Thursday 14 December 2017

Lip service - top five products

Sticky Noughties glosses are long gone, says our expert, who has five new favourites

L.O.V Perfectitude Smoothing Lip Scrub
L.O.V Perfectitude Smoothing Lip Scrub
Bobbi Brown Art Stick Liquid Lip in Lily
Clinique Chubby Plump & Shine in Powerhouse Punch
Nars x Charlotte Gainsbourg Lip Tint in Promise

Sarah Caden

Remember the lip-gloss lunacy of the Noughties? Lashings of lip gloss are to be seen in summer photos from that not-so-distant decade, usually with strands of a flicked-out GHD hairdo stuck to it. It all seems so long ago, and while lip gloss hasn't entirely gone away, our relationship with lip colour has evolved since.

In the Noughties, hyper-gloss was a reaction against 1990s matte mouths, but now we're in a phase of anything goes. Nude, neon, matte, gloss - with multiplicity of means of application. Crayons, chubby pencils, squeeze-up creams and doe-foot applicators make the old stubbed lip-gloss brushes seem positively Stone Age. This week's top five picks offer high impact, and they won't get locked to your locks.

Best Overall

Bobbi Brown Art Stick Liquid Lip in Lily, €27, Arnotts; House of Fraser, Dundrum Town Centre, D16; Brown Thomas

Bobbi Brown Art Stick Liquid Lip in Lily

The original Art Stick is a chubby pencil that offers liner and long-lasting colour in one go. It's great, but if you find that kind of thing drying, this is a new option. It's a creamy, semi-matte, paint-like product that you squeeze out of the 'pencil' to apply. The pigment pay-off is massive, and the punchy colours are our favourites. "The opaque high-impact colour is very satisfying," a panellist said. "and it's very long-lasting."

Best Chubby Chum

Clinique Chubby Plump & Shine in Powerhouse Punch, €20, Clinique counters nationwide

Clinique Chubby Plump & Shine in Powerhouse Punch

Clinique's Chubby Stick is a bestseller that could have proved its downfall, but, in fact, boosted its success. A cheeky thick-nibbed pencil in shades that are collected like Juicy Tubes of yore, they can do no wrong, and now have this sister product, which is equally knacky and nice. It's a twist-up chubby pen containing a non-sticky gloss that has a minty tingle and plenty of pigment. "This shade is utterly summery and great with a tan," said one panellist. "I love the mintiness and the shine is high without feeling gluey."

Best Scarlet Shine

Giorgio Armani Ecstasy Lacquer in The Red, €33, Brown Thomas Dublin and Cork

Gloss is a great way to wear red if you are generally scared of scarlet, or just fancy a more deconstructed look for summer. If you have thin lips or have lips that are prone to feathering, a lip pencil is advised with scarlet gloss. Try a transparent pencil or one similar to your natural lip colour, so as not to look too 'perfect'. This has a neat applicator and a pleasing creaminess. "This is a full-impact red with a light feel and summery shine," said a panellist. "It's wow without weight."

Best Scrubber

L.O.V Perfectitude Smoothing Lip Scrub, €6.95, selected pharmacies nationwide

L.O.V Perfectitude Smoothing Lip Scrub

Only a tinted balm or an ultra-moisturising lipstick can forgive chapped or ragged lips, but, even then, only just about. The old trick of rubbing your lips with a soft toothbrush is a good one, but this lip scrub is even better. In a twist-up pen with a sponge tip, you squeeze out the scrubby stuff and then rub it all over. Very satisfying and very effective; you get soft lips and an even surface for colour or shine. "This is handy and just what I need for the unforgiving nude colours and see-through shades I favour," a panellist said.

Best French Twist

Nars x Charlotte Gainsbourg Lip Tint in Promise, €25, Brown Thomas

Nars x Charlotte Gainsbourg Lip Tint in Promise

We will admit to loving every bit of the Charlotte Gainsbourg collection with Nars, and the lip tint is up there with the favourites. Promise is a vampish purple in the tube, but it's a wearable transparent plum on your pout; it's very shiny, but not sticky. The blue through it is very kind to the teeth, too, making them look that bit whiter. "This is not a traditionally summery colour, but the transparence makes it work," said one panellist. "It lured me back to lip gloss."


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