High School Spending: Lip Gloss

“Sometimes you just have to put on lipgloss and pretend to be psyched.”- Mindy Kaling

POSTED April 30, 2020

Lip gloss: it’s classy, it’s youthful, it’s iconic. It’s just plain obvious. However, as all high schoolers know, it can be a bit pricey and all of those diverse options can be overwhelming. To help keep you pretty for your penny, I have categorized four different lip gloss brands in terms of price, application, durability, shine, and smoothness. All four brands are below $10 to make affordable to most high school students. 


First, is the No7 High Shine Lip Gloss in the color “Translucent”. I’m going to say now that most almost all of these brands are going to be in a clear or sheer color. This was one of the two most expensive priced at $9.99 with 0.27 Fl. Oz (8ml). That’s about 3 pennies per fluid ounce. I purchased at the Walgreens right across the street from Roosevelt, which has more color choices than the other drugstores. The No7 High Shine Lip Gloss has a “doe-foot” applicator, which is like a brush or sponge tip. The applicator is stiff and causes you to apply the lip gloss by swiping the tip in between your lips instead of applying it separately. This application is the most awkward out of the four. Onto durability. At about a half an hour this gloss begins to feel a bit dry. It still shines at this point but feels like it doesn’t. The glossiness lasts about 40-50 minutes. This lip gloss was probably the second shiniest out of the four that I tried, although they all had just around the same amount of shine. The smoothness of the No7 High Shine Lip Gloss is not the best. It felt almost sticky on my lips, especially after some time. While wearing this gloss, it gave me a bad taste in my mouth, which I thought was normal but I came to find out with the other brands it is completely avoidable. Overall, I wouldn’t recommend this lip gloss because of the awkward applicator and the terrible taste. 


Next on the list is the Neutrogena MoistureShine Lip Soother in Gleam 40. This was the second priciest of all of them per ounce. Unfortunately, the bottle only lists ounces, not fluid ounces, so it is hard to compare between the others. It retails around $9.99, with 0.35 oz, about 4 pennies per ounce. The bottle is about half the size of the No7 High Shine Lip Gloss. This is definitely the priciest but the best quality. For application, the MoistureShine has a traditional squeeze tube which makes for smooth sailing. The lip gloss lasts a good hour, and even after the glossiness is no longer apparent it feels like a normal chapstick. I don’t think the main purpose of this was shininess, rather moisturizing, but it does have a considerable amount of shine. The smoothness is by far the best out of the four. The gloss doesn’t feel sticky, even when it dries. The gloss kind of has that bad taste, but not as dire and drying as the No7 High Shine. One special feature of this gloss that makes the $10 worth it is the SPF of 20. Yes, this lip gloss protects your lips from the harsh rays of the sun. That’s something I have never seen before, but it is important to help prevent skin cancer, even on your lips. Another special feature of this gloss is the smell. You read that right, the smell. All of the other glosses have this weird artificial smell, while this one has a nice light and fruity fragrance. Overall, this would be my top recommendation, although it is a bit pricey. An alternative that is really close to this one is the Burts Bees which will be reviewed further down.


Next up is the E.L.F. Lip Lacquer in Clear. This was by far the cheapest, retailing at $3. However, the bottle is the smallest out of the four. The Lip Lacquer has a “doe-foot” applicator, though not the same as the No7. This one is flexible, making for a MUCH easier time. The glossiness lasts about 45 minutes, which is the worst of all of them. The shininess was different from the others, with a more subtle look than like liquid. It’s all up to preference, but I prefer a more liquidy look than this kind of “gel” shine. This gloss was not smooth. It felt sticky with the first application and got worse when it started to dry. I don’t have many good things to say about this one. It gave that weird taste in my mouth and isn’t very travel friendly. Overall, this one would be at the bottom of my list, although that should be expected of the price.


Last but definitely not least in the Burt’s Bees Lip Shine in the shade “Whisper”. This bottle, like the Neutrogena, lists contents in ounces. The retail price is $7.79, with 0.5 ounces, about 6 pennies per ounce. It doesn’t seem like it, but it is the priciest of the four, but with good reason. Application is analogous to the Neutrogena MoistureShine, a simple squeeze tube that I find most useful. This gloss is by far the most durable out of the four, lasting about an hour and 10 minutes. Like I said before, it’s hard to differentiate the shininess between the glosses, but this one has the perfect amount without sacrificing other qualities. This gloss feels very smooth to the lips, similar to the Neutrogena MoistureShine. Different from the MoistureShine is that the Burt’s Bees doesn’t have that drying out affect the way the other lip glosses do. I don’t know if it is because of the natural ingredients or what, but this is a huge positive. Overall, this would be a very, very close second. Maybe even tied at first with the Neutrogena. The Burt’s Bees is a better deal, looks just as nice, and is made out of natural ingredients. What’s more to ask?




Brand Durability Shine Smoothness Application
No7 High Shine  40-50 minutes Liquidy 2/4 1/4
Neutrogena MoistureShine 60 minutes Liquidy 3/4 4/4
E.L.F. Lip Lacquer 45 minutes Subtle 1/4 2/4
Burt’s Bees Lip Shine 70 minutes Liquidy 4/4 3/4

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