|Guerlain Rouge G de Guerlain,$46|
But, when shopping for everyday use, I buy Revlon, Maybelline, Cover Girl—and if there's a BOGO sale, sister, stand back!
I asked a beauty editor of a North American fashion magazine if there is a distinct, evident benefit to prestige brands (Armani, Guerlain, Chanel) that justifies an increment of three to five times the price of drugstore brands.
She said, "Packaging aside, no." She requested anonymnity, because her magazine depends on ad revenue from those status companies.
Some brands may perform better on you than others, or you may prefer their weight. I like Clinique's Different Lipstick; Leslie will wear nothing but MAC's Pro Longwear line.
Getting the colour value
During party season, whether in $45 Guerlain or $7 Revlon, we want that lippie to last. Many times, it's not the product but the application that ensures good wear.
Five tips from makeup artist Troy Surrat:
1. Prep your lips
Lipstick adheres best when the skin on your lips isn't flaky; use a gentle exfoliator.
2. Choose a matte or nearly-matte finish over a glossy lipstick
These contain more pigment, especially in deeper shades.
3. Apply with a brush
The pigment sinks into your lips better. Natural-bristle brushes are often too soft; I like Revlon's Covered Lip Brush, which is stiff enough and the right shape.
4. Apply two light layers
Blot between applications; this lifts a little moisture and leaves the pigment. Surratt recommends oil-blotting paper (this Japanese product would make a cool gift)—but I usually use a tissue.
5. Don't add gloss on top
The moist top layer will break down the pigment.
Some women praise lipstick fixative, especially Sealed With a Kiss, which I've never tried. Have you?
The unbudgeable option
If I absolutely do not want that colour to lift, I wear Cover Girl Outlast All-Day, queen of the paint-ons, usually in a Bobbi-Brownish neutral, "Naturalast #545".
With Outlast, you do use gloss (included) on top, and reapply occasionally. You can also use the Outlast colour as a base, and apply your favourite coordinating lipstick on top, but it will not last as long.
My friend Sandi wore Outlast "Ever Red-dy" for her son's wedding; it stayed richly red from 3 pm. vows through midnight sliders, with no smearing. Your party hosts, who will not have to launder lipstick stains out of their table linen, will thank you, too.
After an evening in Outlast, I condition my lips with a rich night cream, because it's drying.
|Make Up For Ever, $22|
eBay vendors offer brands like Nars, Poppy King or Make Up For Ever at much less than the department store counter or seductive Sephora; if you don't need a certain shade for tonight's party, put the product on your watch list.
Helen took me to a recent L'Oréal warehouse sale, which featured many of their brands (Armani, Kiehl's, Lancôme, Shu Uemara), at less than half retail price. The sales are advertised in city-specific discount-shopper sites; some are by invitation only. There, we found selected shades of Lancôme lipstick for $4!
The gift-with-purchase offer endures, for brands like Lancôme, Clinique and Shishedo, and store loyalty programs allow you to trade points for makeup.
|Tarte lipstick, $18|
A satiny, gleaming new lipstick is a dependable spirit-lifter. A friend and I once bought a big lot on eBay, chose a few for ourselves, and donated the rest to a women's shelter, where we were told it was enthusiastically received.
Why has your favourite brand earned your affection?
Any tips for a full evening's vibrant wear? Mwwwah!