Lip Gloss Is Wack

It looks so good on you guys, but not on me.

Image: Bloody Marty

It’s Glossier launch day today for their new lip gloss. I’m not here to write a thinkpiece about Glossier, because I do think there’s something really captivating about that company and I am a full and willing participant in its social experiments. In fact, I will probably purchase this new fourteen-dollar lip gloss, if only just to try it, because it’s been very well marketed and I trust that they’ve made some tweaks to the formula that will show they really pay attention when it comes to developing new products that improve on old favorites.

THAT SAID, I will almost certainly not like it, and that is because Lip Gloss Is Not My Thing. I love a matte lip, my ideal is a rosy lip stain (All hail Benetint), but shiny sticky lips have never felt or looked good on me. I realize that part of the fun of trying out beauty products is the array of colors and formulas. There are approximately eight thousand “finishes” for lip colors, nevermind the five dozen formulas (stick, crayon, pot, stain, liquid, pencil, gloop). Have you ever tried to buy housepaint? There are all these different levels of “sheen”: flat, eggshell, satin, semi-gloss, high gloss. It’s like that but criminally worse.

Lip gloss is sticky as hell. It’s like painting corn syrup onto your lips, which feels wonderful and luxurious until you have to do literally anything but pose for a camera. Whatever you do, do not allow your hair anywhere near your face. You cannot wear lip gloss on a windy day. In fact you can barely wear lip gloss outside. Just stay inside and don’t move. Definitely don’t try to drink any beverages with lids or rims or eat anything with sprinkles. Don’t even think about kissing anyone, and don’t bite your lip or scratch any part of your lower face. Wearing lip gloss is like walking around with wet nails just after you got a manicure. Except it never dries, and instead it just sort of fades away and leaves a sticky residue on your face. What’s the point?

To get “That Wet Look™,” I guess (subscribe to Claire Carusillo’s very entertaining beauty/skincare newsletter here). What is That Wet Look? It’s basically “lip gloss on your cheekbones,” and it alludes to that dewy finish that the Glossier models have down so pat, because they literally put Glossier’s balm dotcom on their cheeks. Except the wet look on your lips is more extreme: it’s REALLY shiny, like, like wet lollipop shiny, like GLASS shiny (the cult favorite here being a product that is literally called lipglass). The evolutionary biological reasoning at the root of lip gloss is to make your mouth look like a candied vagina. Tell me I’m wrong!!!!!!!!!!! Another bad thing about lip gloss is they put a lot of glitter into it, even if they don’t claim to, to like, enhance the light-reflecting properties in the same way some nail polishes are pearlescent. And that looks cheesy on me, an adult woman who blogs.

I’m fine with a polished look or whatever, and I use balms and ointments and sticks of all kinds, I just personally think the idea of flypaper lips is abhorrent. But Glossier promises “no gluey feeling, no stickiness, no grittiness, no glitter,” so I’m sure I’m gonna try it.