There's a conflict that we all suffer through this gloomy month of dark days, where one part of you can't be bothered to get dressed unless it's entirely necessary -- and part of your job contract -- and then there's the other self-respecting part; the one that just won't let you go to the dogs entirely.
The better part of you knows that, even on the shortest of days, with the minimum of sunlight, making an effort matters. That said, however, it needs to be minimum effort, and maximum reward.
In the name of helping you pare down your make-up routine, we tried out a range of long-lasting lipsticks -- the kind that shouldn't require topping up, but will stay looking polished all day.
Unfortunately, our past experience of long-lasting lipsticks involved parched, shrivelled lips, product that wore away until just a sort of lipliner remained, and shades that looked entirely different three minutes after application. Lasting lip colour has come a long way, however. Some still took the mouths off us, but these were the best we tried and made us feel our best, all the short day long.
Revlon ColorStay Ultimate Lipcolor, €13, available nationwide
This is a gloopy product to apply, so avoid the temptation to smack your lips together as you might normally do. It quickly sets, however, to a moist finish with a nice sheen and a deep pigment. It's a winner due to the balance of endurance and comfort. Available in 12 quite safe shades, which is just as well, given that once it's on, it's on. "I ate, I drank, and I used a regular cleanser to take off my make-up," said a panellist, "and my lips still had a hint of colour the next morning. Extraordinary, and with minimal dryness."
Double Wear Stay-in-Place Lip Duo, €23, Estee Lauder counters nationwide
The classic double-ended product of a colour coat and a gloss topcoat. Helpfully, you can buy a refill gloss for this duo, in recognition of the fact that you will reapply it more often than the stay-put stuff. "Sometimes the gloss is just a means of distracting from how your lips are drying out and getting sore, but this is nice to wear," a panellist said. "And it doesn't look like a long-lasting lipstick, which is a compliment."
Mac Pro Longwear Lipcreme, €20, Brown Thomas and BT2
Good examples of long-lasting lipsticks -- as opposed to glosses, or lipsticks with a gloss topcoat -- are hard to come by, but this is a good example. Nicely creamy, non-drying and available in 12 colours that are more fashion-led than most long-lasting formulations can boast. "The texture lasts as well as the colour with this," one panellist said. "I don't like gloss, so it's nice to find something stay-put that's not slippy, but doesn't parch your lips at the same time."
Best Shade Selection
Max Factor Lipfinity Lip Colour, €14.49, available nationwide
This product achieves a nice finish -- you slick a solid, shiny topcoat over the colour, which stops just short of being glossy and gives a more lipbalm-like sheen -- and it comes in an impressive 24 colours. This loses points for being two separate sticks, rather than a single, double-ended affair. "This feels lighter than a lipstick on, but it lasts and lasts," said one panellist. "I hated rooting in my bag for two things, but I did think the effect was worth it."
Best Impressive Endurance
Chanel Rouge Allure Extrait de Gloss, €30.50, Chanel counters nationwide
In seven knock-out shades, this gloss goes on slippy, then settles into a dense coat of intense colour with real longevity; there's a bevelled applicator that does both lips at once. "I was very surprised by this," a panellist said, "because it goes on like nothing special and then binds itself together on your lips into a hard-to-budge glaze. In a lipgloss league of its own."
Sunday Indo Life Magazine