When I rifle through my friends' bags (make-up or otherwise), I frequently find a regiment of discarded lip products scattered at the bottom. Nude lipstick, matte lipstick, bold lipstick, maybe a liquid lipstick for good measure. Curiously absent is lipgloss. Circa 2004, they were all the rage, weren't they? But, then, we all grew up and decided that a product that couldn't even withstand a gust of wind without gluing our hair to our lips had no place in our make-up bags. Sticky, tacky, dated, meh. Unsurprisingly, lipstick has long reigned supreme. But, recently, lipgloss has had a makeover and (honest!) it's worth revisiting.
Unlike the clunky, glutinous formulas of yore, a new wave of delicate, balmy glosses have begun to roll out across make-up counters. Lancôme, Chanel, Nars – all have released new or updated versions, the notable difference lying in silky textures that feel comfortable to wear. Less sticky, more lightweight and more versatile, the buildable formulas mean you can do more with them, too. "Slick them on and pat off excess colour to leave a wash for day," says make-up artist Kay Montano, "or really build them up to get a more intense colour for the evening."
The catwalks, too, predict a sea change. A quick browse of the SS17 beauty trends sees a brisk retraction in severe, matte lips and in their place are fresh, healthy-looking glosses. Elie Saab, Temperley London, Giorgio Armani and Marc Jacobs all favoured a delicate, dewy, natural look, while Roksanda and Kenzo sported bold, glossy mouths that felt more fun and carefree. Easy, glide-on formulas that add glow – I think I'm ready to give lipgloss another try.
5 of the best:
Best for vibrant colour: Chanel Rouge Coco Gloss
Launched last week, Chanel's lightweight Rouge Coco Gloss glides on, leaves a soft, juicy-looking sheen, but packs an impressive punch of colour. I tried Confusion, a very deep plum. Patted in, it left behind a light berry tint that was a refreshing change from my everyday nudes, but layer up a couple of swipes and it provides a full, opaque fresh-looking colour.
Best for gloss-averse: Rosie for Autograph's Lip Glossy
If you like the look of a gloss, but can't stand the feel, give Rosie Huntingdon-Whiteley's Lip Glossy for M&S a try. They have the soft, creamy feel of a lipstick, but leave behind a modern, glossy sheen that feels weightless and silky.
Best for knackered lips: Ilia Lipgloss
What you see is a smooth, glass-like wash of colour. What you get is nourishing coconut oil, shea butter and vitamin E all working together to get your lips shipshape. If you're suffering from dry, flaky lips, this slippy, non-sticky gloss is very forgiving and comfortable to wear, plus it hydrates as it goes.
Best colour choice: Kiko 3d Hydra lipgloss
Apricot, peach, purple, ruby, coral, chestnut even clear – Kiko has 30 different shades to choose from, all plush, easy to apply and loaded with bidens extract (to boost moisture and shield against pollution). You even have the choice of finish, from very sheer, very bold, pearlescent and shiny. The sleek packaging is rather pleasing, too.
Best for staying put: Revlon Colorstay overtime lip color
Revlon's new dual-ended Overtime Lipcolor features a highly pigmented, buttery gloss on one end and a budgeproof topcoat on the other, to lock in colour and seal moisture. The skincare credentials are also impressive as the camomile and soy extract in the topcoat help to keep lips smooth and hydrated. But the main draw is the staying power. Pop it on in the morning and it won't move until you take a cleanser to it in the evening.