Saying lips are “on trend” is a bit like claiming The Beatles are back, wrongly implying some historic blip in popularity. You might have a vast lipstick collection in various stages of stubbiness or one tinted balm rolling around the bottom of your bag, but just about everyone uses a lip product. And as Mintel estimated, we spent £306 million on them last year, up 7.5% from 2015, this isn’t likely to change. What is new is new products, a ton of them. Nearly every major brand is launching huge lip ranges, averaging 30+ shades in myriad textures and some excellent new formulations. Liner – long-time friend of feathered or thinning lips – is also having a moment, with sales at Superdrug up 30% year on year. Most excitingly, proper lip care’s gone mainstream. The skin in this area is famously thin, has no oil glands and is easily irritated by cold winds, UV and even drinking alcohol (yikes). Lip balm alone won’t solve deep cracks or plump tiny lines, but a swift ritual can, and feels pretty lovely too.
For colour there’s no one seasonal diktat, so crack on with a shade you know is friendly to your features. “Women are looking for the quality of make-up now,” says Terry Barber, MAC Director of Make-up Artistry. “If you look at a woman who’s developed her style over decades, she doesn’t want to be transformed, she knows what the best pink lipstick is for her, but she wants the perfect pink, the better version every time.” We couldn’t agree more, here’s where to find it…
How to treat dry lips
Scrub flakes and soften with MAC Lip Scrubtious, £12.50, or Erborian 7 Herbs Scrub For Lips, £17. Lightly work in circles for 30 seconds then wipe away with a damp facecloth. Smooth lines with proven skincare ingredients. Sarah Chapman Skinesis Overnight Lip Concentrate, £32, has omegas and peptides, while Rodial Dragons Blood Lip Mask, £39 for 8, a sheet mask with hyaluronic acid, looks silly but seriously plumps. Slather daily in a gentle balm without petroleum or castor oil, which can draw oil out of your skin. Try unfailingly hydrating Lanolips 101 Ointment, £10.99, or new Eve Lom Kiss Mix, £16, with beeswax, tingly menthol and a tiny tint.
Burberry Liquid Lip Velvet in Magenta, £26 Vividly pigmented, entirely matte but with a surprisingly creamy feel.
The best long-lasting lipsticks
Hourglass GIRL Lip Stylo in Liberator, £26 Comfy, semi-opaque berry in a handbag- friendly pointy pen. Buy now from Hourglass Cosmetics for £26
Max Factor Velvet Matte Lipstick in 05 Nude, £7.99 Matte (but not powdery) coffee nude, beautiful on darker skin tones. Buy now from Boots for £7.99
Revlon Colorstay Overtime 16hrs in Stay Currant, £8.99 The name’s no joke, this bold stain and gloss duo will not come off (in a good way). Buy now from Superdrug for £8.99
YSL Volupté Tint-In-balm, in Flirt Me Coral, £27 Very sheer, fairly shiny peach with a balm-infused core. Buy now from Fabled for £27
NARS Velvet Matte Lip Pencil In Bettina, £20 With vitamin E. Slides on easily then sets to semi-matte lockdown. Buy now from John Lewis for £20
Chanel Rouge Coco Gloss in 772 Epique, £26 Claret gel with coconut oil. Passed the hair test with no sticking. Buy now from John Lewis for £26
Estée Lauder Pure Colour Love in Crazy Beautiful, £19 Buttery, buildable rose with acai oil and a sharp bullet for shaping. Buy now from House of Fraser for £19