Audrey Hepburn may have said that ‘on a bad day, there’s always lipstick’ but it’s about to signify happier times, too.
After months of mask-wearing and attention to eyes, there’s a rush on lipstick as the go-to for post-lockdown make-up purchases.
Teamed with cool innovations, intense new textures and dramatic runway looks, it’s the perfect time to invest in letting your lips make a statement.
Whichever look you favour, creating the best canvas allows colour to slick on smoothly and helps it stay there.
A layer of e.l.f. Jelly Pop Luscious Lip Mask (£6) will help prevent chapping and give a plump finish thanks to nourishing watermelon extract, hydrating hyaluronic acid and smoothing vegan collagen.
Smart cosmetics companies have taken the impetus to inject new lip ideas with clever innovations that are as much about function as form.
Illamasqua’s Hydra Lip Tints (£20 each) are dual-toned bullets that allow you to apply one of the vivid shades alone or mix with the contrasting colour to create a pretty new hue at your own intensity.
The glossy, smudge-proof formula for L’Oréal Paris Brilliant Signature Plumping Gloss (£9.99) is packed with a collagen complex, hyaluronic acid and a cooling ingredient that together create an instant plumping effect.
But it’s the unique eight-shaped applicator that adds extra oomph by delivering a precision dose of colour while lining the lips’ contours to create a super-voluminous result.
They may have been reconfigured recently but runway shows are still going strong, as are the seasonal beauty trends they produce. For SS21, make-up artists suggested going for bold on lips.
At Versace, models wore a vivid matte tangerine, while at Balmain and Saint Laurent, bright, velvety reds were de rigueur.
As matte can be a tricky texture to pull off in orange, opt for a glossier version such as MAC Love Me Liquid Lipcolour in My Lips Are Insured (£19.50).
It’s a delicious, spicy pumpkin shade and packed full of conditioning oils.
Givenchy Le Rouge Deep Velvet in Orange Sable (£29.50) combines a powdery matte finish with intense orange-red colour that lasts for hours but won’t cake.
And Pat McGrath LiquiLust Legendary Wear Matte Lipstick in Elson 4 (£29) is the runway queen’s red-blue matte liquid formula that glides on and dries to a smudge-proof finish that can ‘stretch’ with lips so they always looks seamless.
The ‘skinification’ of hair and bodycare — packing them with active ingredients usually reserved for skincare — continues with the supercharging of lip balms.
This new breed opts for premium additives such as hyaluronic acid and an impactful infusion of colour that truly makes them a hybrid of colour and care.
Nars Soft Matte Tinted Balm in Dangerous Affair (£23) is a rich mocha that boasts a creamy, non-sticky application from olive oil wax, while bamboo fibres add a soft-focus finish to diffuse the look of fine lines.
Nourishing shea butter, softening rose extract and hydrating hyaluronic acid are the skincare goodies enriching Guerlain KissKiss Shine Bloom in Fresh Coral (£31).
And Giorgio Armani Ecstasy Balm in Neo Nude (£29) adds a sheer tint of bright, shiny rose to lips while infusing them with softening, smoothing and protective oils.
Be bold with statement textures
Just as impactful as the summer’s hottest colours are the opaque textures ensuring staying power, teamed with high-colour payoff for more drama.
Careful, precision application is essential.
‘When wearing lip colour that’s highly pigmented, use a matching pencil first,’ says make-up artist Neil Young.
‘This lets you construct and perfect the shape you desire and also aids a seamless application of colour.’
Liquid lipsticks that dry quickly and leave an intense, tack-free finish are in this summer.
Chanel Rouge Allure Laque Ultrawear Shine Liquid Lip in Timeless (£33) is a rich raspberry that locks colour and conditioning oils on to the lips for 12 hours of fade-free gleam.
The powdery effect of Carolina Herrera Liquid Lip Velvet in Rose Totem (£21) comes from one application of transfer-proof colour, coating lips in a satin veil that dries instantly but still feels nourishing.
Or for a mirror-like finish in a stick, try Estée Lauder Pure Color Illuminating Shine (£27.50). The eight buildable shades are rich and bright, and keep lips glistening and conditioned from the first coat.