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Lip Gloss vs. Lip Glass — What's the Difference?

By Maham Liaqat & Urooj Arif — Published on July 8, 2024
Lip gloss is a cosmetic product that adds a shiny or sparkly finish to the lips, often providing hydration. Lip glass, specifically a term popularized by MAC Cosmetics, refers to a high-shine lip gloss with a glass-like finish and intense pigmentation.
Lip Gloss vs. Lip Glass — What's the Difference?

Difference Between Lip Gloss and Lip Glass


Key Differences

Lip gloss is a versatile cosmetic product designed to add a glossy, sometimes tinted, finish to the lips. Its formulations can range from sheer and lightweight to more pigmented versions, often enriched with moisturizing ingredients like oils and butters to hydrate the lips. Lip glosses are known for their ease of application, coming in tubes with applicator wands, squeeze tubes, or pots. They provide a range of finishes from subtle shine to sparkly glitter, making them suitable for various occasions and preferences.
Lip glass is a specific type of lip gloss offered by MAC Cosmetics, characterized by its high gloss, glass-like finish that aims to mimic the appearance of glass on the lips. It is distinguished by its thicker consistency and higher pigmentation compared to standard lip glosses, providing more intense color coverage while still delivering the high shine expected of a gloss. Lip glass is often favored for its longevity and the dramatic effect it can achieve, making it a popular choice for both everyday wear and special occasions.
Both products serve to enhance the lips with a glossy sheen, while the key differences lie in their consistency, pigmentation, and the finish they provide. Lip gloss, being a broader category, offers a wide variety of options in terms of coverage, hydration, and shine. Lip glass, as a product line, focuses on delivering a specific, high-shine, glassy finish with more pronounced color intensity, catering to those looking for a bolder, more dramatic look.
All lip glasses can be considered a form of lip gloss, but not all lip glosses achieve the distinctive glass-like finish and intense coloration of a lip glass. The choice between the two depends on the desired finish, level of pigmentation, and the effect one aims to achieve with their lip makeup.

Comparison Chart


Glossy, can range from sheer to sparkly.
High-shine, glass-like finish.


Can vary from lightweight to moderately thick.
Generally thicker for intense shine.


Ranges from sheer to moderately pigmented.
Highly pigmented for more color coverage.


Tubes with wands, squeeze tubes, pots.
Typically tubes with applicator wands.


Often contains moisturizing ingredients.
Also contains moisturizing ingredients.


Everyday wear, versatile.
Dramatic effect, everyday or special occasions.

Brand Association

General term, available from many brands.
Specifically associated with MAC Cosmetics.

Compare with Definitions

Lip Gloss

Can be lightly tinted or clear.
Her pink-tinted lip gloss complemented her lipstick.

Lip Glass

Designed to mimic the appearance of glass on the lips.
Her lip glass gave her lips a dramatic, glossy effect.

Lip Gloss

Available in various finishes and viscosities.
She prefers a non-sticky lip gloss with a glitter finish.

Lip Glass

Known for its thick consistency and intense pigmentation.
The red lip glass provided vibrant color with a mirror-like shine.

Lip Gloss

Suitable for a natural makeup look.
For a minimalist look, she chose a sheer lip gloss.

Lip Glass

A specific product line from MAC Cosmetics.
MAC's lip glass line includes a wide range of colors for every occasion.

Lip Gloss

A cosmetic product for adding shine to the lips.
She applied a clear lip gloss for a subtle shine.

Lip Glass

A high-shine, glass-like finish lip product by MAC.
She used MAC's lip glass for a bold, glossy look.

Lip Gloss

Often formulated with hydrating ingredients.
The lip gloss contains vitamin E for extra hydration.

Lip Glass

Offers long-lasting wear compared to standard lip gloss.
Her lip glass stayed on through the evening.

Lip Gloss

Makeup that makes the lips shiny

Common Curiosities

What is the main difference between lip gloss and lip glass?

Lip gloss offers a shiny finish with varying levels of pigmentation and hydration, while lip glass, specifically from MAC Cosmetics, provides a high-shine, glass-like finish with intense pigmentation.

Is lip gloss suitable for dry lips?

Many lip glosses contain moisturizing ingredients, making them suitable for hydrating dry lips.

How do I choose between lip gloss and lip glass?

Your choice should be based on the desired finish, level of pigmentation, and whether you prefer a lighter or more dramatic lip appearance.

How long does lip glass last compared to regular lip gloss?

Lip glass is formulated for longer-lasting wear with its thicker consistency and may last longer than some regular lip glosses.

Is lip glass sticky?

Lip glass may feel thicker and slightly stickier than some lip glosses due to its formula designed for high shine and durability.

Can I achieve a subtle look with lip glass?

While lip glass is known for its intense shine and pigmentation, lighter application or neutral shades can achieve a more subtle effect.

Can lip glass be used for daily wear?

Yes, lip glass can be used for both daily wear and special occasions, depending on the desired effect and color choice.

Are there any alternatives to MAC's lip glass?

Many brands offer similar high-shine, pigmented glosses, though MAC's lip glass is notable for its specific formula and finish.

Can lip gloss or lip glass be worn over lipstick?

Yes, both can be applied over lipstick to add shine and enhance the color.

How do I apply lip glass for the best result?

For the best result, apply lip glass with its applicator wand, starting at the center of the lips and working outward, ensuring even coverage.

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Author Spotlight

Written by
Maham Liaqat
Co-written by
Urooj Arif
Urooj is a skilled content writer at Ask Difference, known for her exceptional ability to simplify complex topics into engaging and informative content. With a passion for research and a flair for clear, concise writing, she consistently delivers articles that resonate with our diverse audience.

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