I tried the $1 lip gloss with thousands of 5-star reviews, and I get why it has so many fans

Lip gloss sm
I tried the cult-favourite KISS Broadway lip glosses. Lara Walsh for Insider

  • I tried the $US1 KISS Broadway lip glosses that have over 4,000 five-star reviews on Amazon.
  • The lip glosses were very moisturizing and not sticky, just like the reviews promised.
  • A dermatologist said some of the common ingredients in the gloss aren’t ideal.
  • Visit Insider’s homepage for more stories.

In December, a photo that appears to show Sasha Obama posing near a tube of lip gloss went viral.

InStyle identified the beauty product as KISS Broadway’s rosehip-oil gloss — a cult-favourite that retails for just $US1.

The lip gloss has over 4,000 five-star reviews on Amazon and also comes in coconut-oil and mint-oil varieties. With its $US1 price tag and reviewers calling it an “essential product for my hot girl summer” due to its thick but non-sticky consistency, I knew I had to try it.

Read on to see how it went.

I was able to buy a six-pack of the glosses for $US6.15

Rose hip gloss review
The pack came with three different varieties. Lara Walsh for Insider


It was pretty easy to order a six-count pack of the glosses on Amazon. I got two each of the rosehip-oil, coconut-oil, and mint-oil varieties for $US6.15, making each tube even less than $US1 — which sounds like a steal to heal cracked winter lips.

I decided to try one gloss per day over three days to compare how moisturizing they felt and how well they stayed on my lips for a few hours.

First I tried the rosehip-oil gloss, which says it can help reduce fine lines on lips, moisturize, and heal

Rose hip gloss review
The gloss came in a simple tube. Lara Walsh for Insider


The gloss’s packaging says it contains Vitamin A and can moisturize and heal one’s lips.

My first impression when putting on the rosehip-oil gloss was that it had a thicker consistency than a lot of budget-friendly lip glosses.

Gloss review
The gloss added a nice shine to my lips. Lara Walsh for Insider

The lip gloss didn’t really have a scent, but I (and my boyfriend) noticed it had a weird plastic-y flavour. But the consistency wasn’t too sticky and I noticed that my lips still seemed pretty moisturized hours after I put it on.

I loved that I barely had to touch up the gloss even after eating a full meal and drinking a glass of wine.

The coconut-oil gloss was long-lasting and moisturizing, but it felt a little bit greasy

Rose hip gloss review
I didn’t love the smell of the coconut-oil gloss. Lara Walsh for Insider


This gloss also says it’s moisturizing and hydrating, and this one “shines without stickiness.”

The consistency of this was really similar to the rosehip-oil gloss, but it had an odd smell that vaguely reminded me of coconut oil. The ingredients on both were pretty much identical, just with different oils.

Although the formula again seemed hydrating and lasted on my lips for a long time, I felt like it was a little greasy and I took it off early. I noticed my lips still seemed to be moisturized the next morning.

The mint-oil gloss had a nice scent and it made my lips tingle

Rose hip gloss review
The mint-oil gloss tingled my lips a little bit. Lara Walsh for Insider


This gloss is described on the package as being soothing and refreshing with an added “cooling effect.”

Unlike with the other two offerings, my lips started tingling as soon as I put on the mint gloss. I had a feeling the tingles might be part of the “cooling effect” mentioned on the packaging.

Although some people enjoy this sensation, it can sometimes be a sign of irritation and inflammation. As a result, sometimes minty ingredients can lead to more dryness and a vicious cycle where you feel you have to keep applying more gloss to combat chapped lips.

The minty scent of this gloss was definitely my favourite of the three, but the tingling sensation reminded me of a lip plumper — I was glad when the gloss wore off during the night.

After trying the glosses, I checked in with a dermatologist to learn more about the ingredients

Rose hip gloss review
I didn’t mind the consistency of the gloss, either. Lara Walsh for Insider

I ran the glosses’ ingredient lists by dermatologist Dr. Heidi Waldorf, cosmetic dermatologist at Waldorf Dermatology Associates, to see what I was putting on my lips.

According to Waldorf, rosehip oil contains vitamin C and vitamin A and several essential fatty acids including oleic acid, palmitic acid, and linoleic acid. She said these ingredients might help to reduce irritation and redness.

“It may be anti-inflammatory and hydrating,” she said. “I say ‘may’ because whether the rosehip oil has a significant effect depends upon the concentration used in the product.”

But since the oil was toward the end of the ingredient list, Waldorf said it’s more likely the hydration came from mineral oil (Paraffinium liquidium), which was near the beginning. Due to its molecule size, this oil sits on top of your skin instead of absorbing into it.

“Although it’s covering only a small surface area, the mucous membrane of the lip is more absorbent than other areas of the body,” she explained.

Because of this, Waldorf said, some of the parabens in the gloss’s ingredients, like methylparaben and ethylparaben, “have drawn concern as potential allergens.”

These parabens are actually super common in a range of beauty products, according to the US Food and Drug Administration. In some cases, she said, the parabens can cause hives or contact dermatitis, which is an itchy rash.

According to Waldorf, those with sensitive lips or allergen concerns might want to try different budget-friendly, hydrating glosses.

She said recommends the $US9 Ulta Tinted Juice Infused Lip Oil, which contains Vitamin E, naturally occurring fatty acids to trap moisture, and a variety of fruit and nut oils.

She also suggested the $US9.99 Neutrogena Hydroboost Lip Shine. It contains ingredients like sodium hyaluronate, which is powerful at pulling in moisture, and soybean and castor-seed oil that can help keep the moisture locked in.

This gloss was was pretty great, but I’m not sure I would repurchase it

Gloss review
I could see myself using these glosses for a night out. Lara Walsh/Insider

Overall, I was a huge fan of the low price, great formula, and staying power of this gloss.

I understand why it has so many rave reviews online, but I had my doubts after hearing Waldorf’s feedback on the ingredients. It also made me wonder how many other products in my makeup bag contain those very same parabens.

As someone who is trying to cut down on the number of chemicals in my beauty products, I could see this being a fun and inexpensive option for a night out but not something I’d regularly put on my lips to moisturize them.

Insider was unable to reach KISS Broadway for comment.

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