As someone who came of age in the early aughts, I can tell you that there was no beauty item more key than a poppin' lip gloss — and I had just about every one I could get my hands on. I had several tubes of Stila's Lip Glaze (the intoxicating click of the pen! the delicious vanilla-flavored clear and coffee-flavored taupe!), whatever kind of lip gloss Bonne Bell made available at the drugstore (watermelon flavored, please) and I even somehow got my hands on a Lancôme Juicy Tube (for special occasions). The only sticky mainstay I didn't have was MAC's Lip Glass, and that's only because there wasn't a MAC source near me.
So really, it can't be any surprise that when the time came for me to establish an adult beauty routine, I so soundly rejected the idea of lip gloss that I don't even like to wear so much as a shiny lipstick — give me matte or give me death. If I put anything on my lips, it's usually a trusty matte red from Nars or a matte oxblood from Burberry. For years, lip gloss just felt childish and out-of-date.
But for some reason — maybe it's the summer heat, maybe it's the "Gossip Girl" re-watch to which I am currently subjecting my boyfriend — there's something about a shiny lip that feels... dare I say it?... fresh. There is no look of Blair Waldorf's that a swipe of Chanel lip gloss didn't improve, and if it's good enough for Blair, it's good enough for me! It's youthful, yet sophisticated (in the right hands), and best of all, so f*cking easy to apply.
And I'm not alone. Glossier is obviously already all over this one with its lip gloss, which launched back in December of 2016 as part of the brand's holiday set. More recently, Selena Gomez premiered her "Fetish" teaser video, and the Marc Jacobs lip gloss she wore — Enamored Hi Shine Lip Lacquer in "French Tickler" — sold out soon thereafter. Call it the Kylie Lip Kit backlash, call it nostalgia, but however you cut it, it seems like I'm not alone in the quest for a shiny finish.
Of course, I'm no fool: I remember what a pain it was to have a sticky gloss situation. You can't trust just any beauty brand to put out a lip gloss that won't leave half your hair stuck to your face (one wrong breeze!!!). I asked Steph, who I would trust with my own life (a.k.a. my beauty routine), for a recommendation, and she offered up Clarins Lip Comfort Oils. Like the lip glosses of my youth, these come in flavors like refreshing mint (which goes on clear, despite the green hue), a glitter-packed honey and a cherry that leaves the ideal tint of red behind.
I took, um, a lot of them home with me and have already used them many times. I'm leaning all the way into the sweaty, dewy look of summer, with a light dab of highlighter and a generous swipe of these babies; they work with everything from a fresh face to a smoky eye. And listen, I'm not abandoning my mattes for good — there's nothing better come winter than a dark, broody lip. I'm just saying, in these hot, sweltering months of summer, why not have a little flirtation with the one of the loves of my youth?
Homepage Image: Scott Gries/Getty Images (RIP Nick and Jess, "Newlyweds" forever)