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Even if you don’t wear makeup, a good lip gloss is an item every woman should always have. And it seems like most agree — over 122 million women in the U.S. use lip gloss and lipstick. But how do you style lip gloss?
Why Wear Lip Gloss
First, let’s go over a few reasons to wear lip gloss.
Parched and chapped lips are never cute. But, don’t worry; all you need is a swipe of lip gloss for kissable lips.
Many types of lip gloss are made with hydrating ingredients such as hyaluronic acid to deliver a dose of moisture and lock in that moisture that will last all day. As a result, your lips will not only look amazing but will stay soft, cushiony smooth.
Believe it or not, some lip glosses are formulated with skincare benefits! Many lip glosses include oils that keep lips soft for the long term. You can also find lip glosses with anti-aging ingredients and even an SPF. There are also lip glosses designed to protect your lips from the harsh cold.
Many people love the look of color on their lips but hate how drying traditional lipstick can feel. The solution? Pigmented lip gloss. Today, you can find many lip glosses on the market that pack a punch of color.
While many brands offer sheer color, there are also lip glosses that offer opaque color that rivals the look of lipstick. You can find pigmented lipstick in all shades and all finishes, from matte to shimmery. This way, you may never have to pick up lipstick again!
Types of Lip Gloss
With the popularity of lip gloss, you have so many formulas and finishes to choose from. Some of the most popular include sheer, glitter, and plumping.
A clear lip gloss is a staple for everyone, no matter who you are. When used alone, a sheer lip gloss accentuates the natural color and plumpness of your lips. But you can add a clear lip gloss over any lipstick for a hint of shine.
Who doesn’t like glimmery lips? That’s why a glittery lip gloss is one of the best items to have in your makeup bag.
There are different types of glittery lip gloss. Some have more of a metallic look that reflects against the light. Others have a full-on sparkle. You can choose clear or colored glitter gloss to amp up your look. Glitter lip gloss is perfect to wear on its own but can also be paired with lipstick.
Want to plump up your pout? If so, aim to get plumping lip gloss! There are different types of plumping lip gloss. Some use ingredients like mint extract to swell your lips. Others use certain light technology to make your lips look better.
Just be wary about some ingredients, like collagen and cinnamon extract. While these ingredients will add volume to your lips, they will also dry your lips. Be sure the plumping lip gloss you use is moisturizing.
Flavored lip gloss is available in practically every taste — from vanilla all the way to fruit. You can likely find these in various different shades. These make the perfect gift and are fun to wear every day. You can find flavored lip gloss suitable for all ages (yes, including for kids).
Keep in mind, most flavored lip gloss isn’t meant for anything else other than the taste. They usually lack the staying power of nice lip glosses and may even have a sticky texture. Other than Lancome’s Juicy Tubes, I haven’t been able to find a high-quality flavored lip gloss.
Many lip glosses contain artificial flavors and colors. Some even have preservatives.
Fortunately, you can find natural alternatives. Natural lip gloss is just as nourishing as artificial ones but has pure ingredients and lovely shades. These are ideal if you have allergies and sensitive skin. Many brands, such as bareMinerals, make a high-quality natural lip gloss that will stay on for hours.
Right Way to Apply Lip Gloss
You may think lip gloss should be easy to apply. In reality, there’s a specific way to apply lip gloss. Put the wand at the middle of your lower lip and apply a little bit of product to the middle of your lip only. Rub it into your top lip. You’ll get the perfect amount of shine without your lips looking goopy.
The only exception is if you’re wearing colored lip gloss. If that’s the case, you’ll want to apply the lip gloss like lipstick. Start at the side of one lip and swipe outward. Rub your lips together.
Prep Your Lips
We all know you need to prep your lips before wearing lipstick. But should you prep your lips before wearing lip gloss? It wouldn’t hurt to do some exfoliating.
There are many lip exfoliators on the market. But you can also exfoliate your lips using items you already have at your house, such as a washcloth or toothbrush. I personally use my toothbrush. Just dampen your toothbrush or a washcloth and rub it gently on your lips.
You can soften your lips even more by using chapstick or coconut oil before applying your lip gloss.
Wearing Lip Gloss for Your Age
Do you want to wear lip gloss but aren’t sure what will work with your age? What if you want to buy lip gloss as a gift for a loved one, but aren’t sure which product they will like?
Lip gloss is usually an introduction for kids to get into makeup. It’s easy to apply and most lip glosses are safe for kids. You can also find lip gloss in fun flavors that kids will love! Just be sure to buy a clear gloss or one with very sheer color.
Once kids become teenagers, they may want to experiment with more lip gloss styles. A teenager may also want a lip gloss that is cooler looking, making their lips pop. Because of this, you can buy just about any lip gloss for a teenager.
You may want to start with a simple, everyday lip gloss that offers moisturizing benefits for the lips.
I personally loved Sephora Collection’s discontinued Oil Infusion lip gloss that was made with rosehip seed oil. It was available in various shades and leaves my lips silky smooth. I used up all of mine except for one, the Peach color, and am holding onto it for dear life. But I know there are other similar lip glosses on the market.
While clear lip gloss is always a safe bet, many teenagers may want to use pigmented lip gloss. They will enhance the lips with the perfect combination of color and shine. Hey, teenagers are kids at heart. That’s why it’s worth it to find lip glosses that taste and smell amazing. I have a few recommendations for those below.
The only downside is many teenagers don’t have a lot of money. Fortunately, you can also find many lip glosses at the drugstore for cheap.
Obviously, adults have free reign in the lip gloss department. You can take your lip gloss look as simple or extravagant as you want. Since adults have more money to spend, you can buy some more premium lip glosses for long-lasting beautiful lips. However, there are also great finds at the drugstore for adults who are on a budget.
The other nice thing about shopping for lip gloss as an adult is you know yourself, your style, and what looks best on you. You’ll know which colors look best and the ones you’ll wear on a regular basis. So when you shop for lip gloss, you’ll bound to find a product you’ll love.
Don’t be afraid to experiment, though. Try a plumping lip gloss if you haven’t. Go crazy with different colors.
Many adults also love liquid lipsticks. While I don’t consider these to be lip glosses, these are a great option for those who want the color of lipstick in the form of a gloss.
Lip gloss works for everyone of all ages — yes, that includes seniors. It’s actually recommended that seniors switch to a gloss. That’s because your lips will thin as you age. Even if you don’t use a plumping lip gloss, there are lip glosses that manipulate light to make your lips look fuller.
In addition, you may find your lips dry faster. You can find lip glosses with moisturizing ingredients to keep your lips soft all day. Some lip glosses are even formulated with anti-aging ingredients to prevent fine lines and wrinkles around the lips.
How to Make Lip Gloss Last
Do you find yourself constantly swiping on your lip gloss all day? That’s because lip gloss doesn’t last long at all. How do you make lip gloss stay on all day? First, line your lips with lip liner. Then, pat your lips with setting powder. Add the lip gloss.
Should You Buy Cheap or Expensive Lip Gloss?
Many people love buying inexpensive cheap lip gloss, especially the stuff you can get at the drugstore. You can also find a wide selection at the drugstore and in various shades. I do have a L’Oreal lip gloss on my list, but it still doesn’t compare to the higher quality lip glosses from brands like Lancome.
If you don’t want to spend a whole lot on lip gloss, I recommend the Sephora collection glosses. Their products are around the same price as the drugstore brands and are absolutely amazing — way better quality than L’Oreal and those other brands.
What to Look for in a Lip Gloss?
While some people like gooey and sticky lip gloss, others don’t (including me). I think they’re messy, my hair sticks to my lips constantly, and they’re just overall inconvenient. If you agree with me, you would prefer a lip gloss with a smooth and light feeling.
Consider the texture of the gloss before you buy it. Be sure to research the gloss and read reviews before your purchase. Since I hate sticky lip gloss, you can be sure the ones I mention in my review aren’t gooey at all.
Lip gloss usually doesn’t stay on as long as lipstick, unfortunately. But there are some lip glosses that have excellent staying power. The Nars lip gloss, for example, takes a long time to fade and doesn’t smudge at all.
You should still avoid rubbing your lips. After drinking or eating, make sure you apply a coat of gloss.
Finally, consider the way you want your lip gloss to look. You can find lip gloss in various shades, from clear to crazy pigmented. Others have a matte, shiny, or glittery finish.
Not sure what you want? Consider your skin tone and the color of your lips—research what would look best on you.
Our Favorite Lip Glosses
I have to say, I’m a lip gloss fanatic. Actually, I prefer lip gloss over lipstick. Here are my personal favorites.
Buxom Full-On Lip Gloss
My favorite lip gloss of all time is the Buxom lip gloss. Buxom has different lip gloss variations — the Full-On Lip Polish and Lip Cream. What I love about Buxom is how they moisturize your lips but also the slight plumping effect they have, thanks to the mint extract.
I’ve had a ton throughout the years and have gone through so many of them. The ones I have now are Erin and Berry Blast. I swatched both colors on my hand — Erin is the lighter one and Berry Blast is the bright pink.
I honestly haven’t worn Erin much; the color is a little too sheer for my taste. But lately, I have been swiping it on if I want something more on my lips. The color on Berry Blast has the perfect amount of pigment but isn’t too crazy. It also lasts a decent amount of the day.
As you can see, I have smaller size lip glosses. Honestly, I barely buy full-size products — just get the samples from Sephora’s Beauty Insider Program. You can also buy a pack like the reviewer is showing in the YouTube video.
Sephora Collection Ultra Shine Lip Gloss
If you want a lip gloss that will keep your lips feeling soft all night, I love these classic Sephora Ultra Shine lip glosses.
They have different varieties, but I love the Ultra Shine Lip Gloss the best. The glosses have the perfect amount of shine.
I would say these aren’t the best if you want pigmented lip gloss, but they are the best option if you want an everyday lip gloss. I have one in Peek-a-Boo pink, which is a shiny light pink that I feel would look good on everyone. I swatched it on my hand so you can see.
Sephora Colorful Gloss Balm
These are a couple of my favorite glosses from Sephora, as well! The Colorful Gloss Balm is extremely affordable and has impressive pigment.
I have two colors: Red Alert and About Last Night. Red Alert is the red one (duh) and About Last Night is the pink one. I swatched both of them on my hand.
Minerals Marvelous Moxie Plumping Lip Gloss
While I don’t think the Marvelous Moxie Lip Glosses are as good of plumpers as the Buxom, they have beautiful colors and make your lips feel great.
I have shade Trailblazer, which is a pretty sheer beige. Keep in mind, I’m seeing on the bareMinerals website that these are out of stock, and reviewers are complaining about it. They may be discontinued.
Nars Lip Gloss
What can I say about Nars’ lip glosses? They have gorgeous colors that are very long-lasting. Nars is generally one of my favorite brands — their products are high-quality, so I expected nothing less from their lip gloss.
I have the shade Priscilla, which is bright pink.
L’Oreal Paris Infallible Pro-Matte Gloss
If you want a drugstore recommendation, I recommend L’Oreal’s Pro Matte Gloss. As the name suggests, it has a matte finish but a very bright color.
I just want to say this is a drugstore brand. I definitely noticed the color moving to my teeth and smearing if I wasn’t careful. With that said, the color is extremely pigmented and makes your lips look amazing. It’s definitely a good alternative to the pricier brands; just be careful when eating or drinking.
I have the color Aphrodite Kiss, which is a bright pink/fuchsia color.
Lancome Juicy Tubes
Okay, first off, the Lancome Juicy Tubes smell and taste amazing. Remember the fruity lip glosses I mentioned in the kids and teenagers section? Yeah, this is the type for adults. While the color is sheer, the consistency is perfect. They give your lips the perfect shine and don’t feel too heavy or sticky.
I have the one in Melon or Watermelon (something like that), but it’s at my boyfriend’s apartment, so I can’t swatch it. Pretty much, it’s a subtle orangey color that I think would look great on everyone. Oh, and it smells/tastes like watermelon — and I love watermelon!
Question: Is Lip Gloss in Style?
Answer: Fashion looks go in and out of style, and the same thing happens with makeup. Fortunately, lip gloss is in style!
The COVID-19 pandemic is a big reason why. With everyone wearing masks, eye makeup was in style in 2020. Now that we’re coming out of the pandemic, we want to emphasize our lips but with a simple product. In addition, lip stains are better when wearing a mask compared to lipstick.
Question: Is Lip Gloss Bad for Your Lips?
Answer: Moisturizing lip gloss is actually great for your lips! However, be careful not to touch and lick your lips. Make sure the ingredients in your lip gloss also won’t further dry out the delicate skin.
Question: Can You Wear Lip Gloss Every Day?
Answer: It’s easier to just keep your favorite lip gloss in your purse and apply it throughout the day, right? There’s no problem with wearing lip gloss every day, but the repetitive application may irritate the skin on your lips. Only apply lip gloss when necessary.
Question: Can You Wear Lotion or Vaseline on Your Lips?
Answer: In order to keep your lips moisturized, you need a special product that will soothe the delicate skin on your lips.
The normal lotion isn’t formulated for your lips, so it’s best to ditch it. But many people put Vaseline on their lips. Fortunately, Vaseline won’t harm your delicate skin and won’t dry out your lips. It’s just not the best lip hydrator on the market. Instead, find a lip gloss or balm containing soothing ingredients like argan oil.
Question: Should I Wear Lipstick Instead?
Answer: Lipstick and lip gloss are ideal for different purposes, depending on your preferences and the look you want to achieve. Lip glosses have a thicker texture and are shiny. Lipsticks have better pigment and stay on for longer.
You can also reach for your lip gloss when you want a simple look and lipstick when you’re achieving an eye-popping look.
Rock the Best Lip Gloss Look
Lip glosses are simple, everyday makeup products. Simply swipe them on your lips for a lovely shine. There are all different types of lip gloss, from pigmented to plumping. Many lip glosses are also formulated with hydrating ingredients to prevent chapping. However, you should also prime your lips by exfoliating and moisturizing them with chapstick before applying lip gloss.
Do you need more help finding lip products? Read some of our recommendations.