Understanding What Makes Lip Gloss So Shiny

Lip gloss first hit the scene during the silent movie era to make female starlets look kissable even in black and white. The shine had an almost 3D effect on the screen, and today, it’s no less attention-grabbing. Understanding what makes lip gloss so shiny is the key to creating your own products at home.

Like lipstick, gloss is a mix of wax and oils. But lipstick relies more on the wax to give it a long-lasting, matte appearance. Gloss, instead, embraces the smooth, lustrous benefits of oils. In lip gloss, shine takes precedence over color, although it’s possible to have the best of both worlds with the right pigments.

Whether you’re going for high-impact, neon color or a natural, “just licked my lips” appeal, lip gloss is the most powerful weapon in your makeup kit. For DIY beauty enthusiasts, the shine comes from a Versagel gloss base, which is composed of three elements:


Hydrogenated Polyisobutene softens, moisturizes, and acts as a synthetic substitute for mineral oil. It’s also a component in many sunscreen products. This is the main source of the shine.


Ethylene/Propylene/Styrene Copolymer is what gives lip gloss base its smooth, thick consistency. It helps the gloss stay put without smearing or bleeding. Or you can thin it out by adding more essential oils, coloring, and scents.

Gelling Agent

Butylene/Ethylene/Styrene Copolymer helps condition lips’ fragile skin layer and lock moisture in.

Of course, by understanding what makes lip gloss so shiny, you can amplify the effect with additives that create even more sparkle. Some different finishes to try:

  • Shimmer. An extremely fine smattering of glitter manages to make lips shine in a way that’s both spectacular and subtle.
  • Glitter. Once reserved for New Year’s Eve in Las Vegas, now you can wear cosmetic-grade glitter gloss to celebrate every day.
  • Pearlescent. A little frost reflects light differently and is especially great for the summer.
  • Metallic. The urban, chrome-like effect is increasingly popular with nail polish, too.
  • Holographic. Also known as “galaxy” makeup, a variety of iridescent shades seem to dance all over your lips.
  • Color-Traveling. With lip-specific products like No Prob-Llama’s Duochrome pigments, the color shifts from red to purple, orange to red, and so on.

With the right supplies, beauty gurus don’t have to be chemists. At No Prob-Llama, we’ve already optimized our ingredients for lips, so all you need to do is experiment with textures, colors, and flavors until you find the right balance for the perfect lip gloss formula. Browse our collections, and check our blog for ideas.