Anyone who loves lipstick needs to own at least one tube from Lipstick Queen.
In case you're not familiar with the line, it was started by Australian-born Poppy King, whose obsession with finding the perfect lipstick led her to create her first range, called Poppy, in 1992, when she was just 18 years old.
Although it was only around for about a decade, Poppy (the brand) was so influential that Poppy (the person) went on to work with Estée Lauder in the US; write a book, Lessons of a Lipstick Queen; and finally, launch a second cult lipstick range. Lipstick Queen was born in 2006 and it's still going strong!
These lipsticks are unique because unlike most makeup brand founders, Poppy isn't a makeup artist—she's a lipstick enthusiast. So there's an attention to detail here that you won't see anywhere else. Think: sheer, glossy, matte and stained finishes, and a selection of subtle to impactful colours that truly flatter. Oh, and they're also fragrance-free.
I really love this quote from an interview Poppy did with The Formula: "Lipstick isn't something that makes you look old or requires a full face of makeup. In fact, lipstick looks best when worn casually. It is very misunderstood by the industry. The formulas and smells they come out with are all wrong."
With that in mind, I thought I'd show you the seven Lipstick Queen shades that are in my collection (so far!):
Rouge was one of Lipstick Queen's first offerings, described as "a flattering shade that looks good on everyone, night or day." Translation: it's a pretty, muted, wine-red. Almost as if you had lipstick on and then blotted it off to just leave a stain—except it feels very moisturizing and balmy.
This one is from the Saint collection, which are buildable sheers with only 10 percent pigment. (The same colours also come in 90 percent pigment matte versions, in the Sinner line-up. So you could put the full-coverage one on in the morning, and then touch up with the sheer throughout the day. How cool is that?)
Jean Queen is described as "the ultimate shade to wear with denim, as it perfectly offsets the blue in the fabric and lights up your whole face." It's a step up from nude, intensifying your natural lip colour, but still letting it peek through—this is another sheer formula. The feel is again super-balmy, and slightly glossy. Very "your lips, only better!"
Eden is described as "a juicy, semi-sheer apple red that flatters all skin tones." If I had to choose my perfect red lipstick, this might be it! I love that the colour is so vibrant, and the slight sheerness makes it more wearable than heavy, opaque reds. The finish is a bit glossy, too. I especially love how this looks when applied in a rounded shape.
Medieval is described as a "sheer, sexy hint of flattering red that looks great on all skin tones." It's similar to Saint Rouge, but this red is lighter (more of a true red than a wine-red). If you find traditional red lipsticks too bright/heavy, this is a great choice, because it's not full-coverage and has a pretty hint of shine. They also say it makes your skin look more flawless!
Saint Pinky Nude
Pinky Nude is another one from the Saint line (10 percent pigment), and is described as "a pretty and subtle pink take on nude." I have a hard time finding nude shades that don't wash me out, so this is definitely a winner—the pink makes it so flattering. I'm impressed with how much pigment you do get for a sheer, and that the coverage is so even.
Hello Sailor is described as "an ultra-modern, navy blue sheer lipstick." It does look scarily blue in the tube, but on the lips, it's more like a sheer blackberry or plum, with the purplish hue that is so on trend right now. My skin tone doesn't look great in opaque lilacs or lavenders, which are too cool-toned for me, but I can get away with this because it lets some of my natural lip tone peek through. Apparently it makes your teeth look whiter as well!
Jungle Queen is described as "a colour-popping coral that will flatter any complexion." Honestly, I find this one closer to a bright orange-red than what I consider coral (paler and more pinky-orangey). It's about the same intensity as Eden, but warmer-toned. The texture is a buildable semi-sheer, so maybe that's why it looks redder on me, because my lip colour is coming through. Wear this one when you're feeling extra-confident, because it's the most intense shade of all!
I hope you find the Lipstick Queen line as compelling as I do! Poppy truly excels at creating lipsticks that don't look or feel "lipsticky." As you can see, the shades in my collection are all semi-sheer and so balmy. Plus, they wear really well over the course of the day, leaving you with hydrated lips and a slight stain—your lips won't go dry or flaky.
And speaking of stains, that's my favourite feature of all. If you're in the habit of always blotting down your lipsticks, I think you'll love that these do the work for you!
Where to Buy
Have you tried anything from Lipstick Queen?
Which shade is your favourite?