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The Ultimate Guide to Lip Gloss

April 25, 2018

Let’s talk about lip gloss! You may think of it as that sticky stuff you used to lather onto your lips—along with way too much frosted blue eye shadow—but there’s a lot more to it. Namely, nowadays you can find formulas that aren’t terribly tacky. Rejoice! Since we have a feeling you could use a refresher on everything there is to know about lip gloss, we’re sharing our ultimate guide on this lip color favorite. (In case you’re wondering, we already covered your other favorite, in The Ultimate Guide to Lipstick.) So, read on to upgrade your makeup knowledge—and play up your pout while you’re at it.


Lip glosses are known for being ultra-glossy (duh) and full of shimmer, but that isn’t the only way they come. Check out the most common lip gloss finishes to get a better idea.

Sheer Lip Gloss

Lip glosses often provide a light wash of color, or are clear, making them perfect for topping off a lipstick that packs a more colorful punch.

Pigmented Lip Gloss

If you aren’t a fan of layering, lip glosses can be super-pigmented, too. Free of shimmer, but just as shiny as any other lip gloss, they provide bold color that isn’t quite as long-lasting as a lipstick.

Shimmer Lip Gloss

You know the deal! Packed with fine-milled shimmer, this type of lip gloss was an early 2000s staple.

Glitter Lip Gloss

Remember, shimmer and glitter are different. Lip glosses also come with chunkier glitter in the formula, making for an extra sparkly lip.

Matte Lip Gloss

Matte and lip gloss may not seem like they go together, but they can. Lip glosses actually come in matte finishes!


Ready to get glossy? Here are our best lip glosses:

L’Oréal Paris Colour Riche Le Gloss: Available in a wide range of colors and finishes, this classic lip gloss is a go-to. Just squeeze a little out of the tube and smooth it over your lips. You’ll love the formula, which contains argan oil.

L’Oréal Paris Infallible 8 HR Le Gloss: Not every lip gloss wears away in a matter of minutes. They can be long-wearing, too! Apply any of the pretty, sheer shades and don’t worry about reapplying anytime soon.

L’Oréal Paris Infallible Pro-Matte Gloss: Here’s proof that matte lip glosses exist! If you’re looking to expand your lip gloss collection, as you should be, this velvet matte finish is a must.


Thankfully, applying lip gloss is nowhere near as complicated as mastering lipstick or lip liner. You’ve got this! Whether you lip gloss of choice has a wand or comes in a tube, application is the same. Start at the center of your lips, and work towards the outer edges of your pout. When there’s enough product on your lips, rub them together to make sure the gloss is evenly distributed. Ta-da.


Now that we’ve covered all the basics of wearing and applying lip gloss, we want to make sure you’re taking full advantage of this lip makeup product. As it turns out, it isn’t just for giving your pout a sheen! Keep these lip gloss hacks in mind next time your coating your lips:

1. Temporarily “plump” your lips

As of late, everyone wants bigger lips. To give yourself the appearance of a plumped out, place a bit of lip gloss only on the centers of your upper and lower lip. Much easier than mastering how to overline your lips.

2. Get glossy eyelids

Your lips aren’t the only spot that can look good with a glossy sheen. Glossy eyelids are a beauty trend, too. Dab a little bit of a clear, eye-safe lip gloss onto your lids to look editorial ready.

3. Use lip gloss as a base for layering

We already mentioned layering lip gloss over lipstick, but lip gloss can also serve as the base of your lip look! If you have a beautiful loose powder pigment (one that’s lip safe, of course) to put to use, try applying it over top of your lip gloss—or mix the two together.

Next up: The Ultimate Guide to Eyeliner.

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