The same things that make us love lip gloss are pretty much the same things that make us leery of lip gloss. We want the high shine, but the stickiness can turn a breezy hair moment into a beauty casualty. We also want our lips to look full, but we also want them to stay hydrated and moisturized throughout the day. So it was much to many women’s chagrin when lip gloss reemerged as a beauty trend on the 2019 runways for brands such as Adeam, Anna Sui and Lanyu. But Hourglass Cometics’ Global Director of Education and makeup artist, Marc Reagan, was excited for it.
“I think lip gloss had faded out because there was a really long phase the last few years on driving long wear makeup. So, matte lipstick is what people were looking for. They were looking for things that they didn’t have to touch up. And that was also synonymous with a very full coverage, very extremely polished makeup trend,” he told ESSENCE.
“But I think what has happened with beauty is people have realized, ‘oh I don’t have to fit in one particular trend. I can cherry pick the elements that work for me.”
Enter Hourglass Unreal High Shine Volumizing Lip Gloss. It comes in 18 shades, and 3 finishes — sheer shimmer, opaque shine, and soft pearl — and is the brand’s first 100% vegan lip gloss.
Since entering the market in 2004, Hourglass Cosmetics has always pledged to be a cruelty-free brand. And the company plans to be 100% vegan by 2020, reformulating its former offerings to bring them up to vegan beauty standards.
“I feel like I want to redefine what [cruelty free] is for us and that it should be a stance where we’re not using any animal bi-products at all because in [this] era you have all the innovations to do so. So why don’t we find the alternatives and just say we’re one hundred percent cruelty free and vegan and take it a step further,” Reagan continued.
So how did the Hourglass Unreal Lip Gloss stack up to my usual go-tos?
Anyone that knows my (simple) makeup routine knows that I love a matte lip, and I love easy to use products. I tried the gloss in Halo and Fever. I was initially skeptical about Fever’s pinkish hue because I’m not a Barbie girl, and I was sure the color would look oddly bright against my caramel skin tone. Surprisingly it was the perfect rosy tint. It was subtle, but not so sheer that it was barely visible.
There was a slight tingle upon first application—Marc mentioned that it has a plumping effect—but it was so slight and lasted just a few seconds. The flat oval-shaped paddle applicator does make it easier to get an even application without reapplying several coats. If you have full lips, you know how important this is. With lipstick sometimes I feel like I’m wearing something on my lips, but with this gloss I couldn’t tell—which means my lips weren’t drying out.
My lips stayed soft, and during an 8-hour day I only had to reapply once after eating. If I had to give this lip gloss a grade, it would be an A. Hourglass Unreal High Shine Volumizing Lip Gloss is available online and in Sephora stores nationwide.