Lip gloss is one of those items that can take you straight back to the Nineties – a time when all the make-up know-how you needed was the ability to apply a slick of sticky, glittery, berry-flavored gloss to your mouth. And now it’s back – and luckily, it’s had an adult update.
One of the best things about lip gloss is just how easy it is to use. Unlike some of the more complicated beauty trends of the moment – looking at you, contouring – all you have to do is swish it on your lips in a vaguely neat way. And don’t worry, formulas have moved on since the 1990s – you shouldn’t have your hair sticking to your lips quite so often.
Pale and Interesting
Two decades ago, the idea of lip gloss giving you a ‘no make-up make-up’ look would have been practically inconceivable. Now, it’s very much on-trend. Instead of going for a crazy color or sticky finish, opt for a shade that suits your natural lip shade and gives it a softer, natural look.
Depending on your skin tone, gentle rosy pinks and peach colors work well, making your lips look polished and dewy – like you’ve just rolled out of bed, in a good way.
The key to this look – and when applying any lip gloss – is preparation. “Ensure your lips are well-prepped by using an exfoliator first to get rid of any dryness,” explains Sascha Jackson, lead make-up artist at Stila UK. “If you are using a nude or semi-transparent gloss, I recommend using a lip liner close to your natural lip color just to create shape.”
Once you’ve mastered paler shades, you’ll be ready to graduate to a glass finish; a lip gloss with an extra-shiny, almost mirror-like look to it.
“This is a slightly wet look all over, which gives a healthy and youthful appearance,” explains make-up artist Stacey Whittaker.
“This particular look is popular on runways and creates an editorial feel. My top tip for applying gloss is that a little goes a long way,” she adds. “Apply a small amount to the centre of your lips and use your finger to carefully blend this towards the outer corners.”
With an ultra-glossy lip, it can be hard to know what to do with the rest of your make-up. “I like to team this with a glossy or creamy finish on the cheeks, but then a matte or suede eye,” notes Jackson. “The difference in textures really complement each other.”
Plump It Up
If you’re not keen on injectables or other enhancements, there are plenty of products on the market that offer a non-surgical plump-up – all you have to do is swipe on some lippy. In fact, the phrase ‘plumping lip gloss’ has seen a 45% increase in searches this past year.
These kinds of lip glosses tend to include tingle-inducing hyaluronic acid, a beloved skincare ingredient often used to help with hydration – and better hydrated lips can mean a bouncier, fuller pout.
Jackson is a particular fan of Stila Beauty Boss Lip Gloss, saying: “It’s enriched with hyaluronic filling spheres which naturally smooth and give a more plump appearance. The pigments are incredible, which means you don’t have to layer lipstick underneath to get a good color.”
For a really modern look, pair this with a directional, graphic eye look. A swipe of white eyeliner is the difference between “current” and “2000-and-late”.