Lipstick vs. Lip Gloss: Colorful or Glossy?

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Difference between Lipstick and Lip Gloss

Lipstick is typically a thick, rich form of makeup for the lips that adds color in the base of an oil or wax. Lipsticks are a type of makeup that can include sunscreen and moisturizers as well, to enhance the product. Available in practically every color imaginable, lipstick has been around since at least since the days of the ancient Roman Empire. Lip gloss on the other hand, has not been around as long, but is at least as popular as lipstick for providing moisture to the lips. As a makeup option, lip gloss is available in many colors or color free options. The gloss and sheen of lip gloss can vary widely as well.

Lip Gloss


Lip gloss is a shiny lip covering that was first developed commercially by Max Factor in the 30s. Max Factor made many cosmetic products and invented lip gloss as a way to enhance movie star's lips. Lip gloss sometimes is flavored or glittery, and often has a bit of tint. Lip gloss can be worn alone or over lipstick to add a bit of gloss to the color of a matte lipstick color.

Lipstick is a thicker lip coloring that has been around for ages. The Egyptians used iodine, beetles, henna, and even fish scales to make lipstick. In the 1600 and 1700s, lipstick had a reputation as being unrespectable and in the English parliament even passed a law to say that women who seduced men into marriage by wearing of makeup might be witches. Movie stars made lipstick respectable in the 1920 and 30s.

Appropriate Age Range

While lipstick might be respectable, it still is not considered appropriate for young girls to wear. Lipstick is a makeup befitting women of teenage years when a light shade is worn, and for older women in various colors. Depending on your skin tone, dark red is still considered a flamboyant and bold choice regardless of age. If you match your skin’s undertones to the pigment of red in the lipstick, you will be happier with the results.

Lip gloss however, is considered appropriate for all ages and even more so for young girls. Older women are sometimes thought to be acting too much like children when they wear glittery lip gloss, but a soft layer of shimmer over a light colored lipstick looks good at any age.


Lipstick and lip gloss both provide many benefits other than the enhancement of looks. Aside from the aesthetically appealing look of colored lips, lip glosses and lipsticks that contain moisturizers can work to prevent chapped lips. Products that contain sunscreen protect from sun damage, and vitamin enriched lipsticks and lip glosses can improve the condition of lips.

Similarities and Differences

  • Lipstick and lip gloss have been and will continue to be popular makeup options for women.
  • Finding the right shade of lip tint can be tricky, but try looking for one that is just a bit darker than your lip color.
  • Lip color can be purchased in tubes, sticks, and pots, which are all convenient for carrying in your purse or in your pocket. When you find the perfect one, you will want to use it to the last drop!


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