Product Review: On Becoming a Gloss Enthusiast

Excepting my middle school years, I’ve never really been a lip gloss girl.  (Bonne Bell, anyone?) But after this post and the comments it generated, I was inspired to try again.  Why not just stick with balm or lipstick?  Sometimes I want something a little less obvious than a lipstick but with more oomph than a balm.  (omg, did I just say “oomph?”)  Okay, let’s be honest.  Sometimes I need to add polish to my look, and have that product be easy to reapply without having a top-notch mirror, superb lighting, and my reading glasses.  Glosses seem to be subtle enough to forgive a tiny mistake.  I still am not so much into shiny, but I like a decent amount of pigment and a little sparkle.  And texture and taste are super important.  All but the last brand in this review are shiny but not crazy shiny.  After some wear time, the shine goes down but the sparkle sticks around for hours.  They all taste good, have a nice texture, and feel conditioning for my sensitive lips.  They are gluten free and vegan or vegetarian (100% Pure has beeswax).

INIKA Lip Whip: I love Apricot.  This is the first gloss I’d tried in years, and it won me over.  It has a good amount of orange-y yet neutralish sparkly pigment.  I also have Melon, which doesn’t add a lot more than shine and a teeny bit of pink sparklies, but I’m betting it’s gorgeous on a darker skinned gal.  It is tasty (subtle orange), not too shiny, with a nice smooth texture, and I like the squeeze applicator. ($19.75, 4 shades available)

Afterglow Organic Infused Hydra Gloss: Carousel (coral peach/pink shimmer) and Hypnotist (medium golden brown nude) are fierce in an understated sort of way.  Both have lots of shimmer.  Levitate (creamy nude beige) is fantastic, goes with any look, and is currently my go-to gloss.  These are very smooth, possibly the best textured glosses I’ve tried.  There’s almost no taste, maybe a hint of vanilla.  They have a doe foot applicator, which is fine but I’m not in love with it. ($24.00, 8 shades available)

100% Pure Fruit Pigmented Lip Glosses: I’m lucky to live near the Berkeley boutique, and tried several glosses while I was there, among other things.*  I went home with Shimmery Cocoa Berry, a deep nude, brownish pink as the name implies.  With less shimmer than the other brands, it has a smooth texture, fruity taste, and a doe foot applicator. ($13.00, 12 shades available)

Red Apple Lipstick Lip Glosses:  I’ve already shared my love of their lipsticks, and I had to try their glosses.  I must say, the glosses from this brand are not for me – too much shine.  But if you love your gloss to say, “BAM!  POW!!” and want tons of pigment and super high-powered shine, these are for you.  They taste of vanilla yumminess, and the modified doe foot applicator holds loads of product.  Firestorm and Brandy Candy have so much pigment they look like a lipstick with a shiny gloss over it.  Diamond Sands is a nude/peach with max shine. ($18.50-$22.50, 13 shades available)

I’m completely obsessed with lip products lately.  What are ya’ll using on your lips?

* I also met up with two NMDLer lovelies, Charlotte and Alison.  Hey ladies!

17 Responses to “Product Review: On Becoming a Gloss Enthusiast”
  1. Lisa says:

    Funny, I just put out the A.P.B. on finding a great gloss for the spa. I love Pure Anada (from Manitoba) and it stays on forever but doesn’t go on glossy. I really dislike the taste of 100 % Pure and the fact that you have to dip 15 times to get anything on the brush with not much result. I haven’t tried the other three that you mentioned but now I will. I decided to order Marienatie lipglosses, they have a cult following and I can’t wait to try them out. Thanks for the info!

  2. Candace G says:

    I have recently tried lipstick and gloss by Bite Beauty. It’s a Canadian company! I really like the products. I also like the Rocky Mountain Soap lip gloss.

  3. Emma B says:

    Burts’ Bee tinted lip balm in tiger lily is the product I use most these days. I find the shade to be subtle and flattering for my colouring, and it’s affordable. I sometimes use Intelligent Nutrients’ clear frosting lip gloss, but I simply don’t want to pay $25 for a lipgloss so I won’t repurchase.

  4. Stefanie says:

    The INIKA LIp Whip sounds great! However, I am waiting for ILIA to come out with their glosses soon. If they will be anything like their lip conditioners, they will be fabulous!:) Hardly can wait…..

  5. Kat says:


    have you tried the glosses from Intelligent Nutrients? Pretty subtle and they taste good too. Only minus is that they are a bit pricy.

  6. Mary says:

    I love, love beauty products, but lip gloss is the one thing that I am just absolutely not interested in. I’m not sure how I could be converted, or if I’d even want to be. I usually either want a moisturizing balm or a full color lipstick, nothing much in between. I suppose if I did, I would just mix the two. I also just don’t like the look of lip gloss. I don’t know maybe I’m just crazy. I guess the INIKA Lip Whip kind of appeals to me because it doesn’t seem that glossy.

  7. Laura says:

    When are the ILIA glosses coming out? I tried the 100% Pure and agree with Lisa with having to dip the applicator 15 times to get anything out.

  8. Rebecca Bailey says:

    @Kat, I’ve tried IN Purple Maize. It doesn’t really add any color to my lips and I wasn’t that fond of the taste, and it’s on the stickier side. But the applicator (a brush as I recall) was interesting. If all you want is shine without pigment this is a decent option.

    @Mary, the world won’t explode (probably) if you never try a gloss, but I’m glad I finally did : )

  9. Alison says:

    Hi Rebecca! :D I think of you and Charlotte often (generally when I’m washing my face) – we should schedule another meet-up!

  10. Charlotte D says:

    Hi Rebecca!!! That trip to 100% Pure was awesome. We should get together again for more clean living discussions/shenanigans. I now want to chat about sexism and tamanu oil. I know, random, right?

    I can’t wait to try the Red Apple lipsticks and glosses after your posts. They sound awesome! I hoping I might find that True Red I’ve been searching for.

  11. Anna says:

    I’ve never found a natural lipgloss that really delivered, but I don’t wear gloss on a regular basis, so I don’t mind. :) I’ve tried Bite Beauty’s High Pigment Matte Pencil in “Poppy” and really liked it, and W3LL People makes a tinted lip balm that’s really pretty.
    Right now I’m using one of Tata Harper’s new lip treatments and I LOVE it! It’s just a really lovely product. I can’t wait to try the rosy tinted one. I also use DeVita’s Lip Volumizer everyday, which is a deeply moisturizing lip balm with the added benefit of zinc for SPF 15. It’s fantastic. I might have a bit of a natural lip balm fixation (there are usually no less than 6 or 7 floating around my apartment), but those two are definitely my favorites.

  12. mangomadness says:

    I love lip gloss! My fave are Alba Botanica Coconut Cream Clear Lip Gloss, Yes to Carrots C Me Shine Lips Gloss and Burt’s Bees 100% Natural Lip Gloss.

  13. Tricia says:

    I’ve been searching for a good natural lip gloss for a long time. I’ve tried 100% Pure’s lip glosses which I love because they are made from fruit pigments and the colors are nice too(Sugar Plum is my fav.), however the applicator is disappointing. You have to dip several times before getting the color out. I tried Vapour’s Plumping Gloss from Spirit Beauty Lounge which I LOVE- it really does plump your lips; it doesn’t have staying power though. I’ve been reading a lot about MarieNatie lip glosses on other blogs and decided to give this one a try. It’s a Canadian based company and found it on their website but then figured the shipping would come out to a lot coming from Canada. I just discovered that Integrity Botanicals carries the line and got so excited!!! I gave it a try and think I finally found the ONE!!! I bought April in Paris. It’s just a hint of color but it’s ultra moisturizing and makes my lips feel so smooth and gives them awesome shine! Lasts long too and it’s not sticky!!! Btw, check out the good ingredients. The site carries 8 shades and there are so many beautiful colors from which to choose. I think Cotton Candy is next on my list!

  14. Erika says:

    What brand and color in the pic at the top of the article? Looks FANTASTIC.

  15. Rebecca Bailey says:

    @Erika, Alexandra chose the pic so maybe she can answer that. But I can say that it looks more along the lines of Red Apple – super shiny and highly pigmented. Check out the Red Apple site, they have a great variety of pics for each color on different women.

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