The Under-$20 Lip Gloss That Makes Me Feel Like A 2000s Pop Star

The first time I fell in love with lip gloss wasn't in the '90s when all my friends did. In fact, I didn't decide that lip gloss would be my thing until I started watching One Tree Hill in high school (what can I say, I was always a late bloomer). It was the moment I saw Brooke Davis (played by Sophia Bush) walk onto the screen with her porcelain skin, brunette bob, and ultra-shiny lips that I knew: I'd love lip gloss forever.
But as the years went on, the appeal of lip gloss faded as it lost popularity and legitimately good formulas started disappearing from shelves to make room for balms, stains, and, eventually, the liquid lipstick craze of the past few years. Luckily, 2016 brought loads of launches that were redefining the lip color genre all at once, forcing everyone to rethink this retro throwback as a product that doesn't have to be reserved for makeup bags purchased at Claire's. Still, it wasn't until this week that I found my favorite. Let's just say, if I were Brooke Davis, this would be the glossy tube I'd keep in my Clothes Over Bros clutch. (If only Davis' OTH fashion label were real...)
It's no surprise that this winning formula is straight from YouTube beauty sensation Michelle Phan. The ultimate online makeup guru, Phan is the force behind Em Cosmetics and its her new True Gloss I'm officially dubbing a sleeper hit. Although it launched earlier this summer, it isn't until now that I — and all of my coworkers — are realizing just how good it really is. Unlike the glosses you're likely more familiar with, this one leaves behind an opaque, heavy layer of pigment that doesn't slip or slide — and lasts for hours!
The texture and longevity are reminiscent of a liquid lipstick, just without the matte finish and drying side effects. Go ahead: Drink your coffee, eat your pizza, climb your StairMaster because no grease or sweat is making this gloss fade.
It comes in 12 shades, but my favorite is Moroccan Sunset, not to say you can't experiment, since the tube costs less than your last Uber ride. Bottom line: If you make any lipstick purchase this summer, make it this.
Em Cosmetics True Gloss, $17, available at Em Cosmetics.

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