Trends, much like old boyfriends, seem to cycle year after year beyond the grasp of logic. We wear them, we get sick of them, we look at the pictures and regret them...and 7 to 10 years later, we forget why we dumped them in the first place and give it another go. Re-enter lip gloss.
That shiny, goopy lip product marketed as lipstick's younger sister had a moment even out of the Bonne Bell bins in the early aughts. Pop stars wore them in all shades (and by all shades I mostly mean all shades of frosty) from magazine covers to the red carpet. It felt young and fresh, but still classy.
Mandy Moore rocking her ice pink shiny pout with some sick chunky highlights.
Eh. But no. Right along with heavy-handed highlights and halter tops, the romance with lip gloss eventually ended. We got over its reflective shine; the way your hair always gets stuck to your lips even when there's no wind; that uncanny ability it has to somehow make your lips look smaller and sort of not like lips at all. And for the last several years, our affinity for shine has been on a sharp downward trend, back to lipstick, to the satins, to the mattes and the ultramattes.
But now, in a reactionary reversal, gloss is somehow making its way back into the popular beauty sphere. Beauty brands like ColourPop and Kylie Cosmetics, the reigning queens of lip color that made their way to the top via killer matte selections, are now hawking lines of the sticky stuff. And granted, their formulas are better, lighter, less...well, wet. People are layering them over super-pigmented colors rather than just globbing pale shine onto their mouths.
ColourPop Fairy Floss Ultra Glossy
But outside of expert-applied and professionally photographed product pics, it's hard to get it right. If you have thin lips, gloss tends to emphasize that; if you have full lips, it tends to just be a bigger canvas for messy, wet-looking mouth oil. Not to mention the way it so viscerally brings back memories of middle school, which, truly, who wants that?
Look, as with any trend, my firm belief is that everyone should be free to try anything that feels right. Blue lipstick? Red eyeliner? Knock yourself out. You are art. I'm just saying, don't go spending $30 on some fancy designer lip gloss. And definitely don't get down on yourself if you can't make it work, because we all know the Kardashian-Jenners have a secret armory of alchemic tools to make weird trends look good. Not unlike the tricks known to food photography stylists.
And when you're sick of your hair getting stuck to your mouth, your rich mattes will be awaiting you with open arms.