For most of the last year, my lips have gone bare — save for lip balm when my lips were chapped. I sadly never mastered transfer-proof lipstick under my face mask, so I basically decided to temporarily retire my lip products until I was fully vaccinated and could safely forgo a face mask in some scenarios.
Not wearing lipstick for 14+ months became something of a habit; even after I was vaxxed and had places to go that didn't require a mask, I found myself still reaching for my low-maintenance balm over my mauve matte lipstick for a little color. I wasn't sure my hiatus from lip products would ever end until I gave the e.l.f. Cosmetics Lip Plumping Gloss in Champagne Glam ($6) a try.
As noted in its name, it's a plumping lip gloss, which means it's formulated with ingredients that help your lips appear more fuller. Available in seven sheer color options, the gloss imparts a high-shine finish and even delivers moisture to the lips via coconut oil. Three of the shades — Champagne Glam, Pink Sugar, and Pink Cosmo — have a very subtle shimmer to them.
Most lip products that are designed to make your lips appear fuller leave behind a cooling and tingly sensation — that feeling is usually a sign that the product will, indeed, provide some plumping power. The Lip Plumping Gloss' tingly sensation is much more comfortable and mild than other formulas (that have bordered on irritating) that I've tried in the past. Within a few seconds of applying it, I can feel the gloss getting to work — and the results are there when I look in the mirror. The applicator perfectly distributes the formula over my lips without any globs, too.
If I'm applying a gloss instead of my go-to lip balm, that usually means I am dressing up to go somewhere other than my at-home office, or I need a shinier lip finish to complete my look. The Plumping Gloss has a gorgeous, light-reflecting shine that sticks around and creates more of a makeup moment than what my go-to balm can do. When I'm eating breakfast or lunch, I've noticed that some of the gloss does wear off slightly. That said, my lips usually still have a dewy glow to them.
I haven't tried it yet, but the brand also mentions that the gloss can be layered over top of your favorite lipstick to add more shine, and I can tell you that my favorite mauve will definitely reap those benefits in time.