The Panel: Light lips
It is 11 years since Lancome's Juicy Tubes were introduced -- with their cute colours, scents and packaging, they revolutionised lip gloss, and it is perhaps about time something new landed on our lips.
We all love our lipstick, but many have mixed feelings about a heavy coat of colour in summer and not all of us think gloss is gorgeous, as, in this country, the wind inevitably plasters your hair to it. More than a few of the cosmetic houses seem to have had the same idea this summer: high pigment and a good hit of colour, but with a light feeling that's more like balm than conventional lipstick or gloss. They seem to think we want to be made up, without looking or feeling made up and, you know, they might be right.
These five of the best fit the bill as lip colours that go way beyond balm in terms of colour, but feel exactly like one. You could say that it's lipstick for people who don't like lipstick. Shiny, quite sheer and moist-looking, these five truly achieve that your-lips-but-better look and make for great daytime colour, with comfort and a really impressive range of shades.
Bobbi Brown Rich Lip Color in Heather Pink, €22.50, Brown Thomas; House of Fraser, Dundrum Town Centre, D16; Arnotts
Of the light lips we tried, this was the most impressive in terms of pigment, going on very true to what you see in the tube. Available in 12 shades, it's relatively matt and intense for something that feels and softens like a balm. "I know I look half-dead without lipstick, but I'm not really a fan and I hate tacky gloss," said a panellist. "This was lovely, though: a really full colour, even in the lighter shades, but not mumsy feeling or at all sticky."
Clinique Chubby Stick Moisturising Lip Colour Balm in Woppin' Watermelon, €19, Clinique counters nationwide
This had great appeal in terms of knackiness -- it's a thick pencil that you draw on -- and it's the most like a balm of all that we favoured. With shea butter, jojoba and mango-seed oils, it has a pleasant, slippy feel and the eight shades are sheer and shiny, although they bled a little on older panellists. "This is a terribly cute product, and as a huge balm fan, I loved it," one panellist said. "But the colours have proper oomph."
Best Weightless Wonder
Chanel Rouge Coco Shine in Boy, €26.50, Chanel counters nationwide
Available in a whopping 25 shades, this slim stick lipstick -- a lighter, more sparkling take on the successful Rouge Coco lipstick launch -- melts on to the lips, feeling and looking like nothing, and then the pigment sort of pops. The Boy shade has proved a particular hit -- with us, too -- a fresh take on the Mademoiselle of Coco Rouge. "Very soft, very shiny, very nice," said a panellist. "It hydrated as it promised, but without the colour sliding away."
Lancome Rouge Absolu Nu in 311, €25, Lancome counters nationwide
This is the most lipstick-like of what we put to the test, and, although it's light, it has that reassuring lipstick fragrance and finish. Colours have a nice bit of sparkle as well as sheen, and the purchase of one is an eminently summery choice to lighten up your look. "In the recent sunny spell, this worked wonders in giving me some colour while not looking caked on," said a panellist. "A nice change from gloss for summer."
Best Nearly Gloss
Yves Saint Laurent Volupte Sheer Candy in No 5, €30, available nationwide
Practically transparent, and yet packed with pigment so you get an alteration in your lip colour but can still see your lips through it. A really lovely finish, but it doesn't lick off in minutes, either. "Far from just a balm, even though that's what it feels like at first," one panellist said. "Great sheen and the colour stays put and doesn't melt away like a balm might."
Pictured, from left: Chanel Rouge Coco Shine in Boy; Lancome Rouge Absolu Nu in 311; Clinique Chubby Stick Moisturising Lip Colour Balm in Woppin' Watermelon; Yves Saint Laurent Volupte Sheer Candy in No 5; Bobbi Brown Rich Lip Color in Heather Pink
Sunday Indo Life Magazine