Lipsticks: Love At First Slick
I narrowed it down to eight (barely) all of which I can wear without balm underneath, and all of which make my very dry, lined, picky lips both look and feel smoother, plumper -- just prettier.
From sheerest to most opaque (scent/finish):
Lavshuca Dramatic Memory Rouge -- scent-free / cream-jelly (crelly) swatches
Guerlain Rouge Automatique -- candied violet / crelly
Suqqu Blend -- scent-free / glossy cream (discontinued)
Revlon Super Lustrous -- scent-free / cream
Burberry Lip Cover -- rose / cream
Suqqu Creamy Glow -- scent-free / cream swatches
By Terry Rouge Terrybly -- rose / satin
I love them all.
So I chose one particularly favoured shade from each formula. And did this. For reasons.
Lavshuca RD-1, Sonia Rykiel 24, Burberry Bright Plum
Suqqu Blend Maizakura and Creamy Glow Karakurenai
By Terry Hot Cranberry, Revlon Fire&Ice, Guerlain Liu
Common to my favourite formulas: a creamy or balmy feel with good slip, and moisturising properties. There are plenty of formulas out there which have good slip (e.g. Chanel Rouge Coco Shine, Dior Addict, MAC Cremesheen) but which make my lips crack and peel off in sheets and conversely, there are some mattes which are very comfortable for me to wear (e.g. Lancôme Colour Design Matte, Addiction, Guerlain L'Extrait), but my favourites combine both.
On the other hand, lasting power / wear time is something I barely even consider when it comes to lip products. From my favourites, By Terry Rouge Terrybly is an excellent longwearing formula, and Revlon Super Lustrous, Suqqu Creamy Glow, Burberry Lip Cover and Guerlain Rouge Automatique are also reasonably tenacious on me -- but this is really just a nice 'extra'; as an inveterate snacker and sipper, my expectations in this regard are pretty modest. As long as something fades evenly (no dreaded outer lip tidemark or inner sharpie-sucker mouth), I actually quite enjoy seeing/wearing the different colour nuances a single lip shade can display as you build it up and later, as it wears down. I would much rather reapply a nice balmy jelly lipstick every hour than have a film-forming, long-wearing formula whose colour stays bulletproof, albeit in a increasingly hideous (and balm-repelling!) texture as the day goes on.... (e.g. Rouge D'Armani, Lancôme Rouge In Love, almost every lip stain ever)
Opposites Attract....so why do I love YSL Glossy Stains with a frankly idolatrous love? I am not a stain girl; I am not a gloss girl; I am definitely not an alcohol-in-my-products girl (down my gullet is another matter entirely). I just do. A LOT.
Idiotically, my "best of the year" round-up missed these out twice -- in 2011 because I had just tried my first one in December and was all honeymoony and didn't want to jump the gun and in 2012 because they were technically a 2011 discovery/release. Let the wardrobe testify to my love:
|7 is not swatched because it was the 'out' replaced by 27 -- even so, I own more of these than of any other lip product|
Tender Loving Care
I hope this post has established that people's preferences in formulas vary and very often make no sense, because skincare/makeup hybrids are particularly tricky, and this final section should be hedged by big flashing Your Mileage May Vary lights.
But for me, these are the tinted treatments I reach for when my lips are actually chapped, peeling, bleeding or otherwise leprous, but I feel the need for a bit of warpaint for psychological blanky reasons and not-scaring-the-small-children, if nothing else.
Fresh Sugar Lip Treatments have been a standby for a decade now -- I've tried every other cheaper substitute on the market and always come crawling back. All three shades I own add a little warmth to correct my naturally corpse-mauve lip tone, and tint them: a clear reddish pink (Rosé), a deeper rose (Berry), and a peachy-pink nude (Honey). They taste like lemon sugar crêpes.
Bite Lush Lip Tints are a relatively new discovery, from a Canadian brand I've become very fond of. Somewhat less moisturising than the Fresh Sugar balms, they pack much more pigment -- more sheer lipstick than tinted balm -- and hug the lips more closely (with less slip). Lightly fruit scented, Cherry is a coral red and Raspberry a rose red, both clear and bright.
RMS Lip Shine in Sublime was the cool, clear shade I was waiting for to try this formula [thanks for the tip, Grace!] and it is a moisturising and subtly lip-plumping gloss without stickiness. The pink, while cool, is a pop-bright, spring-in-your-ponytail kind of cool, which in its own way achieves the enlivening / de-corpsifying thing I like. Smells/tastes of its ingredients, vaguely waxy.