Even though I love a good matte lipstick, I’m a cream girl at heart. However, for years I avoided gloss like the plague. Growing up in the ‘00s, I think many of us were conditioned to believe that lipgloss is a sticky mess which will inevitably end up gluing your hair to your face.
Over the years, I’ve found myself being over the moon time and time again as I’ve realised how far the beauty industry has progressed away from this stick-tastic moment in time. While some brands are still fully on the thick, gloopy, sticky train, there are now amazing alternatives that have allowed gloss to really come back with a bang. Although, of course, some formulas are more sticky than others and people may prefer this type of gloss, there are many options to suit all occasions and desires. In this article, I’m going to be talking you though a selection of formulas so you can see which lip gloss is right for you – or which you should avoid. So, without further ado, let’s get into it…
FENTY BEAUTY GLOSS BOMB CREAM – £17
Albeit the newest addition to my gloss collection, the Fenty Beauty Gloss Bomb Creams instantly became one of my all-time favourite formulas with their effortless-to-apply nature. While I’ve seen a review stating that they find the formula to be thick and the smell off-putting, the majority of people have fallen in love with this product, and I actually find the gloss to be gorgeously thin, lightweight and smooth, with a really lovely and gentle peach and vanilla scent.
Providing a wash of buildable colour, the Gloss Bomb Creams glide onto the lips with no fuss whatsoever. Void of stickiness, they fade off the lips beautifully as the hours pass by, meaning they’re incredibly easy to reapply through the day.
As a new launch, there are only five shades currently available, but that hasn’t stopped Fenty from creating a range that includes an option for everybody no matter what your complexion requires. With stunning warm nudes, such as Honey Waffle and Cookie Jar, a beautiful mauve, aptly named Mauve Wives, a go-to classic everyday shade, Fenty Glow, and even a berry red, called Fruit Snackz, there’s an option for you no matter your preference or need. I can’t wait to see what other colours are released in the future!
For me: INVEST!
FENTY BEAUTY GLOSS BOMB UNIVERSAL LIP LUMINIZER – £17
I was seriously late to the Gloss Bomb train. For years I’ve heard people talk non-stop about the formula, with many saying it’s their unbeatable favourite, holy grail product. So what took me so long to try it myself? Despite the raving reviews and seeing the it look stunning on my friends with my own two eyes, there was a repeated conundrum that flowed throughout the opinions on the other side of the spectrum: lip peeling.
As we all know by now, I have extremely sensitive skin, and although it’s rare for me to react to makeup (as opposed to skincare), I struggle with a tendency to have sore, chapped lips, especially if I don’t protect them with good treatments (see The Best Hydrating Masks, Balms & Glosses To Combat Dry Lips to read more). Ultimately, the fact that lip peeling was a common problem found for many people with the original Gloss Bombs, I routinely favoured purchasing other products instead. When I went to buy the new Gloss Bomb Creams, I decided to pick up one of the originals and see for myself what the fuss was all about (funnily enough, Fu$$y was the shade I chose).
The original Gloss Bombs are undeniably stunning. Like the Cream formula, they glide onto the lips effortlessly, with no stickiness whatsoever. With a beautiful high-shine look, the shimmer woven throughout the formula glistens in the light and make your lips look saturated with moisture. However, within a minute, an uncomfortable tingly sensation crept in, which was definitely more sore rather than that given with mint. I kept the formula on for another 5 minutes, just to see if the sensation would die down, but it didn’t, and with not wanting to run the risk of suffering from peeling, I took it off. Plus, the scent is extremely sweet and doesn’t fade away on the lips quickly after application, which is a personal con of the product.
For me: Avoid, but if you don’t have sensitive skin, you’ll probably love this product.
PATRICK TA MAJOR GLOW LIP SHINE – £19
Sticking to shimmer formulas, the Patrick Ta Major Glow Lip Shines are my go-to. With a light minty sensation, these glosses have a stickier formula to the original Gloss Bombs by Fenty, but still maintains a lovely fine, lightweight and comfortable formula.
Perfect for layering on top of lip liners and lipsticks, as well as being beautiful all on their own, each of the three colour options have a clear gloss base with different shades of shimmer dispersed throughout, which doesn’t feel grainy on the lips (in fact, you can’t feel the shimmer at all). Currently, I own only one shade, She’s Expensive, the shimmer flecks of which are a combination of silver and neutral gold, working beautifully for both warm and cool toned looks.
From I’ve seen, there only seems to be a small distinction between each of the three shades when worn on the lips, but large enough to make a difference in whether or not the tone compliments your makeup. So, if you love neutral, warm and cool looks, I’d probably choose ‘She’s Expensive’. If you prefer warmer looks, you might prefer the peachy shade ‘Is She Younger Than Me?’. On the other hand, if you’re a cool-tone or pink lover, ‘She’s An Influencer’ might be your favourite option.
For me: Invest!
KYLIE COSMETICS ORIGINAL GLOSS – $15 / ROUGHLY £11
The original gloss formula by Kylie Cosmetics is by far my most tried and tested, and is a staple in my makeup collection. Providing a gorgeous cushioning look and feel to the lips, these do take a little bit of time and care into application.
Unlike the lighter, more sheer, Fenty Gloss Bomb Creams, Kylie’s formula is more traditional, being pigmented and thicker with a luxurious creamy texture. Because of this, instead of whooshing the formula on quickly, I place a little bit of product onto my lips and gently tap it all over. Two or three layers of doing this gives me the perfect look and prevents the product from looking too heavy, gloopy or uneven. As Kylie’s glosses come with a brush applicator, this method also helps to control product placement and volume. This technique is my go-to for all traditional-style glosses, rather than being unique to just Kylie’s formula, and I’d recommend this mode of application for all the classic glosses that I’m mentioning today.
Coming in a range of gorgeous everyday shades, my top two colours have to be So Cute, a neutral nude with a pink undertone, and Literally, a mid-tone neutral nude, and I wear these constantly, especially throughout the warmer months. The vanilla sweet scent is quite strong, but fades away almost immediately after application.
While they last really well on the lips, I wouldn’t recommend wearing Kylie’s original glosses if you’re about to eat because they will just come off – and, more often than not, doing so in a patchy way due to them having a tacky, but not sticky, formula. If you’re going out for a meal, or you know you’re going to be eating soon, I’d recommend a lighter gloss instead, such as the Fenty Beauty Gloss Bomb Creams. However, if you’re going out for drinks (not that we can at the moment, but hopefully you’ll understand my point!), the Kylie glosses will be perfect. Plus, you get a great amount of product for your money!
I’d just like to note that I haven’t yet tried any of the shades with shimmer running throughout.
For me: Invest!
NARS LIP GLOSS – £19
As the Kylie glosses can only be bought from the US at the current time, I know many people will want an alternative that’s available in the UK as well as elsewhere.
While the NARS Lip Glosses are less pigmented and have a slightly stickier texture, they’re a beautiful, classic product that just does the job, and does so well. With a decent amount of product in the tube, the packaging is simple, sleek and just as high-end feeling as you’d expect from NARS and there’s a great range of shades which are perfect for everyday wear too. Again, like the Kylie glosses, I haven’t tried any of the options with shimmer running throughout, but rather have currently stuck to purely the classic formula.
Unlike Kylie’s brush applicator, NARS opted for a dense, but small, doe-foot applicator which makes product placement easy to control and manipulate. However, as with most classic glosses, I always apply them in the aforementioned way to ensure the product looks as beautiful and neat as possible.
For me: Invest.
CHARLOTTE TILBURY LIP LUSTRE – £19
Charlotte Tilbury is known for offering fantastic, luxurious products. However, for me, while her Lip Lustres are good, I was bewildered at how little the component was when I received it – and that feeling hasn’t subsided with time.
Being nearly half the size of the NARS component despite having the same price point – bearing in mind Kylie Cosmetics’ provide more product than NARS in their gloss components, even though they’re roughly £8 cheaper – is confusing. And I’m not sure how it’s justified given that the formulas seem to be so similar too, with Charlotte Tilbury’s being ever-so-slightly less sticky. I want to stress – the Lip Lustre’s are not a bad product – they work well, and the colours are lovely – it’s just that I personally believe that there should be more product given the price. What’s more, unfortunately, my component wasn’t even full when I received it.
Charlotte Tilbury is one of my favourite brands, and some of their products are fail-safes in my collection. However, I also believe strongly in value for money, and I really think they can revisit the Lip Lustres and guide them towards this sentiment.
For me: Avoid (sorry, Charlotte).
CHARLOTTE TILBURY COLLAGEN LIP BATH – £25
If you really want a Charlotte Tilbury gloss, the Collagen Lip Bath is probably the formula you should go for out of what they have on offer. Coming in quite a large component, this sheer gloss comes in a range of shades that provide your lips with subtle hues of colour. Out of all the glosses I’m talking about today, these are the thickest and stickiest – and while this kind of formula isn’t my favourite, they do have a time and place.
As they are sheer, they’re super simple to apply, but I’ve found that they do need to be patted out across your lips with your fingertip a little for the best look and feel. With a minty sensation that lasts for quite some time, I personally don’t find these glosses to be plumping, despite the fact that this was what it was marketed to be. For me, this isn’t a problem at all, as even though I don’t specifically know how lip plumpers work in detail, I don’t particularly like the idea of them given that they’re supposed to cause blood to rush to your lips! In terms of how they fade over time – as the hours past by, they kind of convert from a gloss to more of a tacky balm consistency which you may prefer to remove before reapplying a fresh layer of product.
The heart-shaped applicator does make it difficult to get the wand out of the tube – but please don’t worry, it won’t break! At least, mine hasn’t broken!
For me: Invest if you’re after a stickier, tackier gloss, but avoid if not.
NARS OIL-INFUSED LIP TINT – £23
Despite being yet another sheer formula (I’m sorry! But they’re the best!), the NARS Oil-Infused Lip Tints are a fantastic option, with the shade Reef being a firm favourite of mine, always being on hand for a quick fix of hydration and moisture. If you love the ‘wet look’, this is a product for you. Providing a very subtle tint of colour to the lips, these are also perfect for people who love natural makeup or who want to get the job done well but quickly too.
With a no-fuss formula infused with beautifully fine shimmer, this gloss glides on the lips and is perfect and ready-to-go within seconds. With no stickiness, the texture is smooth, fine and soft. Coming in a small handful of shades, I really hope that NARS extend the range as soon as possible!
For me: INVEST!
Which gloss formula is your go-to? Or have you been inspired to try a new formula? Leave a comment below and let me know. As always, if you’ve got any articles you’d like me to write, any topics you’d like me to cover, or you want me to review a product I haven’t yet – no matter what your idea is – please don’t hesitate to say!
Love, Tori x