Face Gloss Is Rapidly Becoming a Thing So I Glossed My Face Up for You

Another way to highlight, you say? Count me in.
Publish date:
April 5, 2016

People are bored with beauty. That’s why 2016 is giving us more beauty brands that care less about gender and making frilly products marketed specifically to women, and more about creating innovative products that make everyone feel like they can be part of the game.

Add to that the necessity for new concepts in order to get your brand noticed and we’re seeing innovations that make our old standbys easier to use and new ones that make editorial beauty accessible from your very own apartment. Man, what a time.

A product that a few brands have been rolling out lately is Face Gloss, which is exactly what it sounds like. A gloss for your face to achieve a natural, dewy look or go harder with a super wet beauty moment. It’s another way to highlight your face with a different finish.

Another way to highlight, you say? Count me in.

A gloss, though? That gives me pause. I’ll put just about anything on my face (stop) but I always cringe at the mention of a lip gloss, so I can’t imagine putting a gloss on my face.

But that’s not going to stop me.

So here's my face with nothing on it.

There are already a bunch of face glosses on the market like the one from Milk, the Clear Gloss from MAC, and a more luxe gloss from Elemis. The one I'm using today is from the beauty brand I'm all excited about, MAKE Beauty.

I took the face gloss and applied it to the back of my hand so I'd be able to tap it on my face using the pad of my finger.

The gloss itself is completely clear, without even the faintest hint of shimmer or iridescence, like you'd get from most lip glosses.

From there, I started highlighting all my usual spots, cheekbones, nose, and brow bones. Unlike some, I never highlight my forehead because my semi-oily skin will do that for me within a couple of hours.

It feels...well, like a gloss. Sticky. But on bare skin, I don't hate how it looks.

It didn't make my skin appear shiny, because I matted out all of the places where oil tens to build, but my skin bounced light in all the right places without any flecks of shimmer or sheen, which was a change from even the most natural looking highlighters.

I guess it had been a while since I, the queen of highlighters, used a product without any added shimmer of any sort. I really liked how it looks! It's a great way to keep that fresh out the shower, squeaky clean look, all day long.

It was one of those times when my face definitely looked better, but it was hard to pin down exactly why, which is the way my friends feel when I fill in my brows but don't wear any makeup.

The downside to this is that the tackiness never goes away, at least with this MAKE gloss. That may not bother some of you, I can name a bunch of other products that feel just as live, but are more temperamental throughout wear than a face gloss. The upside is that it doesn't migrate, and once it's on, you can't smudge it or mess it up.

I would not recommend this to people will longer hair. I know a lot of people, myself included when my hair isn't pushed back, that are hyperaware of even your skincare making your hair stick to your face, and this would definitely do the same thing.

So it looks great on a bare face, but what about using it to highlight a full face? I was curious, so I threw on a face and got to work.

My main concern with using face gloss over the top of my makeup was that it would pick up the makeup and move it around my face. When thinking about the placement, especially on my cheekbones, it could interfere with foundation, and any contour, bronzer, or blush that it's sitting on top of. That area of the face is where a lot of products meet and blend together, and putting such a tacky product on top of all that work made me apprehensive.

And rightfully so, it would seem.

So, two things. I actually really like the way it looks on top of a full face in these photos...

It gives a more natural finish than a shimmery powder highlight (probably because all of the powder highlights I use are lavenders and pinks...) and I think it makes the matte foundation glow a little more like skin.


The minute I put the gloss down on my cheek and started tapping it around, it looked like it went from clear to pigmented, becaaauuuse it picked my foundation up, just as I had feared. In the places where I put the gloss over the foundation, it looked at least a shade lighter than it had originally. It didn't totally smear or completely remove the foundation fro where I had originally put it, but it definitely moved it around, which was kind of a bummer.

If were talking highlighting specifically for a photoshoot or some other hands-off situation, face gloss would be great because of the sleek, high gloss effect. I don't even hate the final result, but if I'm wearing makeup, I'd definitely opt to highlight with something other than a face gloss.

For real life? Bare skin only. The tackiness, for me personally, isn't a deal breaker because my hair isn't in my face. It it was, the gloss would be a no-go. I love the sleek, fresh shine of the gloss on clean skin for a highlight that isn't totally obvious.

Tynan is glossy on Twitter @TynanBuck.