One of the best things about lip gloss is the cost factor

Lipgloss has become such big business that even The New York Times wrote an entire article on it.

In an item published June 22 of this year, it was reported that sales of lip gloss ballooned to more $200 million in 2005, while less than $50 million worth of the product was sold in 2000. During the same period, sales of lipstick declined from $312 million US to $279 million US. This comes as no surprise to me, because I have a confession to make: My name is Rouquinne and I am a lip gloss addict.

This past weekend I purchased my 30th MAC lip glass -- separate colours in my current collection (not including duplicates I have of discontinued items that I adore). Yes, 30. Thirty... 3 and 0.

And that’s just the stuff from MAC; I also have glosses from Arden, Lauder, Trucco, NYC, Avon, NARS, Revlon, Red Earth and Fake Bake!

If we were on a messenger program, I’d probably be inserting a blushing emoticon here, except I’m not particularly embarrassed by my addiction. My only concern is that my boyfriend might read this article and decide he can live with my cow collection, but he’ll draw the line at the lip gloss!

Then again, he reaps the benefits of my kissably soft lips!

Which is one of the reasons behind the popularity of lip gloss. There are lipstick formulations out there that make your lips feel dry as soon as you apply them; a problem you never encounter with a gloss. One quick swipe of the wand, and your lips are rehydrated.

Gloss is also fairly easy to apply. Most lipsticks demand a mirror at the very least, and quite often a liner and lip brush are also needed to perfect a pout. Lip gloss can be swiped inside the lip line and then *smooshed* between your lips to put it where it should go -- no mirror required.

Though a mirror is recommended for heavier, highly-pigmented glosses -- like my Trucco “Divinyls” in Movie Star (a gorgeous deep burnt-orange shade that’s heavy on the shimmer). Generally, I find that the more colour there is in a lip gloss, the better it sticks to my lips. Other examples of this are Avon Glazewear in the full-colour shades, Revlon Lip Glide and Elizabeth Arden High Shine.

Sheer lip gloss colours tend to be the most popular. One of the reasons for this is that the light reflecting off the product tends to make our lips look fuller and sexier.

But let’s be perfectly clear about one thing; there is NO lip product on the market that will give you Angelina Jolie’s lips without surgery. The infamous DuWop Lip Venom contains natural products that irritate your mouth to make it swell -- temporarily. When you wash it off, within hours your lips will return to normal. Repeated usage will not make a difference. Do not be fooled.

A main complaint about lip gloss is the “tack factor”. MAC’s Lip Glass seems to be a good product for attracting your hair on a windy day, but my “Oh Baby” is just as likely to end up on my hair as is my NARS “Orgasm” gloss.

Only you can decide for yourself how much “tackiness” you want to handle in your gloss, but if you’d rather keep it on your lips than in your hair or on your coffee cup, you might want to consider a tinted lip balm - like a good, old-fashioned Bonne Bell Lip Smacker or Smith’s Rosebud Salve. Avon has Slick Tints for lips, and MAC has developed tinited lip conditioner in stick form.

One of the best things about lip gloss is the cost factor. They can be found at every price point from the $1.99 (Cdn) NYC Liquid Lip Shine to $16.50 (US) for the incredibly popular Lancôme Juicy Tubes to the stratospheric $38.00 (US) for LipFusion Color Shine Micro-Injected Lip Plump!

If you’ll excuse me... I must go switch out the 5 shades of lip gloss I took to work with me today for the 5 I’ll bring tomorrow. At least it’s not shoes...!