While I'm an avid lipstick fan, there's a time and a place for gloss. What's never appropriate, however, is gloss that slips and slides across your lips leaving messy color and sticky product in its wake. Same goes for gloss that comes in pots designed to be applied with your fingers; any gloss-toting woman can tell you that sticky fingers are oh-so-undesirable. Brushes can work, as long as they are retractable; otherwise expect to pull your gloss brush out of your bag covered in goo.
The best glosses, hands down, are those with a built-in applicator wand that applies just the right amount of stay-put shine to lips and boasts color that lasts without bleeding. I tested 68 glosses to share with you a definitive list of the top three glosses on the market now.
What to think of a lip gloss that promises to "boost natural lip fat without surgery?" I think you'll love it. This ultra-shiny gloss comes in a variety of hues with two things in common: impressive shine and lip plumping properties. Gorgeous hues to frost your pucker now include Screen Siren, a vibrant cherry red; Lollipop, a true hot pink; La Lip Jolie, a nude baby pink; and Full Frontal, a sheer coral. Get a hue to suit you for $29 at Sephora. Beauty tip: Stop lipstick feathering and bleeding with another fave Fusion Beauty product: LipfusionXL, a contouring and plumping pencil that's applied before color and worth its weight in gold.
I couldn't leave Girlactik Beauty's Star Gloss out of any best-gloss story even though the top of mine is broken and I've been aggressively swiping the sides of the tube to try to eke out the last bit of gloss. There's no design flaw to speak of here; rather a year of addictive use has rendered my once perfect gloss into a shiny shadow of its former self. Yet it's so good, I continue to attempt to garner some of the sparkly goodness inside from the now beat-up tube. Sounds like it's time for me to head to girlactik.com and drop $16 on a new Innocent Pink, So Lush or Orange Twist.
There was a time when I thought of Estee Lauder as a brand of makeup my Mom loved. Look who's smitten now. Over the past year, the experts at Estee have been turning out-of-the-moment colors in some of the best lipsticks I've come across. In fact, I swore by their lipsticks, until I met their Pure Color gloss collection. I'm hot for hues like Fuchsia Fever and Cherry Fever and infatuated with their limited-edition Orange Crush collection and Pure Color Lip Gelee in bright, sheer shades. All sell for about $20 in department stores and online at esteelauder.com. This ain't your mama's lip gloss, ladies.
— Carolyn Brundage is the founder of TampaBay.PrettyCity.com, a guide to the best in local beauty. Need beauty advice? Tweet Up with Carolyn on Twitter @tampabaypretty.