it's poppin

(GIF: Tumblr)

I actually remember the last time I ever wore lip gloss. It was my freshman year of high school, and I’d just come to the end of my favorite tube from—where else?—Claire’s. It was a frosted pink shade not completely unlike Kylie Jenner‘s Candy K liquid lipstick, it was shiny and stick AF, and it had some kind of peppermint extract in it that was supposed make my lips ~*extra plump*~. [Author’s note: I almost wrote “make my life extra plump,” which I suppose would have worked too.] After that tube ran out, I decided I was far to matoor to be wearing lip gloss, and switched over to tinted lip balm instead. From there, it was a slippery slope to the lipstick addiction I have now. I’ve never returned to lip gloss in all that time, though, until today.

(Related: The Gloss Investigates: What Is the Best Kiss-Proof Lipstick?)

Today I had a breakthrough. Well, it wasn’t so much a breakthrough as it was a delivery, but, you know, potato, potahto. I received six shades of Buxom‘s Full-On Lip Cream ($20), and as soon as I learned that the product is a lip gloss rather than the liquid lipstick I had initially assumed it was, I’ll admit that I was skeptical. I mean, I know that major beauty brands like MAC and NARS produce insanely popular glosses, but I just didn’t think I could revert back to my teenage beauty habits, you know? 

But try I did, mostly because shiny, glossy finishes are coming back into fashion, and I just don’t want to be behind the times. Here are the Lip Creams in all their (admittedly very well-packaged) glory:

buxom products

Look, they’re nice! The frosted finish on the tube makes them feel a little more grown-up, and they’re massive, so you know you’re getting a lot of product for your money. Here’s what the product claims:

“No shimmer or glimmer—just creamy, glass-smooth gloss, decadent color, intoxicating shine, and famous tingle for a gentle plumping effect. Encapsulated hyaluronic spheres infuse lips with moisture while vitamins A and E help keep them supple, protected, and extra kissable.”

From the description, it sounds a lot like a more adult (and hopefully less-sticky) version of Juicy Tubes. That tingling sensation sounds just like my Claire’s gloss, though, so I was a little apprehensive.

The shades themselves are all pretty sheer, as is the case with most glosses, but sheer color doesn’t make for good swatches, so here’s each shade after a few generous coats:

buxom swatches

L-R: Pink Champagne, Peach Daiquiri, Tequila Sunrise, Sangria, Grape Groove, Berry Bramble

Here’s the lo-down on product, pre-application: 1) the wand applicator is pretty small, which isn’t always convenient when you’re trying to apply your gloss quickly; and 2) the glosses smell very strongly of artificial cupcakes, which doesn’t exactly scream, “Hey there, I’m an employed 23-year-old!”

All that said, I wouldn’t be a fair reviewer if I didn’t at least give the Lip Cream a fair shot. I applied Sangria around 10:30 this morning (which sounds like the start to any good drunk brunch). At the time, it was very shiny, and the tingling feeling wasn’t exactly tingly as advertised—it felt more like I’d stuck my lips, and only my lips, into a freezer and left them there for years. They were SO. COLD. And that coldness didn’t go away for at least an hour, which wasn’t entirely pleasant. But, since I’m dedicated to my cause, I didn’t take it off. Here’s what it looks like now, at around 3pm:

(Related: Allure Magazine’s ’100 Years of Lip Trends’ Video Proves We’ve Pretty Much Come Full Circle)

buxom on

The sheer color is definitely pretty, and the shine, while not completely captured on my camera, is still noticeable, but not inappropriately so. Like, I don’t feel weird for wearing a lip gloss in my office setting, which is something I would normally never do. Also, now that the tingling has worn off, I’ve been looking to see if I notice any plumping, and…I guess I do? I mean, it’s not like a gloss can have the same impact as actual lip fillers, so I probably just need to lower my expectations.

That said, though, this really feels like a lip gloss for adults! The shiny finish is subtle and somehow natural, the color isn’t too in-your-face (though I didn’t try the orange shade, which could, admittedly, be too much), and best of all, it’s not even a little bit sticky. I can definitely feel that there’s product on my lips, but I’m not worried about my hair getting stuck in it on my walk home tonight.

My advice? If you’re pining for your teenage years, but don’t want to compromise your current style and beauty routine, shell out for one of Buxom’s Lip Creams. I was very pleasantly surprised (and, actually, fully ready to write up a satirical post about how wearing lip gloss again made me feel like an awkward 13-year-old), and I think you will be too.

(Photos: Sara Steinfeld/The Gloss)