Originally published for Allure here.
Choosing what lip product to apply isn’t exactly rocket science. Your choices can be boiled down to three basic products: lipstick, lip gloss, and lip balm. Every morning without fail, I slick on my favorite tinted lip balm, YSL Volupté Glossy Balm Crystal Colorin Dewy Papaya, and for a special occasion I’ll smooth on some lipstick. But I never grab a lip gloss.
If it wasn’t apparent from her ode to cherry Chapstick, beauty rebel Katy Perry is also a glossophobe. Jake Bailey, Perry’s makeup artist, says that she refuses to use gloss because it makes her feel self-conscious. “Many women, some of my clients included, have a slight phobia of lip gloss. Singers in particular tend to stay away because their lips can stick together slightly while they are trying to sing,” Bailey says. I can’t imagine Perry—who is basically the music industry’s Wonder Woman—feeling insecure about anything. But who hasn’t had a messy situation of your hair becoming glued to your lips after a chaotic gust of wind?
For those of us looking to face our glossy fears and experiment with the shiny stuff, Bailey recommends a lightweight formula that’s not too sticky and sheer in color. “Heavier formulas tend to glop up on the corners of the mouth and glosses with too much pigment can look sloppy if not impeccably maintained.” Bailey uses a brush to apply lip gloss onto his clients, “but when you apply it yourself its easiest to use your fingers unless it’s the kind that comes with a wand.” Gloss should be applied in a thin, even layer; “using too much product will start to look messy very quickly,” Bailey says.
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