The Panel: Cherry lipsticks put to the test
When trends come around again, as they inevitably do, they carry associations and memories for those who remember previous incarnations. So it is with one of this autumn’s trends, that of burgundy lips.
For kids of the Eighties’, the trend conjures up memories of drying formulations and Goth pals who took the dark-cherry pout over the border into black. Back then, it was all about maximum make-up, with eyes as intensely made up as the mouth. You’d feel dizzy just thinking about it.
The dark and dramatic lip is back, but, thanks to modern lipstick formulations and the general acceptance that you emphasise your eyes or your mouth, but not both, the effect is less daunting. Key to this year’s deep lip is balance. If you’re going to take the mouth as dark as you dare, then eye make-up should be simple: use eyeshadow only to smooth and perfect the lid, rather than to draw attention to it, then enhance the effect with a clean drawing of eyeliner. And keep chapped lips at bay at all costs. You want a mouth like a ripe cherry, not a rotting plum.
Clinique Dual-Ended Almost Lipstick and Long-Last Glosswear, €20,
Clinique counters nationwide The deep-berry shade first launched in the early Seventies as a gloss, and was then released to great success as Almost Lipstick in the late Eighties. This relaunch, part of Clinique’s Black Honey winter range, captures both the lipstick and the gloss in a double-ended tube, and it came out best overall for how it flattered all skintones. It’s not the most dramatic of the dark colours we liked, but it is the easiest to wear. “Quite a sensual product, in that it’s almost jam-like on the lips, without being sticky,” said one panellist. “Grown-up, but not too made-up.”
BEST VERY CHERRY
Max Factor Max Effect Gloss Cube in Sweet Cassis, €7.99, available nationwide
This was the lightest of the plummy colours we tried, and one that would work best on blondes or very pale sorts who aren’t into high-contrast drama, but still want to go deep this autumn. This has blackcurrant to it — as the shade name suggests — but it’s balanced by a bit of pink and the sheer, glossy texture. “The colour is pretty as well as striking,” said one panellist. “And the pigment is impressive in that it lasts well.” BEST WARM BURGUNDY Sisley Phytocolour in L24, €35, Brown Thomas Dublin and Cork A pricey enough lipstick, but a very impressive one. Totally terrifying in the tube, this is a rich, purple colour that has a bit of shimmer to it and a bit of brown, which warms it up and makes it much more wearable. “A serious, proper lipstick,” a panellist said. “A gorgeous wintry colour that didn’t disappear in the middle of the lips and leave you with a lip-liner effect.”
BEST DEEP DAMSON
L’Oreal Colour Riche Serum in S203, €11.99, available nationwide
Deeply purple, this proved a real surprise for how flattering it was on both pale and warm complexions. The colour is impressively dramatic, but not too Goth-like for most tastes, while the serum that runs through the core of the lipstick makes it feel very comfortable on the lips. “I love this one,” said a panellist. “It looks like a full-on lip colour, but it doesn’t have that heavy-lipstick feel.”
BEST GOTHIC GRAPE
Mac Matte Lipstick in Prince Noir, €17.50, Brown Thomas and BT2
To go with this one, you have to embrace the dark side. And dig out the lipliner. A full-on darkest grape that demands you treat it seriously, you don’t want it feathering beyond your lips, looking like you’ve consumed a bottle of burgundy by the neck. Worn with immaculate skin and a clean eye, however, it’s wonderfully dramatic and seasonal. “The matt finish is fabulous and adds to the intensity,” said one panellist. “ It made my teeth and skin look porcelain white.”