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Whether you love to paint your pucker a racy red or neutral shades are more your style, lip color is an essential that every makeup-wearing woman should have (even if you rarely wear it). But grabbing the first tube with the word “lip” on it is just asking for trouble and may not give your lips the look you want. Although stores sell various types of lipsticks and lip glosses, knowing the difference between the two can help you make the right choice.
When it comes to staying power, lip gloss can't hold a candle to the type of wear-time that you'll get courtesy of lipstick. On average, lipsticks can linger for two hours or, in the case of long-lasting lip color, even longer (of course, all bets are off with one good kiss). While some lip glosses last longer than others, they will all require reapplication more frequently than your lipsticks will.
Application and Carrying Style
When wearing lipstick you more or less know you'll be toting the tube around. While some lipsticks may come in a pot, the portability and ease of use that you get from your lipstick tube is hard to beat. Sure, they're made to be used straight out of the tube and directly on your lips, but a lipstick brush works magic when a perfectly painted pout is necessary. Lip gloss gives you more versatility in the application and in its packaging. Available in a squeeze or solid tube, or in a pot, you can apply it using your fingers, a wand, brush or, in a pinch, even a cotton swab.
Lip gloss is meant to give your lips the added allure of luscious shine and pouty fullness. It can be used alone or over your lipstick for drama and flare. Lipsticks come in more shades than a girl can imagine, although the look and feel can be narrowed down to matte, crème or sheer. Matte lipsticks are just that -- matte. Wear this lipstick and you're talking serious color, minus the shine. On the plus side, mattes often wear longer than other types of lipstick and really sizzle when lip gloss is added on top. Creme lipsticks don't exactly shine, but they're creamier than matte colors, which translates into a moister lipstick. These are available as plain color, or for added excitement, shimmer or frost cream lipsticks can give your lips a luminous or metallic look. Sheer lipsticks, which are also known as glazes, are the more reliable cousin of lip gloss. They give your lips a pretty shine, but tend to outlast lip gloss.
Where You'll Want to Wear It
Lip gloss is all about fun and gives your lips the flirtatious appearance that's suitable for weekend, casual or after-hours fun. Lipstick, on the other hand, has wide appeal and is suitable for anytime and anyplace wear. You'll want to choose your formula wisely, however, especially when participating in certain activities where frosty, metallic or shimmery lipstick may not be the most appropriate choice if you want to be taken seriously.