Premium blend: The lipsticks that are revolutionizing our beauty routines

Meet the next generation of lipsticks that will completely change the way you do your makeup.

Nov 26, 2012
Katherine Flemming
Premium blend: The lipsticks that are revolutionizing our beauty routines

Perhaps you’ve sworn off wearing lipstick until Prince Harry pares down his partying. Or maybe you wouldn’t be caught out in lipgloss, even when you’re relaxing in (Isabel Marant) sweatpants and spending a quiet night in. But with the arrival of a new breed of next-generation lipwear, the days of “either/or” are over.

Who doesn’t love lipgloss and its ability to mimic larger lips and bestow youthful shine? The eternally flattering, easy option, gloss requires minimal upkeep—you can apply it haphazardly sans mirror, and it fades with little protest. But herein lies the dilemma: Whereas sheer shades paired so well with the smoky eyes and bronzed skin that defined the post-millennium beauty look (thanks, JLo), gloss lacks opacity. Only a lipstick bullet can replicate the bold jolt of covetable colours killing it on the catwalks.

At the fall/winter 2012/2013 shows, colour-coated lips owned the spotlight. From Givenchy to Gucci, red lipstick reigned. It materialized as cherry coloured and glossy at Zac Posen and in darker variations of stained wine at David Koma and mulberry at Bottega Veneta. And the pigment refused to budge at the spring/summer 2013 shows, with fluoro-red/pink lips spotted at Rochas and plenty of vivid fuchsias at Giles and Dries Van Noten.

U.S. market-research firm NPD Group saw lip-colour sales in America reach $290 million last year alone—an increase of 13 percent from the previous year. Not surprisingly, lipgloss sales started to dip, dropping to $182 million. And in the first half of this year, lip colour brought in nearly $305 million in sales, swelling 10 percent and outpacing the former syrupy front-runner. The lipstick shades in hot pursuit? They’re electric, baby!

“Really vivid purples, bright oranges, bold reds and light, very clean pinks are populating our top 10 [bestselling] shades,” says Nicole Masson, vice-president of global product development for colour at M.A.C Cosmetics. “The nature of lipstick has changed. It’s not a finishing touch; it's a starting point."

Note: If you’re going to start with a lipstick, cut straight to Mr. Tom Ford. Back in 2010, Ford formulated a line of lipsticks that were loaded with Brazilian murumuru butter and chamomilla flower oil and had his initials embossed on the bullet. Lipstick addicts clamoured to score the luxe weighted ivory-and-gold rectangular tubes. If this wasn’t the $55 accessory to be caught smearing your lips with, what was?

We list the best new lip hybrids, on the next page...

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