Ah, lipgloss. That sticky little tube of teenage nostalgia that took pride of place in your pencil case alongside your smelly gel pens, Tamagotchi and clandestine classroom notes. A slick of the slimy stuff was all you needed to be school disco sensational, and you didn’t even care if the glue like texture cemented your breaktime snack to your lips for the rest of the day. Boys love crisps, so all the better if they’re stuck on your mouth anyway non? If lacquered lips brought you one step closer to actually being Britney, getting most of the hair on your head stuck to your mouth during afternoon games seemed like a small price to pay.
Fast forward to womanhood and sensible maturity and chances are things have gone a bit matte. Just on the lip front mind; your skin is dewy and gleaming, your nails nude yet sheeny and you’ve embraced a metallic eye from time to time. Your mouth, however, is rarely high shine, but that could all be about to change if the coming season’s catwalks are anything to go by. Granted, real life is no runway, but achievable, flattering trends that won’t scare the neighbours do normally filter down (shout out to low maintenance bushy brows), and it’s about time we had a volume boosting, moisture preserving lipgloss resurgence. You don’t even absolutely have to wear it on your lips if you don’t want to; get your hands on a cheap, clear vial of vinyl and gloss up everything from eyelids to brows to cheekbones in the manner of a top model. In the words of the beauty oracles at MAC cosmetics , ‘it’s time to widen your beauty horizons’. Winter is coming, and strengthening your reserves for the new season needn’t be a generic, military operation, as MAC director of makeup artistry Terry Barber emphasises:
“Makeup doesn’t have to look ‘strong’ to be powerful. Gloss, very fine applications and non-generic eyeliner, from full to thick, can all have such an impact. Anything goes.”
“Strengthening the face can be through a pink blusher, bronzer or mascara as much as a razor sharp contour. It’s about tweaks that bring a sharpness to the features. Like a beautifully well-cut garment, makeup should be tailored to a perfect fit.”
One of MAC artists’ backstage essentials was a plumping, light pink gloss, but as Terry makes clear, there are infinite ways to shine. Whether you want to pucker up patent style as at Rag & Bone, hark back to SS15’s cool pink lips at Giambattista Valli or you know, put it in your eyebrows as at Christopher Kane AW15, there’s no definitive way to wear gloss in the coming months. Just do it, but keep the brights for your mouth. Fuschia brows never flattered anyone.
My top 5 modern glosses
Urban Decay Revolution High Color Lipgloss
As is often the case with Urban Decay, the very names of these incredibly pigmented glosses indicate that they’re not for children. Kinky is actually quite subtle and wearable, but for various reasons you may want to keep it away from the little girls in your life, if only because it’s so brilliant. Creamy but not too cloying, it conditions delicate and even chapped lips as it frankly knocks off the socks of many of its competition in the colour stakes. It’s bold, even and long lasting, which is where many glosses fall down, and there’s a shade to suit every skintone and occasion, from business meetings to after-dark shenanigans. For the former, Liar should do nicely (no reflection on your professional conduct), and for the latter, whip out Vice or Assassin.
Urban Decay Revolution High Color Lipgloss , £15
MAC Vamplify Collection
Another super saturated colour option, these sleek, chic tubes are loaded with the likes of coconut, sweet almond, sesame and avocado oils, so basically they’re a smoothie for your lips in more ways than one. An impressive array of reds, rusts and neutrals mean that they’ll fit in well with your daily wardrobe, with a few party pieces in the form of purple She-Rebel and orange Push Some Buttons to keep things playful and well, vampy. They last well and fade out almost like a lipstick. This is lacquer for ladies.
MAC Vamplify gloss , £18
Lipstick Queen Seven Deadly Sins
Lipgloss and naughtiness now seem synonymous; gone are the days of bubblegum innocence. These seven are only baddies by name, however, although you might get a kick out of painting on Avarice before a pay review. It’s wise not to dabble with this lot until you’re of age, if not only for the price point, but also because the shade range is decidely sophisticated (think silky wines and seductive reds), and the ingredients go far beyond what you’ll find in the playground. Inspired by skin serums, the texture is light and the formula boasts free radical fighting antioxidants and apparently firming black soybean.
Lipstick Queen Seven Deadly Sins, £22 each, launching September at SpaceNK
Rimmel Oh My Gloss Clear Lip Gloss
If you’re looking for a shiny multitasker, this is the one. Comfortable to wear with impressive ‘stay put’ credentials for the pocket money price, this staple gloss not only enhances your natural lip colour and texture but it’s also bang on trend for taming eyebrows, creating cut glass cheekbones and adding a glimmer to eyes, whether you layer it with colour or not. The likes of Nina Ricci would applaud you for being so fashion forward.
Rimmel Oh My Gloss Clear Lip Gloss , £5.49
Clinique Superbalm Moisturizing Gloss
The very name of this product evokes some kind of superhero, and it does create the impression of sleek lycra, with a lot more going on underneath, as it the case with your average comic book big shot. On a surface level it leaves behind mirror-like shine, zero gunk and beautiful, natural looking colour, while from a skincare point of view it makes lips feel a whole lot healthier, no matter how harsh and biting winds become. You can leave your glitter at the door; this is where gloss is at.
Clinique Superbalm Moisturizing Gloss , £16.50
Are you ready to go back to gloss, or did you never give it up in the first place? Comment below or tweet us @GetTheGloss
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