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One of my favorite summertime staples is lip gloss. I tend to stay away from it during the colder, windier months, as my hair just ends up sticking to my lips, making it virtually impossible to truly enjoy the look. But when the sun finally shows up and the temperatures are high, my beauty routine gets a little simpler with way fewer products, specifically those that feel lighter on my face.
As much as I love my Nyx butter gloss, I wanted to branch out and explore more products that also provide subtle pigment to my two-toned lips, and find another holy grail nude gloss that caters to my skin tone. The main problem I run into with so-called “nude” lip glosses is that a lot of them don’t go on nude at all, and instead lean more peachy-pink on my lips. This, of course, falls into the frustrations I have with the beauty industry’s flawed “universal shade” trend, but that’s neither here nor there.
You can imagine my excitement when I came across Tower28′s ShineOn jelly lip gloss ($15). Tower28 is an Asian-owned beauty brand that focuses on products that cater to sensitive and acne-prone skin. I first saw someone use the gloss on TikTok and loved how it looked on their lips, as we have similar complexions. The shade she wore was “almond,” and it appeared to be super close to my lip tone, plus buildable if I wanted a little more pigment. The almond color is kind of like a milky chocolate shade that I believed would blend well with brown skin.
When I tried the almond gloss for myself, I was pleasantly surprised that it went on like butter and had a faint vanilla-like smell that I don’t mind experiencing all day. With any gloss, I typically like to line my lips with a brown lip liner first, but with this shade, I didn’t find it necessary. As soon as I put it on, I knew immediately it would become a gloss I reach for often, especially on no-makeup or minimal-makeup days when I still want to look a little put together.
As a believer in trusting the process, I decided to wear it on a night out for 4-plus hours and found that it wasn’t sticky in the slightest, didn’t come off on my mask and felt more like a comfortable lip balm than a gloss, all of which made me like it even more. My lips felt moisturized the entire time thanks to the nourishing oils it contains, like raspberry oil and apricot kernel oil, and it stayed put for the most part, except for a little wear when I was eating. It got to a point during the evening that I forgot I was even wearing it.
The gloss also comes in 10 other shades, including sheer pink, clear, sheer raspberry, semi-sheer milky nude pink, semi-sheer milky rosy brown, sheer orange and more.