A star is born — and it’s me, thanks to Lady Gaga’s newest product.
I wasn’t looking for a new favorite lip color when I tried Haus Labs’ Atomic Shake Lip Lacquer, but I certainly found one. As a survivor of the matte liquid lipstick craze of the late 2010s — popularized by brands like Kylie Cosmetics, TooFaced Cosmetics, and KVD Beauty — I’m thrilled that glossy is the lip look of the moment. The only thing I really miss about the matte liquid lipstick era is the color. I love a bright lip more than any other makeup look and almost more than I love my dog.
Four out of five times I wear makeup, I literally just slap on a bright lip and it’s usually enough to trick people into thinking I’ve made an effort. Even so, I’m thrilled about gloss girl summer. Gloss makes everyone’s lips look plumper, it’s easier to apply than lipstick, and is, generally, less messy. I’ve been glossing up my mouth all season, but longing for a bright lip moment that lip gloss just couldn’t deliver until now. Let me introduce you to the perfect product for a glossy lip: the Atomic Shake Lip Lacquer from Haus Labs by Lady Gaga.
You’ll notice I didn’t say the perfect lip gloss because, technically speaking, this isn’t a lip gloss. It’s a magical tube containing the finish of a gloss with the bright color and staying power of a liquid lipstick. This, dear readers, is a *lacquer*.
I’ve spent about a week wearing Atomic Shake Lip Lacquers out for entire sweltering summer afternoons and evenings. This lacquer stays put through cocktails, burgers, and happy hour drafts. I am wearing it right now while typing, frowning, and scrunching my mouth up while I type, and I am 100% certain my lips will look as beautiful as they did when I put this stuff on hours ago. It’s that good.
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- Price: $26 per tube. If you’re thinking, “Whoa, that’s so many dollars,” I hear you. However, these lacquers deliver a finish I’ve never encountered before and if you want a glossy, vibrant lip color that doesn’t transfer, it’s worth the investment.
- Clean/Cruelty-Free? The Atomic Shake Lip Lacquers are clean, vegan, and cruelty-free.
- Who this is best for: Everyone. Anyone. I want to fill a piñata with these lacquers and hang one from every tree in my neighborhood.
- What I like: The pigment, the staying power, the long-lasting high shine finish. It’s really all amazing.
- What I don't like: There is a very specific, vaguely chemical smell when you first shake up these lacquers. It fades quickly, but I had to put something here, so there you go. These lacquers are, briefly, a wee bit smelly.
- My rating: 5/5. (I never give anything a 5 out of 5. Go on, play back the tape.)
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My lips are regularly dry. I do my best to keep my lip skin hydrated, but, along with drinking water throughout the day and washing my face before bed, regularly wearing lip balm is one of the first things to fall by the self-care wayside when I’m stressed or overwhelmed. As a result, my lips tend to teeter between “quite dry” and “oh no, this is gross and flakey.” I’m describing all this in detail because, believe it or not, this does matter when it comes to lip color. Bright glosses tend to draw attention to dry lips by settling into the cracks.
Haus Labs By Lady Gaga’s Atomic Shake Lip Lacquer:
I wasn’t really expecting to fall in love with this lacquer. Gloss is great and all, but it comes with its own issues and I’ve never really met a straight-up glossy *and* pigmented lip product I love. You usually get color or a high-shine finish, not both. The Atomic Shake Lip Lacquers do both in four bright, beautiful shades and two more on the way come September.
There’s Ruby Shine, a deep, cool-tone red that’s basically the exact shade of a classic, vampy red lip. Cherry Shine is more orange-toned red, still ultra-bright — think flame rather than fire engine — and Red Coral Shine is a pinky red. Lastly, there’s Rose Shine. It’s the most subtle of the bunch, a true pink nude, which I wasn’t expecting to love, but it just might be my favorite.
You say science, I say witchcraft. In all seriousness, though, the long-wear capabilities of these lacquers come courtesy of proprietary formulas, which is a fancy way of saying Haus Labs spent a long time tweaking this product. When I reached out to the brand (in a state of shock and awe, mind you), they shared that the Atomic Shake Lip Lacquers have been in development since June 2020.
The sleek little bullets make a pleasant sound when you shake them up, but you have to treat them with the respect they deserve because they will spill (I learned this the hard way). The instructions say to handle the Atomic Shake Lip Lacquers the way you would a nail polish bottle: Don’t open it when it’s upside down. Ideally, it wouldn’t be stored upside down either.
I was taken with these lacquers the moment I applied the first shade to my lips. I was so impressed that I immediately started posting Instagram Stories about how excited I was to share this product I couldn’t yet name with the masses. I was especially impressed with how light the lacquer felt once dry. It didn’t feel like a thick coat of gloss on my lips, but the look was definitely incredibly glossy.
How To Apply:
There are instructions for application that, to be honest, I did not read the first time. When you don’t follow the directions, you still get a colorful, glossy lip, but it’s nowhere near as shiny as when you trust the process. You’re meant to shake the Atomic Shake Lip Lacquer for five seconds and slowly open it while it’s upright. If you open it upside down, it will spill.
Apply a layer to each lip and then keep your mouth slightly open, allowing the product to dry for 10-15 seconds without any blotting or rubbing. This allows the “shine shield” to form. Is the process a little extra? Definitely, but the level of all-day glossiness and color is absolutely worth it, IMHO.
The results are nothing short of the glossiest lips you could ask for with a shocking amount of color. Your lips will stay glossy and bright for as long as you want them to. This stuff doesn’t budge, which does mean you’re going to have to go at it a little hard when you wash your face at the end of the day. I found that my standard double-cleanse did the trick, but I used extra oil-based cleanser just on my lips and did a bit of light exfoliating with a cloth to get all the color off. That said, it’s so much easier to wash off than liquid lipstick and doesn’t leave your lips feeling dry.
The standout ingredient in these lacquers is marine algae, which is known for its hydrating properties. All the ingredients are also vegan and cruelty-free.
Because of the specific need — high shine finish with a high-impact color — these lacquers fill, there aren’t many similar products out there. The closest one I can think of (and that I own in almost every color) is Maybelline Super Stay Vinyl Ink Liquid Lipstick. It’s a drugstore product, so you can get almost three Maybelline shades for the price of one Atomic Shake Lip Lacquer, but the shine wears off significantly faster and it does transfer quite a bit. Still, it’s a solid budget alternative and before the Atomic Shake Lip Lacquers came along, the Maybelline Vinyl Ink in Red Hot was my go-to summer shade.
Both tarte and Hourglass make lovely glosses in surprisingly rich shades. Hourglass Phantom Volumizing Glossy Balm comes in Entice, a bright fuchsia, and Lucid, a bright tangerine. Both offer that coveted vinyl finish, but they aren’t as pigmented as the Haus Lab Lacquers. tarte’s Maracuja Juicy Lip Balm is another high-shine option. Its most pigmented shades are Raspberry, a deep red berry, and Strawberry, a bright pink, but neither can really be called high-impact. That said, I love them and if you want a glossy finish, try the tarte or the Hourglass. If you want a glossy finish in a high-impact color, it’s got to be Haus Labs.
These lacquers aren’t cheap, but you do get a lot of product per tube and the technology is epic. This is the closest to transfer-free lip color I’ve ever seen.
I’m ghosting all other glosses, forsaking all liquid matte lipstick, and living happily ever after with Haus Labs Atomic Shake Lip Lacquers. They’re the only products I’ve encountered on my journey as a beauty editor and writer that truly deliver high shine and bright color. They are the moment, darlings.
I’m Elite Daily’s beauty editor, a survivor of the matte lipstick craze of the late ‘10s, and a lover of bright lip color. I’ve been writing about, testing, and reviewing beauty products since 2016.