Lip Gloss

Lip gloss is a cosmetic product used primarily to give lips a mildly glossy lustre and sometimes subtle color. It is distributed as a liquid or a soft solid (not to be confused with lip balm, which generally has medicinal purposes). It can be completely clear, translucent, or various shades of opacity, including frosted, glittered, and metallic looks.

The first commercially available lip gloss was Max Factor's X-Rated, launched in 1932. The original formula was sold up until 2003, when Procter and Gamble retired the product.

Like lipstick, lip gloss comes in a variety of forms and may be applied in different ways. It can be contained in a small cylindrical bottle and applied with a rounded or sloped applicator wand (known as a doefoot applicator), be applied with a built in lip brush, or a small tube designed for application with the fingertip. Solid glosses come in boxes and tubes, sometimes blurring the distinction between lip gloss and lip balm.

New types of 'plumping' lip gloss contain ingredients which make the lips appear softer and plumper. These are a cheap, easy, and harmless alternatives to collagen, Restylane, Juvederm, and/or fat injections, but are often not as effective. The effects are temporary and short-lasting.

Lip gloss is usually used as a cosmetic, however, some offer moisturizing benefits or protection from the elements and other natural causes. Lip gloss containing sunscreen was first advertised by actress Lillian Gish. Bonne Bell introduced the first flavored lip gloss, Lip Smackers, in 1973. BORBA cosmecuticals and Tarte cosmetics were the first to introduce nutraceutical lip gloss to the market in 2005 providing antioxidents benefits to nourish lips as a nutritional supplement. Natural makeup companies have made progress in creating lip gloss with mainly natural ingredients except for preservatives.

Lip gloss is often used when a person wants to have some color on their lips, but does not want an intense, solid lip color effect (i.e. a more "made-up" look), as lipstick would create. Lip gloss is also often used as a sort of introduction to makeup. It's often used by preteen and young teenage girls who want to wear some makeup, but who think (or whose parents think) that they're a bit too young to wear a more intense lipstick color.

Overall presentation is a chief part of the marketing and selling of lip gloss. Different packaging is designed for different age groups. A packaging with bright colors and illustrations would be suited for younger customers, whereas medical lip gloss is presented in a simple manner and would be more popular with those of teenagers and adults.

Lip gloss is sometimes used with lipstick to create different effects. A clear, simple lip gloss (i.e. one with no color, metallic effect or glitter) may be worn over a non-frosty (i.e. a "creme") lipstick to make it shiny (e.g. '50's actress Marilyn Monroe used to do this). Some people also mix clear lip gloss with any lipstick color to make colored lip glosses. In this case, a bit of lipstick is applied to the lips with a lip brush, and the clear gloss is applied on top of the lipstick. Finally, a lipstick is sometimes used to give more definition to lips that are made up with lip gloss. In this case, the lip gloss is applied, and a lipstick of a similar (but slightly darker) shade is applied (with a lip brush) to line the lips, as a lip pencil would. In this case, it is considered more attractive if the line is thin and soft, and the shape of the lips is changed slightly, or not changed at all.

Lip gloss products based on aloe vera penetrate deep into the skin and since it's natural, it has no side effects. Since anything applied on the lips will certainly find its way into one's mouth, it is always advisable to use a lip gloss that has no harmful side effects.