ModelCo – Wows the Audience with Lip Lights gloss

This post may contain affiliate links, which means I may receive a small commission, at no cost to you, if you make a purchase.

Plus a look at the self-tanner, Tan Airbrush in a Can

ModelCo Lip Lights

photo: we heart this

There I was, at a packed arthouse showing of a Japanese horror movie, waiting in the dimly-lit theater for the show to begin, when my lips started to feel a little dry. Always looking for a reason to use a lip product, I slid my ModelCo Lip Lights gloss out of my bag and twisted it open, bathing my entire row in a bright light. As I applied this gorgeous gloss with its tiny brush, complete strangers started whispering, “What’s THAT?” So I did a little impromptu demonstration of the coolest gloss ever invented, complete with its own light and mirror. My ModelCo Lip Lights gloss caused a commotion.

Which is what this Australian company has been doing all over the world since its launch in 2002. Director Shelley Barrett ran a successful modeling agency and based ModelCo around the “dream products” wished for by models and stylists alike. Noted for creating never-before-seen cosmetics and gadgets, like their wildly popular Lash Wand Heated Eyelash Curler, ModelCo backs up their clever inventions with quality cosmetics. I tested two items from different ends of the beauty spectrum, the brilliant gloss and their Tan Airbrush in a Can. If these products are any indication, I just might have a new favorite beauty line!

ModelCo Lip Lights GlossThe Lip Lights gloss ($28) immediately won me over (and every woman within 5 feet of me) with its ingenious packaging and design. Besides the light and mirror, the squared shape of the tube is so pleasing to me– just one touch and I know I’ve found my Lip Lights in my makeup bag, even in the dark! The gloss I tested, Indian Summer, is the perfect neutral nude that I suspect would work with any skin tone. The gloss itself is shiny and long lasting without being overly sticky. It seems to set on my lips after a few minutes, looking natural and pretty. It’s become my go-to daily lip color.

The other product I tested, Tan Airbrush In A Can, is equally revolutionary. In the past, I tried spray tanning in an automated booth, and learned I’m not coordinated enough to move my arms and legs, turn, AND hold my breath. I loved the resulting color but wasn’t so crazy about the bronchitis I developed afterwards. So this at-home spray tanner is a great invention for me. I was able to spray outdoors wearing an old bikini (okay, my underwear, but don’t my neighbors!) and avoid inhaling the stuff.

There are many spray tanners on the market now, but Tan Airbrush in a Can (5.3 oz $30/7.8 oz $42) differs in its color. Besides self-tanner, this product contains a greenish bronzer. I know this sounds weird, but the green eliminates that telltale orange hue and helps to deliver a natural looking tan. Plus this formula leaves a natural glow right away.

Following the instructions, I shook the can well, sprayed all over my body, lightly rubbed the product in, and washed my hands (like all tanners, this stuff can stain your hands, as well as light-colored fabrics, so beware). I sprayed in the evening, and woke the next morning with a genuine-looking, virtually streak-free tan. Not a hint of orange gave me away, and even the dreaded “tanner smell” wasn’t bad at all. I spent my recent beach vacation under the umbrella with a good coating of sunscreen, but returned to work with a tropical tan thanks to ModelCo!

we heartsters – Have you been wowed by ModelCo? Testers – What did you think of the Lip Lights lip gloss and Tan Airbrush in a Can?

Disclosure: This review includes products that were provided by the manufacturer/PR firm for our consideration. It also contains an affiliate link, a link that gives us a small commission if you purchase the item. For more info, or any questions, please see our disclosure policy.


  • turboterp

    Melissa loves road trips, bargain shopping, drive-in movies, lip gloss and rock 'n' roll. She lives in Baltimore with her precious pup Bellarina. skin tone: NC20 skin type: dry to normal favorite beauty product: skincare

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  1. Great post, Melissa!
    I have wanted to try ModelCo products, but have never tried it. I need the gloss you reviewed wth the light and mirror for those dark bars I like to frequent!

  2. I always see ModelCo products for sale at my local TJMaxx and I’m tempted to try them out (who can resist a TJMaxx sale price?!) but I’ve never taken the plunge just yet. After seeing that gloss swatch I just may have to! Great review!

  3. You’re so right about the commotion caused by Lip Lights. I’ve used it for probably about a year now…and I’ve had questions from everyone. Even men ask about it!
    XO Piper

  4. That’s so fancy! I love gadget-y beauty products, and Indian Summer looks like a great shade. I’m sold.

  5. I’m a gadget lover so when I first saw the lip lights glosses I knew I had to have one. I always pack it when going out. Love, love, love it and the attention it causes.

  6. Wow from me too! I received and reviewed Model Co. Glamour Gloss with IN-BUILT LIGHTS – Lip Lights Ultra Shine Gloss in Indian Summer. That’s a mouth full! I readily admit that I like this product. It is very sheer on but it has more glitter than what you see on the swatch above. It’s a serous gloss for lips that like to shine. I like the light that comes with this lip-gloss.. At first, it did not work – no lights! I thought I was reading it all wrong and wondered what I was missing! I fixed it by gently tapping the top on the counter and before you knew it- It was lights, camera action after that! Good thing too, cause now I go around showing it to everyone, with much excitement.. It goes on nicely and has a built in mirror on the side of the tube so you really can see what you’re doing when you apply your lip-gloss- even in the pitch dark! Like most brushes, sometimes you get a stray bristle on the brush and it can be annoying and poke your lips.. I fix this by snipping off any wild bristles. This is not overly sticky and very natural looking, which I love. I like the packaging for its simple yet trendy feminine pink and white with silver print. I give this product four stars, because it did not work at first.

  7. These products truly impressed me–that’s not always so easy to do.
    First, when I received the gloss, I thought that the lights and mirror were pretty cool but just-the-other-side of gimmicky. The lights under the gloss’ cap are quite strong so these are strictly for staying within the lines (not color matching). The mirror on the side of the gloss is not a glass mirror, either, so the image is a little distorted. But y’know what? It works. If you find yourself needing a gloss pick me up in a dark theater or club (or restaurant as you duck beneath the tablecloth), you will be able to apply your gloss to your lips (and not your nose and chin).
    Next, this nude color looked great in the tube. The pessimist in me told me that a company that puts so much work in the gadgetry must spend their money and get their sales that way. I expected an inferior product. NOT SO! The color is a perfect nude for a smokey eye (at least with my medium-to-fair skin with yellow undertones). This gloss has so much color that this is more of a lipstick/gloss. The gloss is thick and doesn’t slide off–and is not the least bit sticky. Probably, this is the best nude gloss I’ve owned. I’m going to add here that a co-worker went on and on about what a fantastic color of nude this shade was for me; when I showed her the gadget-laden tube she was over the moon. She made me promise to give this a glowing review. Not a problem.
    Wrap up for this gloss: fantastic color, great wear, excellent shine, pretty packaging, and thoughtful, appropriate gadgetry. The drawback here has to be the $28 price tag. But I am going to want this nude again and again. After all, how many crappy glosses to I pick up for 10 or 15 bucks throughout the year that I don’t use (or keep in my glovebox or work locker for emergencies…these places should be referred to as my graveyard for terminally afflicted makeup products)? So, 5 stars…price be damned..
    I also tried the spray tanner. I always preferred (and still do) a gradual tanner in the form of a mousse or lotion. These are mistake-proof and not too messy, and they look natural. ModelCo.’s airbrush tan isn’t mistake-proof or gradual, and it’s definitely messy.
    For application one is to stand in a covered area, spraying the airbrush can evenly over your body from a reasonable distance. Not easy. This seems like a two-man job. If you spray too close you get a puddle of product on your skin (which they instruct you to rub into your skin). The nice thing here is that the product is has a deep tan color as it hits your skin so that you can see upon application where you’ve applied to much (and can rub away). With dilligence streaks can be avoided. The color is rich and natural and dries is less than the ten minutes they recommend (I always have a hard time listening to directions that tell you not to move for more than a couple of minutes).
    This product does go everywhere when spraying, so beware. I sprayed in my bathroom and covered my floor appropriately, but my walls, shower doors and commode were covered in fine brown mist. I cleaned it up immediately with little problem. My hands stained from rubbing away the puddles on my skin even though I washed them immediately as recommended without as much success as my bathroom walls.
    The scent is a wonderful sugary scent–a purposeful pleasantry added here that is not present in most neutral-to-chemically scented self tanners. I liked this aspect a lot.
    Lowdown on the tanner? This tanner gives beautiful, glowing (not subtle) results quickly. Application is a hassle but you’ll look and smell good afterwards. I give this one 3 stars, subtracting one star for application and another for the price tag ($42!!).
    ModelCo’s final analysis? Great, forward-thinking company with excellent products. 4 stars overall (I’m holding out ’cause I’m sure this already-amazing company will need a little room to improve).

  8. I also received this fabulous gloss. I have used model co products in the past with decent results. And of course I got them through the amazing tj maxx deals..yay…. I was a little worried when I first saw the gloss. I am not a nude gloss person. But no worries here. It is a gorgeous non sticky gloss. It does not make my pale self look like a corpse. I also like to layer the gloss over darker liners and listicks. Gorgeous. The geek in me just adores the light in this. Surprisingly it worked very well for me. I usually have such bad luck with packaging. This packaging is just so practical and yet sexy. All eyes will be on you when you use it. Five stars from me..

  9. I was not a reviewer of a ModelCo product but @turboterp (Melissa’s) review had me wanting to buy one IMMEDIATELY! Great post Melissa – love the thought of you showing off your gloss before the movie starts.

    @DailyDishDiva – it’s true – even men find this pretty cool – I’ve heard a few women mention that the man in their life got a kick out of the smart lighted tube as well.
    PS On a completely different note, you now you have me coveting a white bag for summer

  10. Like @sherrishera, I got to try both of these items. Honestly with very similar results.

    Lip Lights could have been gimmicky. If the gloss wasn’t so nice, this would be a total throw away. But the gloss is nice, very nice indeed! I will say upon first smell I didn’t think I was going to be able to wear it. It has a slight chemical scent (and I have a very sensitive nose). Luckily, the scent disappears almost instantly so I was able to soak in the beauty that is Indian Summer; a great medium nude with a bit of gold micro glitter. It adds just a hint of color, and looks great with a bold eye. And the light in the cap? Just. Too. Cool. I think this was the first gloss to ever impress my husband. And anyone who I’ve ever shown this to!

    Tan in a Can has some really great things going for it, and some that I’m not quite going for…The Good? It tans fast. You have color instantly that increases over the next few hours. And best of all, with no orange to be seen. I thought the color was very realistic. It also smells great. Total cocoa butter and none of the tell-tale self tan scent. The bad? I had a hard time controlling the spray and therefore ended up looking pretty blotchy. And you have to be pretty limber to get the backside of you! And it says this nowhere on the can, but you really should do this outside. Not only is it messy, but it’s aerosol spray makes it rather toxic smelling (imagine spraying a hairspray can for 3 minutes straight in a tight space). So unless you want tan lines, you better hope for a private backyard! Overall, though the color is nice, I prefer a tan in a tube over a can.

    So, 5 stars for the lip lights. 3 for the Tan in a Can.

  11. I didn’t review ModelCo products, but anything that would get me positive attention at a crowded movie theater can’t be all that bad. ;-) I think it is a marvelous idea to have lipgloss packaging with a little light and mirror. What took developers so long? Great review.

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