Tomorrow, July 29th is National Lipstick Day says Vicci Bentley. It’s also my 66th birthday – a curious coincidence, since I’m having a bit of a lipstick issue. Throughout most of my lippie-loving career, I’ve enjoyed a relatively smooth ride. Lately though, I’ve noticed a worrying migration from lip central to suburbs – little tributaries of colour feathering upwards beyond the contours. And I’m not alone. Over a bottle of rosé during the hot spell, Alyson confided a similar trend, herself. Call them Cat Butt Creases or Cat’s Bum Mouth, (depending on which side of the Atlantic you’re on), sooner or later these pesky purse lines creep up on us all.
Lipstick on your teeth’s bad enough, but lip wrinkles are downright frustrating, whether or not you smoke (neither Alyson nor myself partakes, BTW). Does skincare help? Night creams with collagen-boosting retinol (like SkinCeuticals Retinol 0.3 concentrate); and line-plumping moisturisers with hyaluronic acid during the day (I’m loving Peter Thomas Roth Water Drench Hyaluronic Cloud Cream right now; available HERE and HERE) might prevent them worsening or at least soften their visual impact. And of course Eve Lom’s Kiss Mix is the best hydrating lip balm I know…
If you’re brave or rich enough to risk a procedure, hyaluronic acid fillers both in the lips themselves and more subtly above the lipline plump up thin lips and smooth lines without that telltale ridge that screams ‘trout pout.’ Then there’s Glam Glow Plumprageous Matte Lip Treatment, which tingles like hell to make lips look more bee-stung, then calms down to become an effective smoothing primer for colour.
And this is the best news – there’s a lot you can do to control your lippie. ‘The problem is, we’ve been spoilt by easy balmy crayons, but we’re not so good at prepping the lip surrounds,’ FAB makeup artist Sara Raeburn reminds me. She’s been using Deciem Hylamide HA Blur on set over foundation – it’s like Nanoblur, but finer she reckons. Oh, and by the way, ease up on foundation. The less there is, the less it will pool into lines.
‘You also need some kind of a barrier, like a pencil,’ Sara continues. ‘Pick a shade nearest your natural lip colour, draw in the entire lip and blend it in well with a brush. Top it with lipstick, keeping just shy of the edges, but avoid lipgloss like the plague.’ You might need to splash some cash on a good matte lipstick, she muses. And as luck has it, there’s no shortage of those in the A/W17 colour collections.
I’m excited about Nars intense new Powermatte Lip Pigment (in Selfridges from August 1st – a little goes a long way and stays). You’ll find a good match for your own lip tone in their Precision Lip Liner, too. If you like your lips less intense, Estée Lauder’s Pure Color Envy Sheer Matte Sculpting Lipstick (from August 1st) is more your comfort zone. Or, if you fancy a bit of retro shimmer (you know you want to), Dior’s Double Rouge has a velvety-matte outer ring with a sheeny inner core that gives a fabulous ombré effect – although you’ll have to wait until September. Might as well?
Meanwhile, according to sales stats compiled by John Lewis, your lipstick colour can show where you live now, if not where you come from. Apparently, it’s all bold and shiny down south and barely-there nude up north. Being Midlander at heart, my comfort zone’s matte beige. A bit on the pale side, perhaps but at least it won’t betray those Cat Butt Creases…