Once getting through my sixth form concealer-on-the-lips phase (face it, we all went there), my priority became finding the perfect matte nude lipstick that complemented my favourite go-to brown smokey eye, stayed put all day, and yet didn’t dry out the lips. And ever since, I’ve been a velvet/comfort matte stan; lip glosses never welcome.
As a millennial, this makes sense. As mentioned, I lived through the era of super-dry, pale lips, and matte has always reigned supreme. But since working with more and more Gen-Zers (our content creator Hannah, for example) and becoming an absolute TikTok addict, my mind has been re-opened to the world of glosses.
That modern Gen Z aesthetic often aligns itself with super-healthy, glossy finishes, heavily featuring the humble lip gloss. Gloss can make things look fresh, youthful and cool, something mattes sometimes fail to do.
Also, as someone with eternally dry lips, gloss is undeniably a preferable formula. It keeps things a little more moisturised and smooth, and prevents flaking, product clinging and the dreaded *lip crust*.
So where to start if you’re new to the world of glosses? Here are a few of my favourites I guarantee you are totally non-sticky and feel great on the lips. Most are neutrals (this is all I tend to wear!), but this means they work excellently alone or over your favourite lipstick.
Maybelline Lifter Gloss Plumping Lip Gloss in ‘Stone’, £8.99
This is the product responsible for my gloss revival. It’s non-sticky and feels more like a lip oil/balm, and as well as looking great, helps to moisturise lips and prevent the dreaded dry flaking.
For me, ‘Stone’ is the perfect hue, but there are some other corkers in the pack, most of which offer ‘your lips but better’ vibes. This one is non-glittery and looks exceptional patted over your favourite nude lipstick.
What’s more, with so many boujee options out there, this £8.99 gloss will save you all the pennies while still being comparable to products three times its price.
Fenty Beauty Gloss Bomb Universal Lip Luminizer in ‘Fenty Glow’, £18
The OG and still one of the best, Rihanna’s first foray into lip products saw Fenty create this universally-flattering gloss, which feels nothing like a gloss. It’s super smooth when it applies and glides on like a total dream.
Gloss Bomb also has a delicious smell and huge, soft doe-foot applicator, both of which make using it even lovelier.
This gloss now comes in a great range of other shades, but IMO you can’t beat the classic.
Vieve Lip Dew in ‘Rosa’, £17
Vieve’s Lip Dew is the perfect hybrid gloss/lip oil product that takes care of the lips while also boosting their appearance. It features nourishing ingredients like raspberry seed oil, camellia oil and vitamin E so lips are kept soft and supple, and gives a sheer, subtle wash of colour, making it ideal for adding a hit of shine onto your favourite matte lip product.
This comes in four hues, from a clear gold to a pretty pink.
Victoria Beckham Posh Gloss in ‘Poolside’, £28
The priciest of the bunch but lovely if you’re in the market for a treat, VBB’s offering offers a super high-shine finish, so it’s the one to go for if you want to really embrace the gloss.
The thing I love most about these is the level of pigment; each shade has a real colour pay-off and looks the same on the lips as it does in the tube. This is rare, with many tinted glosses coming out clear.
My fave shade is ‘Poolside’, which is a pink-hued brown that looks excellent alone, even with nothing underneath. It suits a range of skin tones and works beautifully with a pared-down makeup look.