What year is it again? Early-aughts icon Paris Hilton is back in Vogue — and starring in a Gia Coppola-lensed Love Advent video — and lip gloss, once the hotel heiress’ beauty item of choice, has similarly made its way back into the zeitgeist.
Fortunately, the lip glosses of 2018 are unlike the gluey, sticky, goopy, sickeningly sweet-smelling Stilas and Bonne Bells that once lived in the outer pocket of our mini backpacks. They’re not Venus hair-traps masquerading as makeup. Rather, they’re (mostly) unscented. Youthful yet sophisticated. Shea butter and vitamin E-infused. Upwards of $15 (usually), but that’s the price you pay for flyaway-free shine.
It’s hard to pinpoint exactly when the trend started. For a while, it seemed as though all the gloss-fatigued millennial wanted to wear were rich matte lipsticks reminiscent of his/her/their early-early youth, before makeup was even an option.
Then Kylie Jenner released her (in)famous Lip Kits, the 2000s started trending in fashion, Gossip Girl came to Netflix, and Glossier, cognizant of its 20-something customer’s nostalgia for Juicy Couture tracksuits and denim miniskirts and love of barely-there makeup, launched a lip gloss as part of its 2016 holiday set.
This past July, Selena Gomez’s “Fetish” teaser video unofficially doubled as an advert for Marc Jacobs Enamored Hi Shine Lip Lacquer. In September, models walked the Fenty x Puma runway in the singer-turned-designer-turned-beauty-mogul’s new Gloss Bomb Universal Lip Luminizer. After Fenty Beauty’s official release, the universally flattering gloss quickly became one of Sephora’s top-selling items. And that just about brings us to the present.
Generally speaking, beauty enthusiasts’ yen for supernaturally dewy lips isn’t surprising — mysteriously lit-from-within skin has been #trending for some time now. And what are mouths, but organs covered in ultra-thin skin that dries out even faster than the rest? Like highlighter, lip gloss makes you look good and gives a “healthy” shine. Also, it’s much easier to apply than lipstick (since most leave only a slight trace of color, the stakes are lower).
Shop the best lip glosses below and wear them on their own or over lipstick for added dimension.