The Return of Lipstick

There is a bonafide revolution going on in makeup halls not just around the country, but around the world – Lipstick is Back.

Relegated to the status of a makeup also ran since, ooh, about 1999, when gloss usurped its position as women’s choice of lip enhancer, lipstick has quietly been easing its way back into our lives.

For me the tide turned on a shoot with David Bailey over a year ago – Kay Montano had these beautiful, creamy lipsticks from Bobbi Brown that she had been using on Nicole Kidman (aptly named ‘Creamy Lipsticks’), and I fell in love all over again with their delicious texture and the fact that they were moisturizing and had a sheen on them, but no stickiness. Gloss had been feeling a little passé for awhile, but this was the first time I had tossed an actual lipstick in my handbag in years.

My gloss bag at work started to shrink, and my lipstick palettes increase. I was using bolder colors at work – bright oranges, corals, fuchsia, red in all its permutations from deep wine to eye-popping cherries and strawberries.

Then came the launch of Chanel’s Rouge Coco lipstick in March this year with its ethereal image of Vanessa Paradis. Chanel’s Global Makeup artist, Peter Phillips, was so vocal in his championing of the forgotten makeup product, that it heralded something of a return. In the last couple of months it feels like every line is bringing lipstick back, and when the master of the fashion zeitgeist, Tom Ford, decides to launch a line of lippies, you know it’s a done deal.

My new-found love of lipstick has led me to try out quite a few lately, and my top winners at the moment are:

YSL Rouge Volupte – love the colours and they are super-creamy

Bobbi Brown – perfect for your natural lip shade but better

Chanel Rouge Coco – they really are as good as the buzz

Estee Lauder – if you’re re-investigating the classics, why not go to the source?

Illamasqua – For mouth-watering statement lip shades

NARS – from nudes to reds, his colour selection is unparalleled

MAC – like a lipstick candy store for grown ups

Lipstick is not just about applying lip colour – it’s an attitude, a feeling, a gift to yourself. It’s time (if you haven’t done so already), to make like a lady, and get yourself a lipstick.

Hall of Fame – YSL Beaute Touche Eclat

YSL Touche EclatI had to create a whole new category for this one (much to my webmaster’s chagrin, I’m a little category-crazy, but I can’t stop myself!) but really, with one sold globally every 20 seconds, can you blame me? This is no ordinary product.

Created in 1992 by Terry de Gunzberg after she had spent years as a makeup artist hand mixing concealers and foundations and luminsiers to brighten and illuminate skin (remember, this was back in the dark days of makeup where foundation ranges were only four or five shades, and black models had to carry their own theatrical foundations with them in order to get made up!)

First off, I need to tell you that Touche Eclat is NOT A CONCEALER. I will repeat that. It is NOT A CONCEALER. If you wish to cover spots, bumps, bruises, acne, scarring and skin conditions like rosacea, this is not that guy. Please don’t buy it for this purpose. For those, you need a proper concealer – my favourites are the heavy cream ones in a pan that you apply with a brush, like Becca concealer or Laura Mercier’s Secret Camouflage.

What Touche Eclat is for is for brightening the dark places of the face, those areas that could do with a lift. It’s especially good on the under eye area, but I also like to use it around the corners of the nostrils and it can be used in laugh lines and wrinkles (within reason! Obviously if you have deep wrinkles there are limits to what a product – even a great one like Touche Eclat – can do) to make them less pronounced. It is also good on the outer corners of the eyes which tend to darken with age, and in the inner corners of the eye next to the nose which are the deepest points of the face. By using a light reflecting concealer there you illuminate the area which makes you look younger (and unless you’re twelve, we all need a bit of that!)

For the under eye area, you may still need a heavier concealer for extra coverage as Touche Eclat is a brightening product and not designed to cover everything. I usually use it in combination with another concealer – Bobbi Brown or Laura Mercier generally, but occasionally I stray into Estee Lauder’s Double Wear Stay in Place concealer.

Touche Eclat now comes in four shades so they too cover darker skin tones. Be warned however, some skintones (particularly yellow ones), don’t suit the Touche Eclat colours which are very much on the peach side. There are now many other luminising concealers on the market, and others I like include Clinique, Bobbi Brown and Estee Lauder. However I do still keep all four of my trusty Touche Eclats in pride of place in my concealer bag.

Touche Eclat now has it’s own website, www.touche-eclat.com and for your viewing enjoyment I have included an excerpt from the new Touche Eclat commercial, which is as beautiful as this iconic product.

Paris or Perez? Nail Polish

If you’re minted (like Paris) or just need a cheap guilty little pleasure (like Perez), this section covers both ends of the shopping spectrum.

 For this week’s lovely luxury versus cheap and cheerful, I have commandeered the talents (and knowledge) of major manicurist Sophy Robson who has tended the talons of Keira Knightley, Natalie Portman, Kate Moss and Kylie Minogue, not to mention all the biggest models in the world in her editorial career which can be found in the pages of W and French Vogue.

 Pop BeautyIn the quick treat cheap corner, she’s crazy about Revlon nail polishes which have great colours (Sophy is particularly loving the new peach color, Mad About Mango, for summer), last beautifully and don’t cost the earth. When she’s feeling like busting out a fluoro or other seasonal trend color, it’s Pop Beauty for mad colors that cost £6. And let’s face it, when nail trends seem to change quicker than Grazia’s cover star, who wants to fork out £15 for a color you’re going to use twice?

YSL Nail Polishes

Good staying power and even better disposability make this your sweet budget treat.

 If you’re feeling flush Sophy thinks you can’t go past the Rolls Royce of nailpolishes,YSL La Laque, the ultimate in nail luxury. Sumptuous packaging, gorgeous colors and now the expertise of new Yves Saint Laurent Beauté creative director, Val Garland – how can you go wrong? They do fabulous reds, perfect pinks and nudes and the ultimate color for the season, Tuxedo Grey, which for some reason is looking totally right in the sunlight.


 PS For all our American readers, apparently Pop Beauty Nailpolish is available at CVS Drugstores.