You’re in a rush to get out the door and your lips are chapped. You can’t find your lip balm, so you grab a tube of lip gloss, apply a dab and immediately notice your lips feel smooth and hydrated. Is it possible you’ve been spending money on two products when one suffices?
Don’t put all your eggs in the lip gloss basket just yet. Lip balms and lip glosses have very different functions, says celebrity makeup artist Margina Dennis. “Lip balm is typically a treatment product and its purpose is to protect lips from getting dry or chapped or help to heal after this happens,” Dennis says.
So where does lip gloss fit in? Think of this product as the pretty wallpaper you put up, only after you’ve primed your walls, uh, lips. “Lip gloss is designed to add luster and shine to the lips to make them appear fuller and or brighter,” Dennis says. “Some glosses have a plumping agent in them to to further the appearance of fuller looking lips.”
Another important distinction? Lip balm is not chapstick, which Dennis describes as a “preventative product that is designed to protect the lips from getting chapped, but will not cure chapped or dry lips once that has happened.”
Looking for some expert product picks? Dennis recommends 100% Pure Lysine and Herbs Lip Balm, which is designed to heal lips after they are dry and chapped. As for lip gloss, Dennis says Laura Mercier Lip Plumper plumps the lips “without that uncomfortable feeling that some other lip plumpers have,” while Bobbi Brown has a fantastic line of sheer, opaque lip glosses that have a “tacky texture that helps them to adhere to the lips” so that you don’t have to reapply every 30 minutes.
So in summary, lip balm + lip gloss = best lips ever.