5 Hot Tips for Bright, Glossy Lips

Published in: MAC Makeup, Makeup, Makeup Tips/How To

I swear there’s a magic dial behind makeup counters that associates can use to crank up the brightness of their lipglosses because shiny shades of red, coral, fuchsia, neon orange and hot pink are blossoming right before my eyes!


Bright, glossy lips are among my favorite things about summer. Here are five hot tips to get your pretty kisser primed and ready to glow!

1. Prevent pigmented glosses from drifting past your natural lip line

Once I spent an entire day sightseeing in San Francisco without realizing I had bright red lipgloss smeared all over my chin… I’d assumed folks were staring because they wanted to be friends, but when a highly pigmented gloss creeps past your natural lip line, it’s like wearing a big sign on your forehead that reads, “WHEE! LOOK AT ME! I LOOK LIKE A CRAZY!” 🙂

To halt the migration, start by lining the outer edges of your lips with a clear lip liner like Benefit D’finer D’liner ($20). Because it’s clear, it won’t alter the shade of the gloss you’re wearing and won’t lead you down the path to pigment overkill.

2. Exfoliate for an even, smooth surface and maximum shine

Smooth lips love gloss and look downright dazzling in bright sunlight. Pump up the volume of your favorite glosses with some gentle exfoliation.

I like to mix MAC Naked Honey Salve (Rosebud Salve works well, too) with a pinch of granulated sugar and rub the concoction against my lips with a finger for a minute or two. Presto! — a soft and smooth pucker, no flakes included.

3. Protect your pout by adding SPF

What’s a girl to do when she finds a perfect bright beach gloss, but it doesn’t contain SPF? She can prep her pout by starting with a layer of an SPF lip treatment like Smashbox Lip Treatment SPF 15 in Clear. It’s a non-sticky balm that stays put all day long and even adds a little moisture, to boot.

4. Kick up the color content with a coordinating lip liner

You know how some glosses look really bright in the tube but sheer on the lips? Crank up the color by first lining and filling in your lips with a lip pencil in a coordinating shade. Then, apply the gloss on top of the liner, beginning at the center of each lip and feathering out.

I dig a bunch of different liners, but these MAC Cremestick Liners ($14.50) are pretty great. They’re twist-ups, so you don’t have to sharpen the tip, and the moisturizing, creamy formula glides like butter on my lips.

Lately I’ve been reaching for Red Enriched (for red and reddish coral shades), Summerfruit (for corals) and Pink Treat (for hot pinks and fuchsias).


Added bonuses: Not only does a layer of liner enhance the glossy color sitting on top of it, but it also helps to anchor gloss to the lips, making it last longer.

5. Open doors to other dimensions with a dot of shimmery shadow

Give dimension to your bright, glossy lip look by dotting a spot of a shimmery white eyeshadow like Urban Decay Polyester Bride ($17) in the center of your bottom lip with a finger. The concentrated shimmer acts like a spotlight shining on your lips. If you plan to use a multi-purpose loose eyeshadow, just make sure to check if it’s lip safe first.

I hope these five tips help your pout look glossy and bright, all summer long! 🙂

Your friendly neighborhood beauty addict,



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So far, 26 people have commented on this article. How cool is that?

  1. oh my god, lol, i walked down the street one day and the same thing happened to me. lip gloss all over my cheeks though (Not sure how it got there) The sad thing is none of my friends told me. lol

  2. Rachael says:

    I’m paranoid of glosses and lipsticks going anywhere but my lips, but I can’t find a clear liner anywhere!
    .-= Rachael’s last blog post… License to Thrill: I Wanna be a Bond Girl =-.

  3. they thought it was hilarious. I’m a bit of a practical joker myself, so they saidthey were just getting back at me.

  4. oh i’m due in three weeks, very excited hon. yay!
    .-= beautylogicblog’s last blog post… My Sex & The City 2 Night Out =-.

  5. well he’s june 24th. lol, so he’s a cancer. but since I’m a cancer, I’d say he’s still pretty awesome. 🙂
    .-= beautylogicblog’s last blog post… My Sex & The City 2 Night Out =-.

  6. Amaranthine says:

    It happens to me every time i use Dazzleglass in Date night… I met my mother in law for the first time (@#*!) sporting a large patch of raspberry red glitter on my noose, so embarrassing!
    Thanks for sharing your tips, definitely i’ll buy the benefit liner, sounds so interesting.
    .-= Amaranthine’s last blog post… Smokey eyes workshop °2: Sultry and casual black =-.

  7. Rose says:

    Good idea with the Polyester Bride. I have it in a couple of pallets and I never use them because the glitter and texture look ridiculous on me. Yay for repurposing.

  8. Anna says:

    I like this post, thanks for the tips! If you get a chance, could you review Revlon super lustrous lip glosses? Those are my favorite but I would love to hear your more professional opinion =)

  9. Agnes says:

    interesting! i never thought of putting a dot of shimmery eyeshadow on the lips! definately will have to give that a try someday. thanks for the amazing tips karen 🙂
    .-= Agnes’s last blog post… May Favourites ♥ =-.

  10. Ewa Linsey says:

    I also like to cover my lips with a lipliner before lipgloss, for a more defined look. This is a nice overview, Karen. What do you think about Rimmel lip pencils- you seem to know the brand? Thanks! Ewa@LoveSmokeyEyes

  11. Pinch says:

    Thanks for the tips, Karen! =) I never considered putting spf under my gloss. But it’s not like we’ve had sun here either, so no burns here 🙂
    .-= Pinch’s last blog post… Review: Dermalogica Ultracalming Cleanser =-.

  12. Nina says:

    Thanks for the tips …. ive taken to using the Neosporin Lip Health Overnight Renewal and it works. I still get the dries every now and then but the instances seem to be few and far between.

    Ive actually put some sugar in w/ the Neosporin and sugar scrubbed my lips too!

    Im liking that Benefit liner … 🙂

  13. Vonvon says:

    Tip #5 is cool! A new function to my existing eyeshadow collection….do you think Stila Kitten would work as well?

    Like to multi-task!
    .-= Vonvon’s last blog post… Photos: Hauls & Pressies; And A Little Update On Myself =-.

  14. marisol says:

    Great tips Karen and perfect timing too. I tend to wear more glosses during the summer months so I should follow your advice.

    By the way, how did you like Invictus? I love me some Matt Damon.
    .-= marisol’s last blog post… Abandonment issues =-.

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