There’s something about a clear lip gloss that makes us say “yes” every time. A timeless look with a simple, yet dramatic result, wearing a clear glossy lip will never steer you in the wrong direction. Is it the transparent glaze that makes our lips pop with pizazz? Or is it the added health benefits of oils, vitamins and minerals that leave us with soft while equally plumped lips? Whichever it is, one thing we know is that the look has stood the test of time, withstanding the ever-changing cycle of makeup trends and remaining a top contender for any and every look.
If we examine the history of lip gloss and its impact on the beauty industry, we’ll see that some of the most notable and nostalgic makeup looks of the times involved a clear, hi-shine pout. They enhanced the appearance and plumpness of the lips––and often, were paired with a liner to complete. New York City-based makeup artist Jaleesa Jaikaran explains that one of the most iconic lip gloss looks, in her opinion, comes from none other than the late singer and entertainer, Aaliyah. “Aaliyah’s ‘Try Again’ makeup is so iconic to me,” she tells ESSENCE. “The glossy lips balanced out the makeup so beautifully. A lip liner and gloss is definitely top tier.” The minimalism from the ’90s and 2000s proves itself to still be relevant as many of us remain obsessed with recreating our favorite pre and post-Y2K beauty moments.
Makeup artist, fashion mogul and YouTube star, Aaliyah Jay adds that although today’s trends seems to be a little bit more dramatic than previous years, there’s something truly special about clear lip gloss. For that reason, she says, it’ll never go out of style. “I love the ’90’s and 2000’s beauty looks with clear gloss,” she says. “Back in the day, the beauty standard was understated and you didn’t have to wear much makeup to fit into the beauty norm. Clear gloss was in everyone’s purse. Today, makeup has become a bit more dramatic. But with everything going in the last year, we’re seeing a return to minimal, and clear gloss has def made its way back into everyone’s beauty bag.” Jay describes her personal go-to makeup look as one that involves a clear gloss. “My favorite is when I have only have on mascara and eyebrows,” she says. “That’s considered a no makeup, makeup look and it goes great with clear lip gloss.”
And let’s face it––many of us are guilty of hoarding our own favorite clear lip glosses in our beauty bags, toting them around in our purses for the moment when our lips need some added shine. “I feel so amazing and refreshed when I wear it,” Jay shares. “Clear lip gloss is one beauty product that will never go out of style to me. You can wear it alone, or you can wear it as a lipstick topper. But even when you wear it alone, it adds a little umph to your lips.”
Jaikaran agrees that you can’t go wrong with this beauty must-have. “Lip glosses are my go-to,” she insists. “A lot of brands also now carry lip oils. They’re more nourishing and have that same glossy appearance, but don’t involve any of that stickiness.” And it’s true. The beauty market is buzzing with new glosses that serve more than just a complimentary add-on to your overall makeup look. Instead, adding the benefits of a lip hydrator and softener. According to Jay, she shops with those benefits at the top of mind. “I look for hydrating oils in all of my glosses,” she says. “One thing no one wants is a gloss that causes dryness or makes their lips peel. There are so many out there like that so my main concern is ‘are my lips going to still be hydrated?’” Plus, who wouldn’t want a well-rounded product that tackles conditioning our lips while also intensifying the final results of a natural or dramatic makeup look?
Times may change, but our love for clear lip gloss never will––which is why we rounded up some of our favorite high-octane formulas that will leave your lips plump and glistening after each and every use. Check them out below!