The beauty panel: I'm Scarlet
Red lips are back on the agenda this autumn, which means you can quit kontouring
For the most part, The Panel isn't about being trend-led. As in, we are loath to suggest that you splash out on fads or fashions that might not suit you, or, for that matter, suit anyone. Every now and then, though, a trend makes perfect sense. And ahead of this autumn and winter, it comes as something of a relief to hear that eyeliner and red lips are back - albeit not necessarily worn together. Why is this a relief? Because both demand a clean, nearly bare face, and will kick the kontouring trend off your waxwork-looking cheeks. Is anyone ever going to tell Kim Kardashian that her face looks like it would melt near a naked flame?
We'll return to eyeliner at a later date, but today we have five red lipsticks to set your pout on fire. Not literally. Red lips are a classic, of course, so it's not like they're a new trend; but they're classic for a reason. If you find the right red, it does wonders. The right red can make skin look brighter, teeth look whiter and generally make you look well put together, without the need for much more make-up. Nicely lined lips and lipstick applied with a brush will create a super-perfect look. But, if you're put off by the perfect pout, try dabbing on the red with your fingers.
Urban Decay Matte Revolution in Temper, €20, Debenhams; House of Fraser, Dundrum Town Centre, D16
The beauty of a matt lipstick is that you can trick about with how you want to wear it. Obviously, one way is to go matt, and the beauty of this particular lipstick is that it isn't one of those lip-drying matts that makes you feel like your mouth is caving in on itself. It's soft and cushion-y, but totally non-shiny - although you can slick gloss over it whenever you need a texture twist. "A lovely true red that can be built up to a full-on look, or patted on for a more unstructured effect," said one panellist.
Best Dark Delight
Max Factor Lipfinity Long-Lasting Lipstick in Always Chic, €11.49, available nationwide
If you have sallow or darker skin, the bright reds won't always look right on you and they can look more orange than you'd like. Seek out more brick-coloured reds, such as this one, which comes in one of those long-lasting but non-drying formulations; a combination that's fairly hard to find. The lipstick goes on smoothly to a semi-matt finish and the colour stays true; another thing that's hard to find with the long-wearing ingredients involved. "Classic reds come up kind of coral on me," a panellist said. "This hit the right notes of deep red and is not too glaringly bright."
Best Shiny Scarlet
Estee Lauder Pure Colour Envy Lip Potion in Lethal Red, €24, Estee Lauder counters nationwide
This is a lipstick-gloss hybrid, with all of the shine but none of the stickiness of the latter. With sunflower, jojoba and avocado oils, you swipe it on closed lips with a dual-sided applicator and it settles to a medium-gloss finish. It promises eight hours of staying power, but there is inevitable loss from lip-licking. "Gorgeously glossy and very glamorous," said a panellist. "The colour is very tooth-whitening."
Best Clear Crimson
Clarins Joli Rouge lipstick in Joli Rouge, €22, Clarins counters nationwide
If you're after a sheer scarlet, then this is the one for you. The Joli Rouge formulations are all about comfort, so this lipstick feels velvety but not heavy on the lips, and the colour allows your natural lip colour to come through just a teeny bit. As in, you don't look utterly made-up when you have it on, but it adds a sheer veil of sophistication. If you want to intensify the impact, then you can just fill in the lips with a matching lip liner in advance. "I wore this for all of August, and it didn't look too heavy," said one panellist. "With the addition of just mascara and concealer I did look well put-together, though."
Best Real Red
YSL Rouge Pur Couture in Le Rouge, €32, YSL counters nationwide
This lipstick has a satin finish, which, for many, makes it a less intimidating way to wear red. You get the softness of a bit of sheen, without too much attention-grabbing shine. And you get a really classic, I'm-off-to-Paris red. To ramp up the shine without going 'full-gloss overcoat', dot a little lip gloss on the cupid's bow and the middle of the bottom lip. "Everything about this is so sophisticated," a panellist said. "The tube is ridiculously lovely and the colour could suit everyone."
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