I’ve learned the hard way about a lot of very, *very* important things on my journey from teenville to womanhood. Things like: fake tan trauma is legit; false eyelashes are only acceptable in the hours either side of nine to five; and getting bangs is a great idea until it’s not. That last one is almost instantaneous, and it is brutal. But there’s one element of the beauty world that continues to evade me: the very daunting and very complicated world of the lip gloss.

When it comes to lip gloss, I am basically Napoleon Dynamite. In fact, the only lip product I remain faithful to is my strawberry Carmex (til’ death do us part). The concept of wearing something ‘glossy’ on my mouth well into my twenty-somethings makes me uncomfortable. Not unlike the first time I saw my Grandfather in budgy smugglers, lip gloss feels awkward and unnecessary. Most experiences have left me perennially sticky and ticked off that I dropped good coin just to wind up eat bugs (I literally ate a flying ant one time when it kamikaze’d onto my heavily lacquered lips). So, if not for my sake, then for the bug’s, I decided to put a bunch of hella-hyped glosses through the wringer to determine, once and for all, which ones can walk the walk.

Clarins Instant Light Lip Comfort Oil


Every girl just wants to hear those three little words. Treat. Yo’. Self. This beauty from Clarins is tiny and adorable and looks good enough to pour over your Sunday pancakes. Personally, my favourite part is the applicator, which is so wonderfully disproportionate I was sure I’d broken it the first time I used it. Big, juicy, and kind of like a cashmere cushion for your lips. It’s lush AF.  Sit back, relax, and let your pout take a well-deserved vay-cay.


Stila Stay All Day Liquid Lipstick


This is the stuff Kylie Jenner’s dreams are made of. I often find myself pining over the $40 I dropped on one of her lip kits and the subsequent hours of my life I wasted trying to get it off. But you, Stila? You can Stay All Day and night for all I care. This stuff is smoother than Clooney, requires no lip liner shenanigans, and won’t shatter when you crack a smile. Perfect for the times you need to go from zero to hero (quickly). Like, say, when you’re hung, sleep through your alarm, and have to rely on Uber to get you to work (sans shower) once more.


NYX Soft Matte Lip Cream


Soft. Matte. Lip. Cream. Even the name just feels right. It’s like the beloved Lip Smacker grew up and blossomed. Extremely lightweight and surprisingly resilient (read: survived the Big Mac test), it’s creamy on application but mattifies as it sets and doesn’t budge, smudge, or dry your lips out. Big props for the extensive colour range (we humans love options).


Bliss Long Glossed Love Glossy Lip Stain


This stuff was made for adulting. It nails the otherwise unattainable super-shiny-non-sticky-long-lasting vibe, and you don’t need to waste precious brain power remembering to reapply it. It’s a stain as well as a gloss, so, just like those extra kg’s you accumulate at Christmas, it’ll stick around for much longer than you bargained for.  Maximum effect with minimum effort gets a big ol’ YAAASS from me. Make friends with this guy if you’re the kind of lady who wants a little more bang for her buck.


Bobbi Brown Lip Gloss


Bobbi is just here to get the job done and then get the hell out. Simple and effective, just like the name, this stuff gets straight to the point.  The high shine formula is jam-packed with all the good stuff: jojoba and avo oils for immediate hydration, plus vit C and E, and a little bit of aloe to keep your lips feelin’ fancy. For a low-key lewk, I stick to the ‘Almost’ colour range (Almost Nude, Almost Pink etcetera), or go totally rogue with Hollywood Red for a perfectly grown up gloss.



Perricone MD Cosmeceuticals No Lipgloss Lipgloss


I’ve kissed a lot of toads to get to this prince. And it was worth every smooch, believe me. No Lipgloss Lipgloss is some kind of sorcery and every bit as important as “Perricone MD Cosmeceuticals” sounds. It spreads like butter, sticks to absolutely nothing, and makes your lips look so good they could out-pout Bella Hadid’s (for a fraction of the price). This baby is packed with neuropeptides, which are scientifically formulated to bring out the natural youthful colour and definition of your lip contour. You can wear it under or over your lipstick, and it’s SPF 15+. I don’t know much about this Dr. Perricone guy, but I’ll do whatever he tells me to do, because his stuff is legit.


Words, Cassandra Wait-Hughes. Photography, Ana Tañedo.