There is no denying the pervasive power of lipstick, even for economists. Witness the “lipstick index”, which shows that when times get hard, lipstick sales go up. In recent years lip gloss has become the top seller in colour cosmetics but, as of this season, a raft of cosmetics companies is betting on lipstick to buoy bottom lines.
Poppy King, founder of Lipstick Queen
“We’re moving past the youth-obsessed idea of beauty that’s been so prominent for the past decade and was epitomised by lip gloss,” says Poppy King, founder of the cosmetics line Lipstick Queen. “Women are hungry for a sophisticated idea of beauty and have realised they feel a lack of that when lipstick is taken out of their beauty repertoire.”
Juicy Tubes from Lancome
Make-up artist Jemma Kidd agrees. “The Juicy Tubes generation are becoming more interested in lipstick,” she says. “Before, it was associated with older women but now, seeing lipstick on the catwalk and on young celebrities, women are realising that it can look great at any age.” Add to this the current fashion interest in saturated colour and it’s easy to see why cosmetics companies have the confidence to launch new lipstick lines during such a capricious time.
Revlon ColourStay Liquid Lipstick
Of course, they also have some technological advances up their sleeves to further the lipstick cause. Take the new vogue for liquid lipsticks: these paint on like gloss and have the same lightweight feel but last as long as traditional lipsticks. Revlon ColourStay Ultimate Liquid Lipstick (£8.99 in 10 shades), for example, is the first non-transfer formula that doesn’t require a topcoat. “Long-wear technology is the holy grail of lipstick,” says make-up maestro Gucci Westman. “This new generation of colour will be much more low maintenance than before, and means women can leave their lipstick at home.”
Chanel Rouge Allure Laque
Formulas for smooth, plumped up lips that utilise line-filling polymers and ingredients such as hyaluronic acid, which draw in moisture, are proving popular too. Jemma Kidd Ultimate Lipstick Duo (£13 in seven shades) is a clever combination of soft, velvety colour plus an oil and butter-rich treatment balm to hydrate lips and make them appear fuller.
Dior Addict Lip Colour Advertising
Dior Addict Lipcolor (£19 in 20 shades) has been reformulated with “featherlight” waxes and oils and boasts a patented complex that neutralises the natural colour of the lips so the shade stays true to what you see in the bullet when it’s on your mouth.
Shiseido Perfect Rouge
Likewise, Shiseido Perfect Rouge (£18 in 20 shades) guarantees to mirror colour using a unique pigment that adapts to the light as well as skincare technology that stops moisture from evaporating and making lips flake.
Rouge G de Guerlain
Packaging, meanwhile, has also made advances. Guerlain collaborated with the feted jeweller Lorenz Bäumer on their Rouge G de Guerlain lipstick (£25 in 25 shades), marking his first foray into the beauty world. The result is an exquisite silver bullet, complete with flip-up mirror, that holds a lip-plumping formula that imparts vibrant colour.
“Make-up products have to be efficient, easy to use and beautiful,” says Olivier Echaudemaison, international creative director at Guerlain. We’ll second that.