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Sleek and Chic: Why We’re Glad Lip Gloss Is Officially Back

Lip gloss got a bad rep the first time around, but thanks to new non-stick formulas and grown-up shades we’re seeing it in a whole new light. Here we highlight the best lip gloss for those ready to give it a go again (hint: all of us).

As a child of the 1990s, I’m all too familiar with the concept of lip gloss. The suction sound as I plunged the applicator into the tube; the sticky feeling as I dragged it’s gelatinous formula heavily across my lips (or, in later years, squeezed it overzealously out of a Lancôme Juicy Tube). At the time, it gave me everything I needed - to feel more grown up, to compliment my sky blue eyeshadow and add more glitter to my life. 

However, when I actually grew up I realised lip gloss was not for adulthood. After all, there’s nothing cool about getting strands of hair stuck to your lips in a strong breeze. Instead, I was swayed by lipstick, favouring bright, bold pigments and the maturity that came with using a lip liner to keep it all contained. Fashion editors favoured a matte red, so naturally I followed suit, before finding my day-to-day groove with subtle peachy nudes. Gloss was as good as dead to me.

But now, in 2019, and with a few decades of beauty experimentation under my bed, I am delighted (albeit a little surprised) to say that lip gloss has snuck back into my routine. My collection of matte reds, hot pinks, orange and nudes are still sitting pretty, but I’ve re-opened my eyes to the shiny world of mirrored lips once more - but this time around, I’m doing it a little differently.

Whereas back then I succumbed to the allure of clear gloss with added silver or rainbow glitter (the look of 2001), this new wave of lip gloss is all about adding shine to solid slabs of colour. Rich, highly pigmented colour. And no-one does that quite like Illamasqua. Their new for autumn Lip Polish is the best lip gloss for lipstick lovers, coming in 13 ker-pow colours and one simple clear sheen so you can apply over your own lipstick or wear solo for a subtle shimmer. 

And the best part? While all these glosses are supremely shiny, they aren't even remotely sticky. Looks like we’ve learnt a few lessons along the way then (which my younger self would most definitely be thankful for). The shine comes from a gel-like formula that’s enriched with almond oil and vitamin E that not only creates the desired gloss effect but instantly hydrates and nourishes the lips underneath. 

Think you’re ready to revisit this 90’s beauty trend? See just how much glosses have grown with our top picks from the Illamasqua Polish collection