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Clear Lip Gloss Is the Most Underappreciated Item in Your Makeup Bag

Shine-giving and sheer, this beauty staple can do so much more than most of us probably realize.

There's a reason lip gloss has once again become trendy and even inspired (iconic) song lyrics: It can accomplish a whole bunch of different things, and all it takes is one simple tube. 

Clear lip gloss is easily the most versatile and under-appreciated item in your makeup bag: Not only can it be slicked over bare lips for subtle shine, but it can also transform any lip color when used as a topper, be dabbed on eyelids for an alluring sheen, serve as a dew-enhancing highlighter when blended into cheek and brow bones; and, when layered with lip liner, it's a fast-track way to get TikTok's oh-so-trendy "gym lips" look.

"Lip gloss is a product where texture is first, and texture is the most fun thing in makeup," says makeup artist Katie Jane Hughes. "Go nuts and use it in fun ways to really shine." Her suggestion: "Take a bit to your eyelids for a bit of gleam — it looks so fun with a pop of lavender shadow under it." 

When it comes to choosing the right clear lip gloss for the job, Hughes favors the Summer Fridays Lip Butter Balm because "it's shiny like a gloss but not sticky like one;" she'll slick it on with lip liner as a simple everyday look. When she's layering gloss over lipstick, however, she'll choose a thicker formula with a "firm, sticky texture — it's great over a bold lip." (Try a product like Fenty Beauty Gloss Bomb Universal Lip Luminizer in Glass Slipper.)

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In the gallery below, we've culled a variety of versatile clear lip glosses that are sure to become a V.I.P. (very important product) in your beauty routine. Click through to see (and shop) them all.

Homepage/promo photo: Courtesy of Rhode

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