I don't understand lip gloss. I want to like it, but I am always disappointed. When I 'graduated' from lip balm, I went straight to lipstick. Lip gloss did not even reach my level of consciousness, even though to be fair, the lipstick I chose was a sheer formulation without much pigment, a good starter shade. It simply did not occur to me to even consider gloss, and the counter ladies were not pushing it at me. Could it be timing? It seems that lip gloss did not reach mass media hysteria until after the mid 90s.
In all the years that followed, I stayed with lipstick, sometimes sheer, sometimes matte. I'd occasionally pick up a gloss, though I can count on one hand the number I bought in those 10-15 years. But I never wore it and would end up throwing it away. It was not until after I discovered Makeup Alley and online reviews and swatches a few years ago that I renewed my my efforts to feel the love. There are so many gorgeous colors, made all the more alluring by the fact that I could see the color through the tube.
New collections come out and I want. And occasionally I buy. And invariably I am disappointed. I have several Edward Bess glosses and Chanel Glossimer, as well some by Prescriptives, Rouge Bunny Rouge, MAC, Becca, Revlon, Smashbox, Laura Mercier, Trish McEvoy, Fusion Beauty, and others, but I never reach for them.
When I apply color to my lips, I want to apply it end to end, completely within the lines, filling up my entire mouth. I make my sandwiches that way, too. Condiments must be spread edge to edge! I just cannot do that with gloss, no matter how pigmented.
Perhaps I am going about it all wrong, but here is what I don't care for about glosses:
- Sticky goop and glop, especially buildup in the corner of my mouth.
- The weird shiny thing that happens at the top of my Cupid's bow, which makes it look like I'd just finished slurping down a greasy fried chicken.
- The joy of walking down a city street only to have my lips sandblasted by street grit.
- The way it feels: tacky, like an impermeable shield that suffocates my mouth.
- The painful cracked feeling on my lips after wearing certain gloss brands all day. Some of the formulations feel like they contain fiberglass.
- The fact that the finish is mirror shiny when I am more comfortable with a cream, satin, or matte finish.
I also don't get the point of applying lip gloss just to the center of my mouth. All that does is cause unsightly stains on my coffee cup and make my lipstick wear off faster. If I want a dewy appearance, I'll wear a sheer and glossy lipstick, like my version of gloss:
- Chantecaille Lip Chic
- Chanel Rouge Coco Shine
- Rouge Bunny Rouge Succulence of Dew Sheer Lipstick
- Clinique Butter Shine
- Guerlain Rouge Automatique (some are quite sheer)
- Lancome L'Absolu Nu
- Laura Mercier Gel Lip Colour
- MAC Lustre (though this formula really beats up my lips)
Which are you?