Ever since the lipstick was created around 5 thousand years ago, chemist and inventors tried to make them easier to produce, use, and maintain, but also to be more pleasing to the eye. New colors, effects, and visual styles came and go with the changes in the fashion, but one specific lipstick product managed to endure all and remain popular over the last 80 years of its life. That product is lip gloss.
Lip gloss cannot be confused with traditional lipstick, or lip balm. Lipstick is a substance that drastically changes the color of the lips for fashion purposes (striking reds, full blacks, and so on), and lip balm is a medicinal balm that can be used to heal and soothe lips from various injuries. Lip gloss on the other hand is a transparent or slightly opaque colored product that gives lips glossy surface. Since its inception until now, lip gloss was made in countless variations, from fully transparent liquids to the opaque shades of color that can have various finishes (metallic, glittered, glassy, frosted, sun protection, etc.).
The first inventor of lip gloss was Max Factor, a polish immigrant to the USA who formed Max Factor & Company in 1909 and produced lip gloss in 1930. This first edition of lip gloss was created for the needs of black and white film actresses. Of course as those movies become famous, general female population wanted to imitate film stars, which became fully possible in 1932 when Max Factor released first commercial lip gloss called “X-Rated” into the public.
From that point on, lip gloss remained one of the most popular fashion items in the western world. Not only that it enabled female population to maintain their preferred fashion style (more subdued colors and natural look), but it also gave a chance to both female and male population to shield their lips from the outside conditions. Protection from sun, wind, and water popularized lip gloss, and made it as used as regular lipsticks.
One of the most important times in lip gloss history happened in 1970 when cosmetics company Bonne Bell introduced to the American public first flavored lip gloss called Lip Smackers. From the moment of their introduction, they remained popular among younger population, especially teenage girls.
Today, lip gloss can be found in several distinct packaging – small cylindrical bottles with sloped applicator wand, small squeezable plastic tubes that can be passed over lips or applied with a fingertip, and solid glosses that are very reminiscent of lip balms.