Big Bold Gloss

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NYC isn't afraid to make some big, bold promises when it comes to its Big Bold Lipgloss! The company says this gloss can add a whopping 50% more volume to lips and that it lasts up to four hours. Strip away all the hype, though, and what you have is just an average gloss that does little to separate itself from the rest.

What's most unique about Big Bold Gloss is its applicator, but that isn't necessarily a positive. The doe-foot sponge isn't anything new, but the size certainly is: It's about twice the size of the average lipgloss applicator (more like an elephant foot than a dainty doe)! It is a novelty, but the supersize applicator doesn't really help, and can actually make putting this gloss on a bit trickier because it doesn't allow for the precision you can get from a smaller applicator, which is especially important if you have thin lips.

As for the product itself, this is a non-sticky, sheer- to medium-coverage gloss that lasts only about two hours before fading. It does feel moisturizing, but we couldn't see any plumping effect, let alone a 50% increase in volume! This gloss has a slight fragrance, but it fades away after a couple of minutes.

Note: Although Big Bold Gloss doesn't contain any of the irritants, such as peppermint oil, that usually are present in "plumping" glosses, it still made this reviewer's lips tingle for about the first half hour! That's definitely something to keep in mind because the tingle is your lips telling you they're being irritated, and that's never a good sign.

  • Gloss feels moisturizing.
  • Gloss isn't sticky.
  • Oversize doe-foot applicator sponge makes application a bit tricky.
  • Doesn't have any visible plumping effect.
  • Fades in about two hours.
  • Creates a "tingling" sensation on the lips that can be unpleasant.

The N.Y.C. (New York Color) brand clearly wants to align itself with all of the excitement and pulsating action of the Big Apple—think Sex and the City or any of the notable fashion magazines whose home is in the heart of Manhattan. It would have been a clever marketing maneuver if New York Color had delivered, but despite a few stellar products, the line overall is comparatively tame and relatively ordinary. Sexy product names and beguiling makeup descriptions don't equal great makeup. Forget Sex and the City, this is more like a new Woody Allen film—a few surprises, but predictably familiar in the end.

The most appealing part of this line is rock-bottom prices; everything is less than $10, and several items are less than $3 (but that's still not as rock bottom at E.L.F., where $1 per item is standard). Although this isn't the cream of the crop for makeup, there are more than enough inexpensive okay options to make it worthwhile for you to check if it's being sold at your local drugstore. Just keep in mind that not everything N.Y.C. offers is "prestige quality" or the least bit fashion-forward. Put another way: New Yorkers are a notoriously tough group to please, and as a whole N.Y.C. doesn't do enough to make an on-the-go city girl slow down and see what she's missing. In fact, shopping this line without some advance information may lead to resounding disappointments, and that's never the goal. On the flipside, knowing what to zero in on will not only save you money, but also connect you with a product that stands a very good chance of leaving you wondering why anyone would pay more.

You're most likely to find N.Y.C. at Target and Rite Aid. Regrettably, testers are not available, but both of the aforementioned retailers have a good return policy if you save your receipt.

For more information about N.Y.C., call (800) 953-5080 or visit

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