Friday, December 15, 2017

Gambles with Gloss: NYX Gingersnap and Revlon Rosy Future

In my personal taxonomy, most makeup falls into one of four categories: 1) products that I collect actively (lipstick, eyeshadow, nail polish); 2) products that I own in limited numbers because I use them very slowly and/or don't find them exciting (blush, highlighter, eyeliner); 3) products that I wear regularly but purchase only when I run out because they straight-up bore me (brow stuff, mascara, concealer); 4) products that simply have no place in my routine (foundation, bronzer, contour).

And then there's lip gloss.

I've been wearing it on and off for years, but I can't decide how I feel about it. I fall in love with a specific kind of gloss (opaque, sparkly, sheer, whatever); buy a few shades in that category; decide after a few months that gloss in general isn't for me; and then, about a year later, repeat the whole cycle of fickleness. In my early makeup-wearing days, I favored opaque cream-finish glosses in bold colors, like Revlon Fire and YSL Rouge Gouache (those potato-quality 2014 photos, yikes). Eventually, though, I realized that a glossy red or magenta mouth was a lot of look. It was pretty in selfies, but too impractical and overtly sexy for my shabby lifestyle ("lifestyle"). Inspired by Japanese beauty editorials, I switched to sheer washes of candy colors, such as the NYX Butter Glosses in Peach Cobbler and Raspberry Tart. I'm currently in my third gloss era, which involves semi-sheer berry and neutral shades, with or without shimmer. Here's my entire gloss collection, with the caveat that I've never worn the three rightmost shades out of the house:

L-R: Revlon Colorburst Lipgloss in Embellished, Revlon Super Lustrous Lipgloss in Rosy Future, NYX Butter Glosses in Tiramisu and Gingersnap, OCC Stained Gloss (discontinued) in Dune, Dior Addict Ultra-Gloss in Ultradior, and Urban Decay Revolution High-Color Gloss in Scandal.

Gloss has some definite advantages over lipstick. It's easier to apply, generally more moisturizing, and less likely to fade patchily or produce the dreaded "ring of death" around the lips. But I still associate it with my teenage years, a period not quite far enough in the past to seem appealingly retro. (I've noticed some aughts nostalgia floating around the makeup subreddits, but something tells me it's coming from people too young to remember 9/11.) Though I was more or less oblivious to makeup trends during the first half of the 2000s, I somehow owned lip gloss: a couple of those drugstore knockoffs of the Lancôme Juicy Tubes, clearish and slightly sparkly. Back then, lipstick was for older women like my mom, who never went anywhere without her tubes of L'Oreal Blushing Berry and Raspberries. Lip gloss was youthful, accessible, unfussy, modern.

Kim Kardashian, 2006 (source). Everyone knew she wore NARS lip gloss in Turkish Delight.

Of course, what seems modern and youthful in a given year will inevitably seem dated a decade later. I always feel a little uneasy when I wear lip gloss, as if I should also be wearing low-rise bootcut jeans, checkered Vans, and a Kerry/Edwards '04 button. But is it all that dated? I can't figure out the current semiotics of lip gloss. It never vanished from the shelves, but it did seem to fade from public consciousness for a few years, and now we're being assured repeatedly that it's about to return in triumph. Earlier this year, Glossier made its clear gloss permanent and insisted that "lip gloss was never gone. It was just waiting for its moment to return." (Those two statements would seem to contradict each other, but okay.) Rihanna's Fenty Beauty debuted last month with just one lip product, the Gloss Bomb Universal Lip Luminizer in Fenty Glow, and no one complained about the lack of a matte liquid lipstick (though Fenty has since released one, of course). Is lip gloss in 2017 like brown lipstick in 2014, teetering on the border of outmoded and avant-garde? Or was it never out of fashion in the first place?

I don't have answers, but I do have two new glosses: NYX Butter Gloss in Gingersnap and Revlon Super Lustrous Lipgloss in Rosy Future, also known as "that Fenty dupe."


L-R: OCC Dune, Rosy Future, Gingersnap, NYX Tiramisu. First photo in shade, second in sun.



I'm most susceptible to the allure of lip gloss in winter, when my lips are often chapped and cracked. Of all the gloss formulas I've tried over the years, NYX Butter Gloss is my favorite: hydrating, non-sticky, pigmented but not too pigmented, and supremely affordable. Back in October, I picked up Gingersnap, one of the darker Butter Gloss shades. It's a medium brown with a hint of plum, similar to Urban Decay's Vice Lipstick in Lawbreaker. Here's Gingersnap on the left and Lawbreaker on the right; they have very similar color payoff and longevity (i.e. not much of each), though Gingersnap is a slightly cooler brown.


One layer of Gingersnap delivers a subtle brownish MLBB color; you don't really get the color in the arm swatch above unless you build up the product a bit. Like most glosses, Gingersnap doesn't last more than a couple of hours. But it fades evenly and leaves my lips feeling moisturized, which is all I ask from a lip gloss. The NYX Butter Glosses are lightly vanilla-scented, but not perfumey enough to be problematic for me. Here's a lip swatch with a couple of layers:


And here's a full face from back in October. As you can see, Gingersnap reads as a tame MLBB on me. I can't remember exactly what other makeup I was wearing, but I'm pretty sure I have Makeup Geek Flamethrower (or is it Legend? they look indistinguishable on my skin) and some ABH Modern Renaissance shades on my eyes. In retrospect, I should have used a warmer-toned lip color with this eye look, but whatever.


With a cooler-toned look (Kiko Rosy Brown on my eyes, Urban Decay Rapture on my cheeks). Pardon the hat hair; I haven't really had time to take blog-worthy selfies.


Revlon Rosy Future has been around for a few years now, but it came to my attention only recently, when someone mentioned it on Reddit as a possible dupe for the Fenty Gloss Bomb.


I have mixed feelings about dupe-hunting (more on that in my next post), especially when there's not a huge price difference between the desired item and the dupe. But I was curious about the alleged resemblance between the two glosses, so I brought my tube of Rosy Future to Sephora and swatched it next to Fenty Glow. Revlon on the left, Fenty on the right:


Honestly, they're not all that similar. Rosy Future is a mauve-brown with white pearl; Fenty Glow is lighter, sheerer, and peachier, with warmer-toned, less densely packed shimmer. I didn't try the Sephora tester on my lips (shudder), but from the photos I've seen, Fenty Glow's shimmer is more understated on the lips than Rosy Future's. The two glosses are also quite different in formula. Fenty Glow has a sticky texture and a heavy caramel fragrance, two dealbreakers for me. Rosy Future isn't sticky at all, and it has an almost undetectable vanilla scent. Interestingly, they're about the same price per ounce: Fenty Glow is $18 for 0.30 oz (9 ml), while Rosy Future is between $5.50 and $8.50, depending on the retailer, for 0.13 oz. (3.8 ml). And since a sheer nude gloss is something you'll touch up more often than, say, a matte red lipstick, I think the price per ounce is relevant. If you really want Fenty Glow and don't care about the stickiness and strong scent, I don't see much point in seeking out Rosy Future, since it's not a color dupe and isn't even cheaper per ounce.

Since I didn't care much about Fenty Glow in the first place, I'm happy to appreciate Rosy Future on its own terms. It's such an easy color to wear, and I can see it suiting a wide range of skin tones. In a lip swatch, the pearly shimmer of Rosy Future is still quite apparent. At normal speaking distance, the shimmer diffuses into more of a glow. The base color doesn't change the color of my lips dramatically, but it does make them a bit warmer-toned:


On my (rare) nights out, I often wear a gloss instead of a lipstick to make eating less messy. Alas, I don't have any daylight shots of the look below, but at least I remembered to record exactly what makeup I was wearing. On my eyes, I have ABH Warm Sienna in the crease and on the lower lashline; ABH Cyprus Umber on the outer V; and MUG Legend on the lid. On my cheeks, I have Illamasqua Zygomatic blush and ColourPop Lunch Money highlighter. In this classy restroom shot, Rosy Future basically reads as a clear gloss:


And here's Rosy Future used in one of my infrequent forays into no-makeup makeup, along with Seventeen Statuesque and Urban Decay Cover eyeshadows; Tarte Paaarty blush; and Becca Shimmering Skin Perfector Liquid in Opal, one of the best Sephora deluxe samples I've ever received. Rosy Future withstood two hours of normal drinking and talking, which is about average for a nude gloss.


How do you feel about lip glossis it due for a renaissance, or did it never really go away?
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21 comments:

  1. I love the NYX butter glosses too. The ones I have that don't really show up on me pretty much double as lip balms, since they're so moisturizing.

    I don't think gloss ever went away among anyone but the super-trendy. I still see red carpet makeup looks from all sorts (and ages) of women wearing lip gloss, and I've been seeing them all along. But I think it's kind of been more of a workhorse product than A Look--like if someone is playing up their eyes and wants their lips to look subtler but still maybe bigger, gloss would be the way to go.

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    1. I've been known to use my butter glosses as lip balms before I go to bed! I'm glad that NYX's recent frenzy of ALL NEW FORMULAS ALL THE TIME hasn't resulted in any change to the butter glosses (other than new shades, of course).

      And you're right, I think gloss has stuck around (if you will) this whole time. I definitely see more people wearing matte lipstick than I did a few years ago, but I don't necessarily see fewer people wearing gloss. I'm fascinated with the widening gap between what's trendy online (matte brown lips! blinding highlight!) and what regular girls and women are wearing.

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  2. I feel similar about gloss. We are the same age, and especially clear or frosty gloss reminds me of sixth grade when I tried my first clumsy steps in the makeup world and wore those glosses to the movies or on a Saturday shopping trip and felt so weird because I was wearing makeup. My sense of history tells me that something from my teenage years must be out of fashion. But at the same time, I kind of like it. My gloss collection is very strange (2 unopened Mac glosses from the 2014 holiday collection, a Chanel gloss which probably should be decluttered because of its age, the same mini of Scandal you own, two Butter Glosses and an unopened mini squeezy tube gloss from Benefit). I don't actively use those products, and they'd probably not survive a good Konmari declutter, but something tells me to keep them.

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    1. I agree, clear gloss in particular has that early-'00s vibe that puts me off (I remember hating most of mainstream fashion and pop culture back then--I was such a snob in middle/high school). I have a feeling that Glossier's clear gloss appeals to those who came of age a bit later than we did and romanticize the '00s in the same way that people our age romanticize the '90s.

      Honestly, I'm holding on to my two mini glosses not because I think I'll ever wear them but because they're SO CUTE.

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  3. I'm not sure if I really like lipglosses, mostly because of the feeling of a film on the lips they often create. However, they're definitely easier for me than opaque lipsticks, even neutral toned ones. I currently have about 5-6 shades, one of them also being Revlon (same line as Rosy Future) called Desert Spice. It doesn't have any shimmer, it's a warm red color which is not opaque, and gives this nice wash of color for my not so pigmented lips. A had a couple of other shades, Fatal Apple and Berry Allure (I think that's the names), which are also quite nice. I had a couple of NYX butter glosses, but I simply don't like the formula. It feels quite "oily", and when Revlon gloss seem to set a bit, Butter glosses always move around on my lips and I dislike the feeling.
    I don't think the era of lipglosses is over, even though I see more opaque formulas.. I like sheer ones, along with sheer lipsticks and tinted balms.

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    1. I like that line of Revlon glosses in general! I had Super Natural a few years ago and it was a beautiful pale nude. It's funny, I've never noticed the oiliness of the butter glosses, I think because my lips are always so dry.

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  4. I go through stages of gloss loving: also coming of age in the 2000s, I had some delightfully frosty glosses and clear ones that smelled like fruit. My first non-Bonne Bell lip product was a Maybelline Shinylicious lip gloss (I loved those things - I ended up with 3 and my preteen self thought I was the height of sophistication). I had an affair with coloured glosses a few years ago and then dropped them, but have a few on hand now. I like gloss overall, but I think I find it easier to wear now that I have a pixie and my hair won't get in it.

    I think gloss never really goes away: it's an easy comfortable product for most people to wear, and in real life, that matters much more than trend.

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    1. Oh right, I forgot to mention that gloss is basically unwearable on windy days unless you have a pixie! Though I often have that problem with cream-finish lipsticks, too. A tiny insect once got stuck to my lips while I was wearing MAC Up the Amp, ugh.

      And I think you're right: ultimately, most people who wear makeup are looking for products that make their routine less fussy, and sheer gloss certainly fits that bill. I'm not sure how anyone wears opaque gloss that isn't a YSL Glossy Stain or some other budgeproof formula, though!

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  5. I have one tube of lip gloss, which my sister in law gave me as part of a goodie bag she gave all her bridesmaids; it’s supposed to be burgundy but if I wear it by itself it’s just slightly darker pink than my skin color. It’s sticky and comes off easily (and I have long hair) so it’s become the thing I only wear when I’m dressing up for a short period of time that doesn’t involve eating, which in practice means choir concerts. Over reddish lipstick if it’s a Christmas concert and I want to look festive, otherwise by itself. Whether this is stylish or not I can’t say. It’s not so bright as to make me stick out and it does a little bit to help convey facial expressions from the stage, which is good because our conductor is always telling us to be more expressive, but when I’m one of sixty women wearing the same floor-length black polyester dress, “stylish” is kind of off the table.

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    1. I hope this doesn't come off as patronizing, because I don't mean it that way: I love hearing how people who aren't Makeup People use and think about makeup. I follow makeup releases and trends so closely that I can lose sight of how ordinary people view makeup: "okay, I have an event, I have a product, and this product will help me prepare for this event."

      The phrase "floor-length black polyester dress" makes my whole body itch. It also gives me painful flashbacks to the time my sixth-grade class had a choir concert and I was the only kid who missed the memo to wear black...

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    2. "okay, I have an event, I have a product, and this product will help me prepare for this event."

      Yeah, I'm too indecisive and too tired out by retail environments to take a lot of pleasure in shopping for makeup, but there are times when I need its help! This was particularly stark last week when I had a cold and three concerts to sing in: I spent Saturday and Sunday mornings and early afternoons on the couch in my pajamas watching figure skating, and then spent an hour very slowly and deliberately trying to make myself look and feel bright-eyed and healthy and celebratory. Aspirin, Sudafed, Neti pot; BB cream, eyeliner, lip gloss; a solid twenty minutes flat-ironing my hair. This mostly worked, except for the performance when I inhaled my throat lozenge and spent a song and a half discreetly coughing it up and trying to breathe properly again. (Learn my mistakes, kids, don't sing with something in your mouth.)

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  6. I love lipgloss, the stickier and goopier the better! I've always loved it, although it's easier nowadays because more glosses are available to buy. I've got short hair so I don't have issues with hair sticking to my lips. My only issue is I struggle with feathering, so I can't wear super pigmented glosses unless I double layer with a neutral liner on my lipline and a clear liner just on the outside of my lip line.

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    1. There are a lot of things I'll put up with in lip products, but a sticky texture is not one of them. I remember trying a Milani gloss (now no longer available) that sort of gummed my lips together when I was talking. NOPE NOPE NOPE DO NOT WANT

      I've been meaning to experiment with lip liner and gloss! I occasionally have feathering problems as well, but I also just want to play with different color combinations.

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  7. Lip gloss never left Fox News, that's for sure! Rosy Future looks cool; thanks for the rec. Totally agree with you that intense caramel scents are the worst. Personally, I usually wear gloss in the summer, because I think it goes well with a glow. The rest of the year I find it a bit unbearable, not least because I really dread the sensation of my hair getting caught on my lips in the wind. It seems like beauty companies are trying to push shiny lips for the new trend. Have you tried Sephora's Gloss Balm? I really like that.

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    1. I like gloss in the summer, too! And no, I've never tried the Gloss Balms. I looked at Sephora yesterday and didn't spot them, but I did find some adorable Sephora Collection lip balms in Paul and Joe-esque cardboard tubes. The rose one might come home with me eventually...

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  8. You are one of the bloggers that make me go "I'll have what she's having!!" I bought Nyx Gingersnap thanks to your blog or instagram, and now it's one of my favorite lip products. Woohoo! And I love the Fenty gloss, it looks almost like a metallic lipstick on me.

    I started wearing lip gloss in like 1999 or 2000, and have been wearing it ever since, because I've always been very bad at trends.

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    1. And you're one of those bloggers for me! I'm glad you're enjoying Gingersnap. I think it might be my favorite gloss ever.

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  9. Really feeling that no makeup make up! I think the gloss is really ultra flattering and sometimes that's really all that's necessary haha. I realy like gloss in general and i always have a few rattling around. I should get a few butter glosses for sure.

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    1. Yes, there's something to be said for flattering makeup (and clothes)! No matter how dry and flaky my lips are, they always look better with gloss, and I can't complain about that. Come to think of it, many current makeup trends (red/orange eyeshadow, warm brown lipstick, liquid matte formulas) are pretty unflattering on me.

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  10. I have a very strict no lip gloss policy because I just do not enjoy it as a general category. I had the stickiest gloss from The Body Shop when I was 15 and I still think about digging my grubby teenage fingers into the pot, smearing it on my lips, and then my hair inevitably being caught in it. I just can't do that to myself again! Yet even I have been tempted by the Fenty gloss, because it looks so ridiculously pretty. I keep telling myself that it's just the power of marketing and YouTube hype, but there's still a small part of me that's interested. I agree with Lyn though that gloss might have lost its trendy status but has remained a boring staple product. My mom will keep any brand that makes a squeezy tube gloss in business, at least.

    The current emphasis on gloss from trendy brands seems to be a pushback against the super matte trend that we've had for the past few years. I have to say, I kind of shrugged when I heard about the Fenty liquid lipstick because at this point the market is so saturated and I'm definitely over LLs. If a brand comes out with a LL now, they don't seem ahead of the curve or even on-trend. It just feels like playing catch-up. So Glossier and Fenty coming out with glosses seems about right if they want to be seen as trendsetters. Not that neutral/clear lip gloss is exactly groundbreaking, but I suppose it does feel fresh in the current liquid lipstick-saturated market.

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    1. I had a no-gloss policy for about a year before I bought Gingersnap! There are just some days when my lips are too dry for anything but gloss. I definitely have enough shades to last me a while, though.

      I think liquid lipstick is entering the same category that gloss currently inhabits: it's no longer trendy, but it will have longevity as a workhorse product for specific purposes. Matte LLs definitely have their place in my life (for instance, when I know I'll be talking/drinking for a while and won't have a chance to touch up), but I'm glad there's more room in the market for bullet lipsticks than there was a year or two ago. Semi-matte bullet lipsticks forever!

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