not only give your lips a beautiful pout but also contain nourishing ingredients such as hyaluronic acid. In typical Urban Decay fashion, these glosses are available in a variety of fun shades. Plus, the staying power here is pretty impressive.
Even though Urban Decay promotes this as a plumping lip gloss, it’s not a plumping gloss like the Too Faced Lip Injections. Ingredients like hyaluronic acid make lips look more moisturized and shiny which also makes them look fuller. But if you’re expecting an actual plumping agent, you won’t find one here. These lip glosses also have a sticky consistency.
Heads up! Urban Decay is having a sale right now and that lip gloss is $14 now (usually $20).
Pacifica is a drugstore beauty brand that’s 100% vegan, cruelty-free, and clean. This Lip Tint is a gloss that’s designed to put more color on your lips. I love the colors Coconut Nectar, Blood Orange, and Guava Berry. They’re also formulated with moisturizing ingredients such as coconut oil and avocado.
In addition to all of these benefits, the color is pretty long-lasting. The smell is also nice and these glosses have a nice shimmer to them. The only downside is these glosses do have a strong taste. The taste corresponds to the shade name (for example, the Blood Orange tastes like orange). If you’re not a fan of flavored lip glosses then I wouldn’t choose these.
Question: Which type of lip gloss should I choose?
Answer: In this list, I tried to include all different kinds of lip glosses. But which one is best for you? I think most people will enjoy a shiny lip gloss. If you want fuller lips, I suggest choosing lip plumper.
Question: Which is the most hydrating option on this list?
Answer: Good question! Nearly all of these are extremely hydrating. But if I were to pick the most hydrating option, I would say the H2O Gloss by Tarte. This gloss always makes my lips feel amazing thanks to the vitamin E.
Question: Why is lip gloss sticky?
Answer: Certain lip gloss formulas contain ingredients like polybutene and polyisobutene. These are non-drying polymers, but they do make your lips feel sticky. If you hate sticky lip glosses as I do, I suggest avoiding ones with these ingredients. There are also hacks you can do so your lips don’t feel as sticky. Dampen your lips with an ice cube or pat some translucent face powder on your lips.