Need a pick-me-up? Lipstick always does the trick for me. These are my current favourites.
Traditionally, in periods of financial insecurity (not to mention any – and every – other kind), lipstick sales go up. It’s a phenomenon for which Leonard Lauder, son of Estée and chairman of Estée Lauder Companies, coined the term ‘The Lipstick Index’ in the early 2000s.
Leonard might want to update that theory. At Space NK, for instance, apart from the rise in Aesop wash sales (up 108 per cent on the same time last year), it’s skincare and hair treatments that are booming. And Cult Beauty reports a sales surge of at-home salon items including facial tools and hair dye.
Still, the idea that life’s little beauty luxuries can provide solace is still sound. And there’s no denying lipstick offers an instant pick-me-up whether for your mood or a Zoom conference.
Making lipstick into a main event is Carolina Herrera Makeup. Not only is there a selection of patterns to choose from for the cases (my favourite is Green Wave, £17, harrods.com) but there are attachable charms (£8) and giant tassels that magnetically fasten to the bottom (£10). And the lipstick itself? I love the Satin version in Blissful Lips (£25), a nicely moisturising nude.
Sisley has updated Le Phyto-Gloss (£39, sisley-paris.com from 1 May) with extra moisturising properties, including hyaluronic acid, and three oils to add shine. One of my favourites – my preferred shade is Milkyway – this also helps lips look plump.
Dior Addict Stellar Halo Shine in Superstar (£30, dior.com) is a great hybrid that’s part classic bullet, part nourishing and moisturising balm. It also delivers a great shiny finish.
For a good conditioner there’s Q&A Skincare Liquorice Lip Oil (£6.50, qandaskin.com). With liquorice root, apricot oil, prickly pear and peppermint, it glides on lips with a roller-ball applicator and also gives a natural gloss finish so it’s a bit of a two-in-one.
I could endlessly rave about Givenchy Le Rose Perfecto Liquid Balm (£32.50, debenhams.com), a skincare-level treatment with shea butter to care, hydrating hyaluronic, and menthol to boost circulation. It feel lightweight on, smells of rose and comes in ten shades that give a natural hue and sheen to all skin tones. Personally, I love Perfect Pink.
IT Cosmetics Pillow Lips High Pigment Moisture Wrapping Lipstick in Like A Dream (£20, itcosmetics.co.uk) contains an oil complex and collagen to help hide lip lines and feels light and smooth.
Not a new launch but a recent find for me – after seeing it on my friend Annabel – is W7 Very Vegan Lipstick (£6.95, w7makeup.co.uk). Certified by the Vegan Society, it delivers a luscious burst of colour that’s full of verve and juiciness. Sadly the best and universally flattering shade Righteous Red seems to have been discontinued (please W7, bring it back!) but Purest Poppy is a good alternative.
Beauty assistant: Alice Robertson