The Best New Lipsticks, Balms and Stains That Deserve Your Attention

Can we talk about lip products again?

I think I sound like a broken record these days, so forgive me.

Just last week my blog sista Anya, who writes the delightful fashion-focused site I'm the It Girl out of Vancouver, did a fun profile on my top "beauty secrets," where I boldly (heh) declared that "the world would be a happier place if more of us wore bright lipstick."

And that's not news around here, because I haven't stopped banging on about the lipstick thing since I declared lip gloss "over" last spring. Since then, I've swooned over luxury lippie launches from Chanel, YSL and Tom Ford... pinched myself that Revlon could come out with such a fantastic range at drugstore prices... fell in love with Joe Fresh's ridonkulously good lip stains (a.k.a. "starter lipsticks")... and of course, gazed happily at the verymanyfashion designers who gave bold lips a starring role on the spring/summer '11 catwalks.

And now? Now I say that bright lips are not just a trend but a classic. They really are.

And so today I would like to show you a few additional new and exciting new lip prodz that you may wish to include in your makeup rotation...


It's L'Occitane's Shea Beauty Balm in Vineyard Rose:

Yeah, yeah, I know I said I was talking about bright lip stuff today... but it is January in Canada and that means you can just call me Tenderflake. Lips are Peeling. Right. Off. Which, as you can imagine, sort of thwarts any efforts to wear actual lipstick. Chapped lips with lipstick on top NEVER looks good—just take a look at our friend Amber Heard, who we saw in the Globes after-party round-up yesterday.

Most of us try to correct this situation by applying a liberal layer of lip balm underneath our lip colour of choice. But you can't just use any old balm. When they are too oily or goopy or shiny, the colour you layer on top has nothing to grab on to—not to mention the texture turns into something more akin to a tinted gloss instead of a lipstick.

The solution is this L'Occitane number, which I can honestly say is probably the best under-lipstick balm I've ever found. (Or you could use it on top of a stain. Your choice.) It goes on in a very fine layer, but don't be deceived because it's still super-moisturizing and lasts a really long time. Plus, it's matte. AND it's certified organic. AND you can use it on any dry spots, not just lips. Much love for this product.

UPDATE: Ugh, so sorry—apparently this was a limited edition product (thanks to Margarita for alerting me in the comments)... BUT as of now, still available on the website ( until stock runs out. You may still be able to find it in a few retail boutiques, but they recommend you call the toll-free number to check: 1-877-212-0238. Good luck tracking it down! And if you can't find, the next closest match would be the Mini Pure Shea Butter:


Meet CoverGirl Lip Perfection:

So you know how Revlon hired the great Gucci Westman to give its lipsticks an overhaul? Well, CoverGirl has done the same thing, thanks to Pat McGrath. Pat is, I think, the most influential makeup artist in the world right now—so when she directs the re-formulation of a lipstick line, especially an under-$10 lipstick line, we take notice.

The old CoverGirl lipsticks, if I'm being perfectly honest, were boring. Too pale and wimpy in terms of colour, and most had that annoying iridescence that (for me) ruined the finish. Pat has rightfully told P&G to make the colours flatter and brighter, and FINALLY—after getting a sneak peek last year when I was at the HQ in Cincinnati—I got to try 'em.

The best is the red, called Hot, which Pat actually used at the Gucci, Mui Mui, Dior, and Viktor & Rolf spring shows. Here it is at Gucci:

I was also sent Embrace (a purple) and Euphoria (a deep wine), which Pat combined together for Louis Vuitton:

All in all, I'm impressed—although if I could make one suggestion, it would be to add more oranges and corals (since as per my 2011 trend predictions, those shades will be HUGE come spring).

There are also new lip liners, just FYI, if you use them (you could do a completely matte red lip with these too):


Hello, Clinique Chubby Sticks!

These aren't lipsticks, nor are they lip pencils. They are tinted balms. But in pencil form—FAT pencils. Because weren't those the best kind of pencils in school? I wish adults got to use fatter writing utensils, don't you?

Anyway, there are seven shades in the range, which just came out at the end of December, and they go on a bit paler than you would think from the outer packaging (which is a good thing if you're not the bold lips type, despite all my arm-twisting here). Most of the shades are kind of brownish, but I like the two "brights" (which aren't really): Chunky Cherry and Woppin' Watermelon (!). The darkest one, Richer Raisin, would be gorgeous for evening. And the good thing about these is that you don't need to carry around separate lip balm.


Brand new this month is CoverGirl NatureLuxe Gloss Balm:

The people at CoverGirl have been busy! And for a company for whom I didn't have a lot of lip product love, it's all very exciting. Think of this line like you would the Clinique sticks, except they're a) not chubby and b) they have a slightly glossy finish. Oh yeah, and they're SPF 15 too.

There are 16 shades and my fave is the red (weirdly, called Sandstone), but it's not an OMGred—just a really pretty tint. Smells amazing too; in fact, this line's going to really challenge my Josie Maran lip gloss obsession. The only thing that gives me pause is that they're using the word "nature" in the name... lest this confuses you, these prodz aren't totally natural—they've just swapped some of the synthetics for more natural ingredients. Nice!


Behold Tarte LipSurgence Natural Matte Lip Stain:

This lip stain was on my wish list for Christmas 2010. And my lovely mommy bought it for me, bless her heart. Just wanted to report back that all the claims are true about this one. In some strange feat of technology, it manages to be moisturizing at the same time that it's staining... the other beauty eds were right.

Have you spotted and/or tried any of these lip prodz yet?

Do you think the bright lips trend is no longer a trend?

Did you see Angelina Jolie applying lip gloss at the Globes? Bo-ring, Jolie. (But I suppose when you have lips that big, colour might be too much...)

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