As a seasoned beauty editor, there are very few things I don't know how to do. A full '40s retro set or flat-iron beach waves? Let me break it down for you. Contoured red lips or perhaps some eye-strobing? I'll teach you both in under 10 minutes. But this summer, I found myself struggling with what should be the easiest thing in the world to master: lip gloss.
In case you haven't heard, gloss is back in a big way, and though I tried to fight the shine for months, I have to admit it's starting to look damn cool again. The new formulas are different from the ones we used in middle school, and more and more makeup artists are playing with the glistening texture in forward-thinking ways. (Think pale, icy shades, vibrant hues paired with matte skin, and matching glossy eyelids.)
Like many people, I spent my teenage years in a tight relationship with lip gloss (MAC Lipglass, to be specific), so you'd think I know what I'm doing, right? Not exactly. While the new oil-based formulas look modern and fresh, they don't stay locked in place quite like the 2000s-era ones did. Meanwhile, the highly pigmented, patent-finish lips popping up on the red carpet don't come easy — there's layering involved, and they need to be touched up more often than the matte lips I've been sporting for the past few years. Translation: Wet-look lips are back, but it's a whole new ballgame.
For some continuing education, I called in the pro: Mary Phillips, Jennifer Lopez's longtime makeup artist, who is also regularly behind the glossy lips of Khloé and Kourtney Kardashian, Chrissy Teigen, and more. Even during the matte age, Phillips never took a break from the shiny stuff, and she knows everything there is to know about the texture, the best products, and how to keep it from moving.
Ahead, she breaks down lip gloss for you — and me — because we're at the AP level now.