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Summary: Lip oils differ from glosses by focusing more on nourishing hydration for the lips over a thicker, higher-gloss formula that can often dry out your lips. Well People’s Lush Lip Tinted Oils are made with clean, botanical ingredients and sheer color for an ultra-hydrating experience that softens and tints lips.


  • The packaging is leak-free and the applicator wand perfectly massages the product into the skin.
  • The texture is thicker than most oils but not gloopy, with a smooth, silky feel that lasts.
  • All formulas are vegan, clean, and dermatologist-developed for a high-quality product at just $12 (less than half the price of other lip oils I’ve tried!).


  • The color is not overt, and fades before the product does (Well People says it can be layered with other lip products, FYI!).
  • There is a light peppermint scent, which I personally enjoyed but some people might not love. 

You might have noticed a familiar-looking lip product making its way back to the makeup aisle over the last few years. Among the balms and sticks and crayons, nudging the pots and liners aside, tubes of liquid with their sponge-tipped applicators are filling rows at every brand’s display. At first, I had a millennial flashback to my formative, decade-long dependency on the fickle lip gloss. “So pretty, but so drying,” I told my friend as we passed the displays. “Remember how often you had to reapply?” But my friend, much more beauty-savvy and observant, pointed to the label. “This is lip oil. It’s totally different and so much better.”

“While gloss is designed to enhance your lip color with its high-shine and richer pigment, oil is more sheer, moisturizing, and infinitely more comfortable.”

I was skeptical. It looked exactly like the ubiquitous tubes littering the bottom of my early aught baguette purses, the packaging gathering bits of crumbs and stray hairs into the product every time I screwed it open or shut — which was, by necessity, pretty much all day. The first swipe coated your lips in a sticky glue that dried much the same way. To avoid the gloss turning tacky meant adding more. And while the application process itself was its own ritualistic pleasure — pumping the wand into the gloopy tube with the practiced nonchalance of the most established food court queen, bringing the goop to your mouth in a move that can only be described as a “slather” — the actual feeling of the stuff was gross. Yet, nothing conveyed the desired air of mystery quite like a viscous set of lips, so the cycle continued, and I’d spend whole days re-glooping my lips as if feeding the most demanding bread starter.

Lip oil, my friend assured me, is nothing like this experience. While gloss is designed to enhance your lip color with its high-shine and richer pigment, oil is more sheer, moisturizing, and infinitely more comfortable. The visual differences are almost instantly noticeable, with the oil formula typically being thinner and more liquid. On the lips, the oil is still shiny. If you’re more interested in a gentle luster and a nourishing sensation than the nostalgic effect of dripping shellac, lip oils are it.

In terms of the simple, hydrating effects of lip oils, it was love at first swipe. But it wasn’t until trying the Well People Lush Lip Tinted Oils that I found my personal best match.

About Well People Lush Lip Tinted Oils

At 38, I am personally in my “Make my makeup as easy and nourishing as possible” era. Gone are the days when any look is worth feeling uncomfortable or sitting through an application tutorial on YouTube. If I can’t intuitively figure out how to use a product, if the feeling on my skin is at all unpleasant, or if there is any drying effect whatsoever, I’m out.

So when Well People described their lip oil as “vitamin-rich,” and the “How to Use” tab had a single sentence for a one-step process (“glide on lips”), I knew it would be a good fit for me. 

Three tubes of lip balm sitting on a wooden table.
The product uses FSC-Certified paper for its packaging.

TGT is a fan of Well People for their clean beauty bona fides, including an EWG Verification, Leaping Bunny and PETA certification to ensure no animal products, byproducts, or testing at all (the brand has even recently removed Organic Beeswax, Pearl Powder, and Carmines for all completely vegan formulas!), and a commitment to botanically based ingredient lists that never include synthetic fillers, sulfates, preservatives, or fragrances. Well People is also committed to ethical practices and they are the first beauty company to utilize a Fair Trade Certified™ Factory. Their sustainability standards are high, and they use FSC-Certified paper in their printed matter, and claim to be exploring ways to utilize eco-friendly materials like corn, sugar, and post-recycled materials in their packaging.

Well People is all about plant-derived ingredients, so I wasn’t surprised to see that their tinted oils are made from a list of botanicals, herbs, and seeds. The ingredient list is made up of a botanical oil blend that includes jojoba seed, sunflower, and meadowfoam, and the shea butter for ultimate moisture. A light naturally derived peppermint is the only scent. A note under the product description says that their formulas are dermatologist-developed, and they are designed to offer a sheer wash of color with a glossy finish. So, basically the health-conscious big sister of my middle school tubes of glittery gloop.  

My experience 

I received three of the four colors of Well People’s Lush Lip Tinted Oil: Desert Poppy, Daylily Petal, and Dewy Iris. I gleaned from the product description that none of these were going to be a richly pigmented experience, so I was surprised how vibrant the hues were when I opened up the package. Through the tubes, the product looks opaque, almost like paint. Since I was expecting an oil first with the color as sort of a tint, the first thing I did was swatch all three on my arm: The slick pop of the application wand produced a sponge doe foot applicator, and the oils came out much thicker and darker than I expected. There was definitely a shine, but mostly the product just looked rich. When I went to wipe it off with a tissue it disappeared, though I could feel where the swatches had been from my skin feeling more moisturized there. I was intrigued! I truly had no idea what to expect when I put the stuff on my lips.

Three lipsticks on a person's arm.
The lip oils appear thicker and more vibrant on my arm than they do on my lips. Daylily Petal on bottom, Desert Poppy in the middle, Dewy Iris on top.

Makeup is extremely personal. So it should be noted that I am someone who has been on a lifelong quest for lip products that address my natural pigment issue. Left to their own devices, my lips err on the side of the color spectrum that usually denotes illness. They also tend to be quite dry, and the wrong product can only exacerbate it.

I like the shape of my lips and their level of fullness — nothing to brag about, but nothing to trigger an interest in plumping effects. So what I am always interested in is color that gives my lips life, not necessarily a product that changes the shape or appearance of my mouth completely. I want something that feels good, is easy to use, and lasts for a reasonable length of time. I’m not personally offended if my all-day-water-drinking habit requires a reapplication every hour or so. But I’d definitely like a product that doesn’t instantly transfer to my cup, especially after it’s had time to settle into my skin. 

The Lush Lip Tinted Oils are first and foremost moisturizing. The thickness of the texture I noticed in the swatch translates into a luxurious, smooth feeling on the lips, with just the barest hint of a tingle from the natural peppermint. I couldn’t stop rubbing my lips together because they felt so soft and silky! 

I was pleased to see that the color when rubbed into my lips was more sheer, as promised. Daylily Petal looks like a kind of light brown in the tube, almost a muted terracotta, but it wore nearly nude on me. Desert Poppy (probably my favorite) is a gently bright pink that just nods at coral, but not so much that it clashes with my cool skin tone. Dewy Iris, which looks like an intimidating raisin-brown in the package, comes out surprisingly neutral, deepening my natural lip pigment very subtly. I sort of imagine Daylily Petal as the day-neutral, Dewy Iris as the night-neutral, and Desert Poppy for party-neutral.

How it compares

I’ve tried a few other lip oil brands with various outcomes: Depending on the formulas, lip oils tend to feel moisturizing but can also be almost too liquid, sliding around on top of my lips instead of soaking into the skin. This is a problem if you have dry lips, because if you haven’t diligently exfoliated, the oil will gather around the texture and draw attention to it. Hard pass! I reserve the right to be lazy about lip exfoliation.

But my biggest gripe about the other lip oils I tried before Well People is related to the packaging: Multiple brands haven’t seemed to crack the problem of the product leaking out of the top after pushing the applicator back into the tube. The slicks of lip oil around the openings have been giving me major flashbacks to my debris-covered middle school lip gloss tubes. Also, so many of these other brands are averaging $30 a pop, so every little bit of product bleeding out of the package feels like money down the drain. 

Well People’s package keeps the product in, with no leaks at all. Plus, the doe-foot applicator is a dream to use –– not only does its flexible angle make it easy to apply the product to your lips without losing any down the wand, but the sponge tip is wider than many I’ve tried, so it holds more oil and then massages it effectively into the skin without having to go back over it with a finger (you know this approach!). The design is perfect for the product, making the super simple one-step application process utterly foolproof.

Just as the swatching indicated, the color lasts an hour or so while the moisture lingers. It’s a sheer tint, no matter how it looks in the tube or on your arm, so no pigment stains your mouth and hangs around long after the product itself has faded. But I can feel the effects of the powerful ingredients all day, and my lips do feel softer at night. In fact, I fully skipped exfoliating my lips one night not out of laziness but because my usual chapped patches weren’t even there! Does Well People lip oil cure chapped lips? More testing might be required, and I’m more than happy to offer my services to find out.


Stephanie H. Fallon is a writer originally from Houston, Texas. She has an MFA from the Jackson Center of Creative Writing at Hollins University. She lives with her family in the Blue Ridge Mountains of Virginia, where she writes about motherhood, artmaking, and work culture. You can find her on Instagram or learn more on her website.