The ladies are light on the lips
A kiss of colour is what you get from a sheer lipstick, says Sarah Caden, as the panellists share some beauties
Lipstick is one of those things that you can swipe on fast and feel — as well as look — like you’ve made an effort. It brings a little instant colour to the situation, which is only a bad thing if you overdo it. As in, if you’re going lightly with your overall make-up, you don’t want full-on lipstick jumping out of your face. So, as we ease slowly towards lighter foundation for the summer, and maybe a cream blush and a little less eye make-up, it’s time to ease off on the lip colour, too. Sheer is where it’s at for the months ahead, and, fortunately, there’s a feast of choice around.
There are many beautiful bonuses to a sheer lipstick. One thing is that you can’t really go wrong with it. It doesn’t require careful application or a lip pencil — unless your lips are very pale and need some nude liner to offer light structure. Also, when you’re keeping it sheer, you can choose a more dramatic colour than usual. Sheer lipsticks can look utterly, terrifyingly pigmented in the tube, but then, on application, they are like a shiny wash, a suggestion of colour. They’re a colourful lift, without any femme fatale drama. A bit of light fun as we optimistically anticipate summer’s approach.
BEST OVERALL Rimmel Moisture Renew Sheer & Shine in Good Mauve, €8.30, available nationwide
Seriously glossy, this is a new addition to Rimmel’s Moisture Renew range of lipsticks, in a very sheer texture. It has various hydrating ingredients, including mango butter and the recently omnipresent hyaluronic acid, but it’s packed with pigment, too. Now, you won’t get great staying power from this or any other sheer lipstick, but it’s so sheer you can easily reapply it regularly without a mirror. “Of the four shades, I like this one best,” said a panellist. “Glossy but pinkishly neutral. One of those ‘your lips but better’ products.”
BEST PEACHY KEEN
There is a powdery quality to this line of lipsticks that is slightly disconcerting, and at odds with the fact that it’s a delightfully sheer product. But it’s a matte sheer product. Get your head around that. With a cushion-y applicator such as you’d find on a lip gloss, this goes on slightly chalky, but settles to a velvety finish, and your natural lip colour is visible through the pretty pigment. “I love a peachy colour when the days get a bit brighter,” said a panellist. “This looks garish when you take it out of the tube, but it’s really pretty on, and the right side of girlish.”
BEST SHEER SHINE
Chanel’s sheer lip colours have become a classic, and with good reason. They score well on the pigment front, seeming to let the colour seep into the lips while lending a very light, glossy, and seemingly effortless look. They also come in great colours. “I’d be scared of this bright red-orange colour to look at it in the tube,” said one panellist. “But as a sheer finish, anyone could carry off the bright and cheery holiday-ish glossiness.”
BEST STAY SHEER
This lipstick claims to last eight hours, but who either believes or wants that? Still, while this lipstick is a stayer, it’s also rather more sheer than most longlasting lipsticks. And it’s less drying, which is a major bonus. It’s available in 12 colours — this one is a lively pink, verging towards the fuchsia but not quite. “Very few long-lasting lip products slide on and stay moist,” said a panellist. “This one doesn’t give you the lip-shrinking sensation and it also looks light and shiny.”
BEST SHEER CARE
They call this an “age-defying” lipstick, because it contains one of the Clarins anti-ageing ingredients that also features in its skincare. What you should glean from that, then, is that it’s a very moisturising and cushioning lipstick. Which is nice when older lips get a bit dryer and also lose some of their natural pigment. “This lipstick has a natural-looking sheerness, but not at the expense of punchy colour,” said a panellist. “This is lovely for the likes of me, whose lips are sort of vanishing into my face and need oomph, but can look over made-up very easily.”
Bourjois Rouge Edition Souffle de Velvet in VIPeach, €10.99, available nationwide Chanel Rouge Coco Shine in Shipshape, €34, Chanel counters nationwide Max Factor Lipfinity in So Vivid, €11.49, available nationwide Clarins Rouge Eclat in Pink...