I’m not a lipstick person. I used to be, back in the 90s. But after I had Sarah I started hating that when I kissed her baby-soft cheeks I’d leave a red stamp. So what, you may say, get long-lasting/non-transfer lipstick. And that’s what I did at first, carefully picking a perfect shade… and hating it. Because I tend to have dry lips, and long-lasting lipsticks only made it worse.
To avoid the dry lips, I always carried lip balm, and once a week dabbed almond oil over my lips after my face scrub. And then one day I found something wonderful: a jojoba-enriched lipgloss that left my lips perfectly soft, while adding a touch of color. Hurray, no more bare lips! And that’s where my love affair with lip gloss began. To this day, I have a hard time not reaching for any and all new lipglosses I see at the store and popping one or two in my basket. But I’m very picky, so of the many (at least 30 in the past couple of years) lip glosses I have tried, only a handful made it into the makeup shopping list. These are the ones.
1. Lavera lipgloss: the one that started it all. Vitamin E and Jojoba Oil make this a real treat for your lips, and crushed minerals add color. Lavera is a German brand of beauty skincare and makeup that is completely natural and paraben-free. It’s extremely popular in Switzerland and Germany, where it is sold in health food stores. Here in the US you can find this lipgloss and a wide range of natural makeup on the Lavera site, as well as on a few websites specializing on natural makeup.
It is also sold on the Target website so I assume it’s available at select Target stores, though I haven’t been able to find it and either one of the Targets near me.
It’s priced between $14.99 and $16, for 0.21 oz.
2. Buxom Babes by Bare Escentuals: a wide range of great colors, a light plumping effect and nice packaging make this the perfect ligloss to pop in your purse. It’s not too sticky, it smells nice (sorty of minty) and the plumping effect is not unpleasant. It also has a touch of shimmer. I love it!
I think Sephora has the biggest selection as far as shades go, but it’s also available at Amazon, Ulta and of course on the Bare Escentuals website. It’s priced at $18 for 0.15 oz.
3. Alba clear lipgloss: This is a great everyday lipgloss. It’s clear, so you can use it on its own or on top of your favorite lipstick, for a glossy finish. I pop it in my pocket when I take the girls to the park or when I’m attending an informal lunch – it’s great to use as you would a lip balm, because of how nourishing it is (Alba is botanic-based, and the emollients in this lip gloss are certified organic.) I love that it’s free of artificial colors, petrolatum, mineral oil, phthalates or parabens. I get mine at Whole Foods, but Lately I’ve also seen it at Target an on Amazon. It’s priced between $3 and $5, for 0.42 oz.
4. Alima Pure nourishing lip balm: They don’t call this a lip gloss, but when applied, the effect is the same: it feels soft and it’s shiny, with a hint of gloss. It’s very nourishing, and it doesn’t rub off as easily as most glosses. It contains a variety of great oils, and it comes in really lovely, natural-looking colors, that will look especially nice with the sun-kissed glow you get in summer (or year-round, with bronzer or Dianthus). It’s available at Alima Pure, where you can get a full-size tube (o.15 oz) for $5.25 or a sample size for $1 (so you can try several colors!)
5. Juicy Tubes by Lancome: the lip gloss par excellence. If this was a natural lip gloss it would probably be my absolute favorite. It’s not natural, but it’s really a fantastic gloss, so it’s one of the few mainstream make-up products I still use. Juicy Tubes is one of those things you don’t see what the big deal is about… until you try it. (Possibly in a flattering color.) The texture is perfect, the gloss isn’t too sticky, it has just the right amount of color and just the right amount of shine. It’s PERFECT. You can find it anywhere Lancôme is sold, including (but not limited to) Nordstrom, Macy’s, Saks, Sephora, but I tend to order from the Lancôme website because they have the classic version, not just the more recent ones like the Smoothie, Jelly and other more recent versions. Thought I have to admit the new Juicy Tubes Pure are intriguing and I’m about to order a couple. Juicy Tubes are priced at $18.
6. PureGloss by Jane Iredale: Jane Iredale make up is popular among people who like high-quality cosmetics but look for products that contain as few synthetic ingredients as possible. It is also the favorite of many dermatologists because it’s very gentle on the skin. I haven’t tried the mineral makeup, but I currently own PureGloss in two shades and use them often. It has a very nice texture, and the color is rich without being over the top. This gloss is extremely nourishing, so if you have very dry or chapped lips, this is the one I’d get (or the Lavera). It’s available at SpaLook, as well as on several minor online stores and many dermatologists’ offices, and it used to be available also at Jane Iredale, but I guess they are not selling dirently from their website anymore
PureGloss is priced between $18 and $21 for 0.17 oz.
7. C Me Blush by Yes To Carrots: this is technically not a gloss, but I included it here because I use it the same way as the Alba Botanica clear gloss. I was really happy with this product, because I finally found what I was expecting when I tried several other tinted lip balms before: a hint of color, that still looks natural, not too matte but really shiny, and a non-drying formula. Burt’s Bees tried to do this and the results were less than impressive, so I was happy that Yes To Carrots got it right! I have this in Coral Sunshine, which is a really nice shade when applied: sort of a nude with a peachy tone. Flattering, low-maintenance and a nice affordable alternative for those who like natural and botanic-based cosmetics (it’s also paraben-free). It’s available at Drugstore.com and I recently found it at a Target near me. It’s priced at just under $5 for 0.09 oz.
Do you use lip gloss? Do you have a favorite? Please share below – I’m always open to trying new ones