These Under-$12 Lip Glosses Give High-End Ones a Run for Their Money

If you asked me whether I prefer a lipstick or a gloss, I'd pick a gloss any day. I'm honestly glad they've made a comeback the past few years because, to me, they're so much easier to work with than a bolder-hued lip stain. Don't get me wrong. There's definitely a time and place for a strong matte shade or a deep, lustrous red, but gloss just feels right for an everyday look. It adds a bit of plumpness to the lips, never dries you out, and adds just the right amount of color without looking like you tried too hard.

I'm going to let you in on a little secret, though, that many people don't know. The best lip glosses can actually be found at—you guessed it—the drugstore! Trust me. You won't want to sleep on these gorgeous options. In my humble opinion, they rival a few of my favorite high-end formulas while costing a fraction of the price. For all my favorites, keep reading. There are plenty of great options ahead.

How to Choose a Lip Gloss

Luckily, lip glosses are more forgiving than lipsticks by nature. They have more of a sheer effect, so they aren't as intense and work well for those who don't necessarily like a bold lip. Like I said, gloss shades are more sheer than lipstick colors, so it's easier to find a shade that complements your skin tone. That doesn't mean you can't try every color of the rainbow, but there are certain hues that really make every skin tone pop.

Lighter pink tones look great on fair complexions, and warmer shades like peach or even light brown (my favorite) suit tan skin tones. For Black and Brown skin tones, rich brown shades and deep burgundy work really well too. For the best drugstore lip glosses around, keep scrolling below.

Best Overall Drugstore Lip Glosses: Milani Keep It Full Nourishing Lip Plumper

The entire Who What Wear beauty team has nothing but good things to say about Milani's lip products. This plumping gloss from the brand delivers extra hydration, plumpness, and an ultra-glossy finish. My favorite shade is Soft Rose, but Champagne is a close second.

Best Plumping Drugstore Lip Gloss: Maybelline Lifter Gloss 

If you like a bit more of a dramatic plumping effect, try Maybelline's Lifter Gloss. It's highly rated for its color selection and ability to give the lips long-lasting fullness. You can thank ingredients like hyaluronic acid and coconut oil for this.

Best Clear Drugstore Lip Gloss: E.l.f. Cosmetics Lip Lacquer

This clear gloss is so shiny your friends might need sunglasses. It's not too thick or sticky, so you can wear it with a bare face or super-light makeup for a little extra something.

Best Nonsticky Drugstore Lip Gloss: Nyx Butter Gloss

This creamy, opaque gloss is perfect for creating a full-coverage lip look without having to commit to wearing a full-on lipstick. The buttery texture gives you soft, silky lips but is designed to never teeter on sticky. 

Best Hydrating Drugstore Lip Gloss: Neutrogena MoistureShine Lip Soother

This gloss is so lightly tinted you'll barely know it's there. It's a "hydrogel" formula that soothes the lips, moisturizes with glycerin and chamomile, and leaves a beautiful shine.

Best Long-Lasting Drugstore Lip Gloss: Rimmel Stay Glossy Lip Gloss

This gorgeous gloss gives you that high-impact, almost-holographic kind of lip shine. It's not sticky, lasts for up to six hours, and glides onto the lips smoothly and easily.

Best Nude Drugstore Lip Gloss: L'Oréal Infallible Pro Plump Lip Gloss 

This L'Oréal gloss is another great pick if you want something long-lasting. It's soft, lasts up to eight hours, and dries down to the softly shiny finish of your dreams. This gorgeous nude shade has a bit of extra shimmer in it that pops but isn't over-the-top.

More Drugstore Lip Glosses We Love

Best Drugstore Lip Glosses



Essence Extreme Shine Volume Lipgloss

I never shut up about how good Essence Cosmetics products are. This gloss from the brand gives the lips a natural glow, plumps them up, and adds some serious shine—all for the incredibly low price tag of $4.

Revlon Super Lustrous Lip Gloss

Hello, gorgeous! This gloss is so extra in the best way possible. It's lightweight on the lips but offers a 3D luster that's hard to beat. It's an instant confidence booster.

Sephora Collection Glossed Lip Gloss

This Sephora Collection gloss feels like a pillow for your lips. It's nonsticky and super hydrating and offers so much extra shine.