Those high-shine lips look beautiful in magazines and on computer screens, but as I and many others have come to find, they don’t fare as well in real life. Gloop all over your coffee mug, trails of lip gloss clinging to both lips whilst you speak, messy stains that end up anywhere but on your lips – just a few of the lip gloss nightmares I have experienced. Here are a few tips (that I learned the hard way) to help you keep that glossy pucker on top form all day long.
Exfoliate before applying anything to your lips.
Gotta lay the foundations before building the house. Products don’t tend to adhere well to dry, lumpy skin – best to get rid of this layer of dead skin so that any lipstick or lip colours you use will apply more smoothly, which in turn gives the gloss a smoother base to sit on.
Use a lip primer before applying any lip products.
This is a step worth investing in, I promise. It’s easy to shrug this off – “nobody will notice my primer anyway”. Primer is like the behind-the-scenes guy who keeps the show running. On your face, he makes your contour and highlight pop. On your eyes, he gives your eyeshadow a neutral, unblemished base that brings out its colour and gives you better pigmentation. On your lips, he’ll make your lip gloss go from 240p to HD and guess what? Your lip colour lasts that extra bit longer too. Appreciate the behind-the-scenes guy.
Little cheat – if you don’t own a lip primer, try using a foundation instead but be aware that the colour of your lips may change – you might want to use a nude lipstick before applying gloss, if you’re going for the nude lip look.
Apply a translucent setting powder to the edges of your lips.
This serves as a barrier that stops your lip gloss from bleeding outside of your lip lines, especially into the corners of the lips. Avoid mixing the gloss and the powder – you’ll get clumpy lumps instead of a smooth outline.
Are you applying too much gloss?
Often the simplest but the most often overlooked solution to the problem. If you’re getting lots of glooping and stringiness no matter what you do, try using less product. Wipe the wand against the edge of the tube before applying to your lips, and avoid going over the same area again and again.
Invest in a high-quality formula.
In most cases, you get what you pay for. If the high shine look is what you want, bite the bullet and save up for a decent lip gloss with a formulation that is both non-sticky and non-drying. All tips and tricks aside, it’ll make a world of difference.
Admittedly, I grew out of my lip gloss phase a couple of years back. It was just a little too high maintenance for me, and I much prefer the feel of lipstick and the endless colours/textures I can play with. That being said, what goes around comes around (not in the karma sense). I might rekindle my lip gloss obsession flame one day, who knows? Until then, I hope these tips helped. Let me know in the comments if you have any favourite lip glosses, any lip gloss mishap stories or simply what you think of the whole glossy lips thing. You go girl.
P.S This post was also featured with minor edits on ithestylist.co.uk, a fashion and beauty website that I currently write for.