As soon as I wake up each morning, I spread on a nice layer of gloss across my lips. I’ve been doing this since high school — without it, I am completely lost. I’ve been known to wake up in the middle of the night and feel around my nightstand just to get a fix. A few hours without lubrication on my lips and they’ve shriveled up so much I’m pretty sure they’ve disappeared. I need to feel my lips glide over one another, and knocking books and a glass of water over in the darkness is worth it.
If I’m desperate, I’ll use a chapstick even if it’s gone and the plastic circle shreds my lips — I’m not above digging out the remains with my pinky because I must get something on my smackers at that very moment or I’ll die.
My gloss-addiction is a real thing. I’ve got lip products all over my house: In my upstairs bathroom, in the kitchen drawer, in my car, in the downstairs bathroom, and there’s even a stash behind the left side of the living room sofa where I always sit.
It just seems easier to buy 25 chapsticks or lip glosses and pepper them around the house so they are accessible than it is to only have one and keep it with you at all times — who does that?
Besides, there are so many fun ones to choose from: There’s plumping glosses that make you feel like you’ve gotten lip injections and you are positive you look 10 years younger after a good swipe. And lip butters that will make you feel so moisturized you are sure your lips will stand up the the winter winds and the summer sun.
Oh, and the glosses with a bit of shimmer, or the ones that smell like fruit or gum or anything else that makes us crave sugar? Gimme.
And when you find a good one, a really good one, you buy five because you can’t be sure if you will ever be able to find it again.
Not to mention there’s certain packaging that sucks me in. I once bought a lip butter (okay, I bought five) because of the packaging: It was black and gold, looked chic, and matched my favorite purse.
Limited edition glosses or balms make us do wild things like travel to every drug store in a 20-mile radius and clear the shelves — you have to get them while they are hot, right?
You can keep your matte lipsticks — these make my lips look like I’ve made out with broken crayons — the flaking is out of control, they age me about 50 years, and I don’t even care if that shit will stay on for five days. It takes 2 hours to scrub it off, then I always look like I dipped my face in a pitcher of cherry Kool-Aid. I’ll take nice shiny lips over having color any day.
Even if I’m just stepping out to get some milk in my pajamas, these lips get glossed.
After eating, reapplying is a must, and if I’m out with friends for a few laughs and drinks, I make sure my purse is stocked with at least five lip butters, glosses, or balms because, let’s get real, you can never be too careful.
If your goal in life is to win some lip gloss-collecting contest, you are not alone. Gloss is like a security blanket for the lips; I’m completely lost without mine, and there is a reason for our obsession. According to an article in Real Simple, Joshua Zeichner, a New York-based dermatologist and director of cosmetic and clinical research at Mount Sinai Medical Center says some of the ingredients we are slathering on our lips are actually causing “inflammation and loss of hydration,” which is why we need to reapply over and over.
To avoid this, Zeichner recommends staying away from products like “fragrance, camphor, menthol, or salicylic acid,” but I’m not sure if that will keep me from reapplying; it’s become a part of my life and I’m not sure I’m willing to let it go.
Zeichner also says these products are making our lips “lazy.” We get used to that moisturized feeling, and our lips stop producing natural lubrication. In order to get them back on track, we have to live through the dry spell (I tried this and only lasted 48 minutes), and our lips will start producing their own moisture again.
Miranda Brannigan, LA from Resurface Skin and Body Health, says aging plays a big role when it comes to our lips. “As we age, we lose collagen and hydration,” she said. Those glosses keep us feeling young and supple.
Some may look at my stash and think I have an obsession and I’m a hoarder of sorts, but I don’t care. My lip gloss gives me life.