Lipstick Queen, MAC, Smith & Cult, Givenchy, Make Up For Ever give lips fresh shine, bold color

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This fall, a handful of companies are offering alternatives to the stainlike matte lipsticks that have been popular for the last few seasons: shiny lip glosses, some in highly pigmented formulas that add a surprisingly vivid swipe of color.

“As much as I love a matte lip, a glossy lip does feel fresh again,” makeup artist Romy Soleimani says. “It has a different vibe: It feels more like a liquid lipstick.”

While most traditional lip glosses include polymers or lanolin in their formulas, the texture of some new offerings comes from gel or silicone, with conditioning ingredients added to the mix. For instance, the new Lipstick Queen Seven Deadly Sins collection of glosses ($24 each at includes shea butter, black soybean extract and vitamin E.

“I wanted to create something that had a wet feeling rather than a sticky feeling,” says Poppy King, the brand’s founder. “These glosses don’t have a viscous kind of formula. They are more like a serum.”

Some colors in the line, such as Lust, Envy and Anger, look intimidating in the tube, but they are less bold when applied and do indeed feel more like a balm than lipstick — albeit one that makes lips look almost wet.

The new MAC Vamplify Lipgloss ($20 at MAC stores) has similarly nourishing ingredients (a proprietary blend of six oils) and a shiny veneer. Most of its 17 colors are quite pronounced, including the aptly named Push Some Buttons, an orange-tinged red.

Smith & Cult’s The Shining Lip Lacquer ($22 at also has a slick sheen. Introduced in June, the line is adding two neutral shades for the fall.

In some cases, the new glosses are applied with nontraditional applicators. New Givenchy Beauty Gloss Révélateur ($31 at Barneys New York) goes on with a slender brush that, although cherry red in the tube, adjusts to the pH level in each wearer’s lips.

The wand for Make Up For Ever’s Artist Plexi-Gloss ($19 at Sephora) is topped with a patented cutout tip designed to hold the ideal amount of gloss for a single application, though it takes some practice to avoid streaky coverage. Among its 35 shades are a few, such as black and teal green, that are not for the faint of heart. But there are more wearable shades of pink and orange and a colorless option that still makes an impression with a long-lasting glassy finish.