Lip Gloss Overview

lip gloss

Used alone or with lipstick, lip gloss can enhance any makeup style.

What is Lip Gloss?

Lip gloss is a cosmetic product used to add shine and a small amount of color to the lips. It may be in liquid form or an easy-to-apply solid. Glosses are typically shiny, but they can also have a glittery, opalescent, or metallic finish along with the shine. Typically, liquid forms of gloss provide a bit more shine than solids because they add a thicker layer of cosmetic to the lips. Due to the subdued colors, it is often one of the first makeup products young girls sample. Some glosses are even flavored, especially those catering to this younger clientele. However, women of all ages enjoy a good gloss.


  • It's great for adding shine.
  • You can use it alone or pair it with a favorite lipstick.
  • Gloss is the perfect introduction to lip color for teen girls.
  • You can skip the lip liner.
  • It's easy to reapply and handy to carry around.
  • Gloss is available in a variety of fun colors and tastes.
  • There are many inexpensive brands available.
  • It's fun and flirty.
  • Gloss can be found in just about any store, from Wal-Mart to high-end department stores.
  • Many glosses can also moisturize your lips.
  • Gloss enhances the fullness of your lips.


  • Sticky lips make the wind your enemy as every flyaway hair becomes plastered to your face.
  • You're almost guaranteed to leave your mark on every cheek and coffee cup your lips touch.
  • In the professional world, shine can look immature rather than polished.
  • Lip gloss rarely provides deep, intense colors.

It should be noted that most of these disadvantages may be avoided by purchasing high-quality lip gloss brands.


The container and consistency determine the application method for lip gloss. Many liquid lip glosses come in a tube with a foam wand. Some containers have a rolling ball at the top that glides over your lips. Other tubes are made to be squeezed and the lip gloss comes out through a small hole at the top of the tube. You can then apply the gloss with your fingers or use the flat surface at the top of the tube to smooth it over your lips. Solid glosses in pots and compacts are applied with a clean finger or a small brush.

Gloss doesn't usually allow for precise application, so you'll need to be careful to stay within the lip line. You want a fresh, dewy look; you don't want to look like you forgot to wipe your mouth after eating ice cream.

You can also apply gloss over lipstick to add shine. This creates subtle variations in the color of your base lipstick, so it's almost like adding a completely new color to your repertoire. If you don't want too much shine, add just a small touch to the center of your lips for a sexy pout.

The shine of gloss will make lips appear fuller. Women who already enjoy full lips may want to use gloss sparingly for this reason.


Most cosmetic lines include at least some form of gloss, although they may use another term for the product, like "lip glaze." A few of the available brands include:

Gloss vs. Balm

There's a fine line between a gloss and a balm. Lip balms are designed to protect and moisturize the lips. However, they provide the same shine as a gloss and sometimes they add a hint of color to the lips. Gloss can also moisturize and may contain sunscreen or other protective elements common in a lip balm.

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Lip Gloss Overview