Gloss It Over!

Makeup artists usually have “go to” products, which is to say the MUA can’t possibly live or work without said products. This Pro’s addiction is lip gloss and I am not kidding when I say that I think I need a 12-step program! I just can't get enough of "it!" I must have 500 tubes of various shades that are frosted, shiny, matte, glittered and completely clear!

I remember the first time I fell in love with makeup, the year was 1979 and I was 12-years old! My mom allowed me to walk to our local Thrifty’s Drug Store to purchase an ice cream cone, but I wandered down the makeup aisle instead and my eyes popped out of their sockets! Maybelline, CoverGirl, Wet & Wild, Revlon and Max Factor were all there and I felt like Alice falling through the rabbit hole. I was hooked and now I just needed to decide what I wanted to take home with me!

As I strolled down the aisle, my eyes took in all the colors and I suddenly stop...there “it” was, calling my name, begging me to buy “it,” whispering that ice cream was bad for my complexion and that I would be much more popular if I purchased “it!” So, I searched through five or six different flavors until I found exactly what I was looking for…Bonnie Bell Lip Smacker in Root Beer Soda.

I rushed to pay for “it” and ripped open the packaging before I left the store! I had to apply "it" immediately and as soon as I un-popped the cap the sweetest smell of Root Beer flooded my senses! I touched "it" to my lips and ran to see my reflection in the store window.

This incredible, life-changing product was glistening, shining, sparkling and "it" tasted just like a root beer float. I smiled from ear to ear, stood up straighter and I held my head up higher, tossed my hair and sauntered out of that store with a spring in my Vans sneakers!

As I walked home, it felt as if every car whizzing past me held passengers that were blinded by my gorgeous lips and they honked their horns in approval (or maybe that was because I had too much "shake" in my dolphin shorts). Whatever! I reapplied that gloss 20 times before I got home, mostly because I kept eating "it" off my lips!

I remember not feeling one ounce of guilt when my mom asked, “what flavor did you get?” Expecting me to say the usual, which was Rocky Road, but instead I marched right up to her and announced that I was not a baby and that I was a mature young woman ready to wear cosmetics! I placed the nickel and dime change into her hand and walked straight into the bathroom to gaze adoringly at my reflection for the rest of the day.

When I woke up the next morning my hair was stuck to my face because I had applied another coat right before falling asleep. I couldn’t wait to get ready for school and I even had a special place in my backpack for my gloss! Just like my wide-toothed comb always lived in the back left pocket of my Ditto’s Jeans, my Lip Smacker would accompany me every where I went. That is, until Mrs. Edelstein promptly took it away because I kept applying "it" during her 7th Grade English class! Can you say detention?

Legend has it that the first lip gloss was launched in 1930 by Max Factor and it was appropriately named X-Rated! Factor was the first Pro MUA to invent cosmetics for the movie industry. He founded his company in 1909 and coined the term "makeup" based on the verb "to make up" (one's face). Max also was famous for creating special shades of lipstick for each of his starlets; Platinum (for Jean Harlow), Special Medium (for Joan Crawford) and Dark (for Claudette Colbert). He was the makeup artist for virtually all of the major movie stars during Hollywood's "golden years!" (1920-1930).

While searching for a way to make actresses have glossy lips on camera, he discovered a formula for thinning traditional greasepaint lipsticks and the lip gloss was born! Lillian Gish was the first of many Max Factor "faces" to wear his invention, which were eventually available in 12 varying shades and many other famous faces have followed in Ms. Gish's footsteps. X-Rated's formula remained successful until 2003 when Proctor and Gamble purchased the Max Factor line and discontinued "it!" How dare they!

There are about a billion lip glosses available to the consumer today and like a lipstick, they come in a variety of forms and can be applied in different ways. My personal favorite is a clear tube with a wand-tipped applicator.

A great lip gloss’ job is simple; make lips shiny, sultry and soft. That is it! Done! Glosses also provide color either as a complete alternative to lipstick or to be applied over lipstick to give a matte color more shine. There are also several types of “plumping” lip glosses on the market that contain ingredients which "claim" to make the lips appear fuller. However, these effects are usually short-lasting and require several applications before actual results appear.

Now that you have insight into my past and you are schooled on the history of lip gloss, here is a list of this Pro’s "go to" products:

tarte Vitamin-Infused Lipgloss – this product nourishes and conditions the lips with nutraceutical properties that help protect against environmental attack. It also includes natural ingredients from BORBA's Age Defying, Replenishing and Clarifying lines. My favorite shades are OM (sheer iridescent pink pearl), Liquid Sunshine (sheer iridescent nude sheen) and Nirvana (sheer cherry red).

Bobbi Brown Sheer Color Gloss – from the new The Nautical Collection, this gloss formula is super sheer and super wearable. Very see-through finish makes it easy for women to wear "punchy" shades. This Pro's favorite shades are Popsicle and Marina Pink. Also from the BB Lip Gloss line I adore the shades Buff, Raisin and Aubergine.

M.A.C. Tinted LipGlass - is a unique lip gloss that can create a glass-like finish. Designed to be worn alone or over lip pencil or lipstick. Highly pigmented with great "staying" power! My favorite colors are Mad Cap (a great "nude" lip color), Viva Glam VI, Chai and Russian Red.

Kiss of Pearl Lip Gloss – multi-functional gloss that provides rich color, luscious glide and smooth texture. This product will hydrate and nourish your lips so that they appear fuller and healthier looking. The component is dual ended so each color can "snap" off to mix and match with other colors in the Kiss of Pearl line. This Pro's favorite shades are Stardust/Moonlight Kiss and Baby Doll/Honey Bunny.

Laura Mercier Lip Glace – is sheer, high-shine gloss that can be worn alone or layered over lipstick to add a touch of luster to the lips. My favorite colors are Bare Beige (light neutral brown) and Bellini (shimmering peach coral).

Sally Hansen Lip Inflation Plumping Treatment - refreshingly tingly gloss that inflates lips overtime. Ginger and cinnamon help to stimulate and plump lips while peppermint provides lips with a cooling and stimulating sensation. In this Pro's never-ending quest for the ultimate "nude" lip gloss color, I came across this product line and now I can't live without it! Favorite shade is Sheer Mocha, but all three gloss colors are wonderful.

Chanel L'evres Scintillantes Glossimer - intense frost and shine for lips with a gel texture that imparts a shimmery, ultra-glossy look. Water-resistant formula for extremely long-lasting wear. Vitamins C and E protect against free radicals. Use alone or over lipstick to intensify color and shine. My favorite colors are Rose Sand, Pagoda, Giggle and Sum Plum.

Lip gloss directed to the center of the mouth can make your lips appear fuller and using a gold, silver or iridescent lip gloss over a matte lipstick can intensify the color and really make the lips pop! I also love to apply a clear, shiny gloss just above the "cupid's bow" or center of the upper lip. Like over-drawing your lips with a liner, this method will give the illusion that lips are fuller up top and balance out a thin upper lip.

Up next on IMPO: Have you ever wondered how MUA's achieve the "no" makeup, makeup look? Well, it takes a lot more product then you think to pull off "natural beauty!" Get it right with our tips and tricks!


  1. Oh girl, I am so crushing on the Nautical Sheer Glosses from Bobbi right now....My favorite lately is just to put a dab of the CG lipstains in the center of the lip and give the kisser a good coat of the sheer summer!!
    I loved the little mu history lesson btw!

  2. Hi Josi!

    Those Bobbi glosses are fab! She hit a home run with those for sure and I have to admit, I had fun writing this blog entry!