#MakeupTrends: Is matte lipstick the new black?

Lately, it seems that everywhere you turn there is a matte lip staring you in the face. From Pat McGrath’s hotly anticipated MatteTrance lipstick collection to Maybelline’s Color Sensational Creamy Mattes Lip Color, it’s velvety and highly pigmented all the way.

So all-encompassing is this trend that even lip glosses have jumped onto the matte bandwagon, as evidenced by a whole slew of contenders, with Huda Khaitan Liquid Matte, Kylie Matte Liquid LipstickToo Faced Melted Matte LiquifiedNYX Cosmetics Soft Matte Lip Cream and Smashbox Always On Matte Liquid Lipstick to name just a few.

But fear not, the matte formulas of 2017 bear no resemblance to the chalky, dry lips of the 1990s. This time round, matte lipsticks are flattering and feel super-comfortable on the lips.

And while they might not be quite as easy to apply as a slick of sheer gloss, matte lipsticks last longer, suit all skin tones and look super-gorgeous. This look is for girls who are all grown up!

Why matte lipstick rocks!

  • Matte lipsticks have more pigment than other formulas, which means strong colour straight from the bullet.
  • Matte lipsticks have far more staying power and lasts for ages on your lips, even through endless cups of coffee and Champagne.
  • While there is a lot of pink gloss, matte lipstick comes in a medley of strong colours, ranging from berry pinks to scarlet reds to caramel browns and back again.
  • Matte lipstick is less girly than gloss and instantly creates a sophisticated aura.

matte lipstickHow to wear a matte lip

There is no room for sloppy application with matte lipstick. This one both draws and holds attention, so you have to apply it right.

  • The key to pulling off matte lipstick is to make sure it’s impactful. A neutral shade or one close to your skin tone can make you look sickly pale. Instead, opt for a strong pop of tangerine, red or fuchsia – especially since, like matte lipstick itself, they’re vintage-inspired and completely on-trend.
  • Skip the lip balm before applying a matte lipstick as it adds sheen, thereby diluting the effect. Instead use a lip primer – like MAC Prep + Prime for Lips – for hydration without the added shine.
  • Line your lips with a shade that matches your lipstick perfectly to avoid the dreaded, ’90s-inspired two-tone look. Even better, fill in your entire lips with the liner and then apply the lipstick on top.
  • For a softer look, fill your entire lip with liner, then pat lipstick on using your fingertip.
  • A matte lipstick usually takes longer to wear off around the outside of your lips (due to lack of moisture), so you’ll be tempted to re-apply. Don’t do that: since coats will only sit on top of each other, you’ll get an uneven look. Instead, wipe off the existing lipstick and then apply a fresh coat.
  • One single texture across your face looks dull and ageing, so contrast a matte lip with dewy foundation, highlighter on the cheeks, or shimmer on the eyes.

Convert any lipstick to matte

Rather than buying a new lipstick, simply matte out your current stock with translucent powder. It’s easy: after applying the lipstick, blot your lips with a tissue. Then use your fingertips to dab a translucent face powder on your lips to eliminate the shine.

For added effect, double up on the powder application in the centre of your lower lip – this play on centre sheen will create a more fashion forward pout.

What’s your take on the matte lip trend?

10 genius ways to use Vaseline in your beauty routine (it’s not just for lips!)

Who says Vaseline is boring? Simple? Yes. Classic? Always. Cheap-as-chips and value for money? Absolutely. Boring? NEVER. And to underscore that point, the fifth limited edition of it’s cult status Lip Therapy comes dressed in striking black and gold, with a delicate rose, vanilla and red berry flavour as an added bonus. Called Vaseline Rosy Lips, it’s available to dress up your day till stocks last. Want it much? You’ll have to run – not merely walk – as this one’s already selling out worldwide!

vaseline-2017Incidentally, Vaseline is such a diverse product that you can use it for a whole range of things. You will see big tubs at literally every fashion week, photo shoot, red carpet event, dermatologist’s office and hair salon, hiding in plain sight.

Here are some of my favourite ways of working it, gleaned from picking the brains of leading beauty professionals over many, many years.

1. Vaseline as eye makeup remover: A dab of Vaseline can remove even the most stubborn mascara while soothing the eye area – just massage it in gently and wash off with warm water.

2. Vaseline as body scrub: Vaseline mixed with a handful of sea salt (or sand, if you are on the beach and want to make like the Brazilians) works as a great exfoliator.

3. Vaseline as lip scrub: Apply a thick layer of Vaseline to your lips and let it sit for 5-10 minutes. Then scrub it off with an old (gentle) toothbrush for fabulously soft and smooth lips. Re-apply a thin layer to seal in moisture.

4. Vaseline as manicure mender: Dabbing a bit of Vaseline on the base of your nails will stop the colour from running onto the fingers.

5. Vaseline for shaving: Run out of shaving cream? Apply a thin layer of Vaseline and then shave. Don’t use water and remember to keep rinsing the razor as you go. It can be slightly greasy but will leave you with superbly soft and smooth skin.

6. Vaseline as highlighter: Professional makeup artists do this all the time, especially during catwalk shows – apply a very thin layer of Vaseline on cheeks and under the eyes for that dewy look.

7. Vaseline as cream blusher: Want a rosy flush? Mix vaseline with your lipstick to make your own cream blusher.

vaseline-old-ad8. Vaseline as fragrance fixer: Applying a thin layer of vaseline on your wrist (and other pulse points) before spraying on perfume will make the scent last much longer.

9. Vaseline to protect skin from hair dye: Every hair colourist worth their name knows this one – you need to apply a layer of Vaseline around the hairline before colouring your hair. This not only prevents stains but also protects skin from the harsh chemicals in the dye.

10. Vaseline to seal split ends: While nothing can mend split ends, rubbing in some Vaseline can temporarily seal them, creating the illusion of sleek, damage-free hair.

Did you know that the first ever Vaseline Lip Therapy limited edition – Crème Brûlée, launched in 2011 – was the fastest selling product in Selfridges’ entire history?

What does your lipstick shade say about you?

Gone are the days when we were compelled to play matchy-matchy with our clothes and lipstick. Choosing the latter is now far more intuitive and we are more likely to pick a lip colour based on who we are… or what we want to be.

Bold red? Demure pink? Femme fatale brown? Or maybe an ironical shade of blue? What secrets are your lips spilling?

Here’s the scoop from the colour psychology geniuses over at Pantone, who decode what your choice of lipstick says about you. And conversely, which lipstick to reach for when you want to make a certain impression.

lipstick shadesRed lipstick

Red is bold, sensual and look-at-me… a confident big city girl who doesn’t let the grass grow under her feet. But you’re not really quite as badass as you’d like to be… after all, it’s the signature colour of all those ultra-chic French women for a reason. Classic red would not look out of place in a country club or a silk-and-pearls restaurant. It’s a colour that you can wear from the ballrooms of the Ritz to the bohemian seediness of Paris’ Montmartre. In short, it’s the colour of a woman who is fun loving, passionate, energetic, independent and extremely adaptable. With a hefty side of lady-like chic thrown in for good measure.

Baby pink lipstick

You are feminine and girly, love dressing up, are impeccably groomed and much prefer the candy floss world of dreams and cotton clouds more than the harsh realities of modern-day living.

Hot pink lipstick

More adventurous than classic red, hot pink lips are the domain of a woman who’s fun, flirt, bold and outgoing. You enjoy spending time with your girl gang and are not easily cowed down. And you keep an eye out for trends, transitioning from vintage chic to bohemian funkiness with equal élan.

Rosy lipstick

In between the baby soft pinks and the hot fuchsia versions, lies a rosy pout, which is primarily owned by she who loves nature and the outdoors. It’s the rosiness of glowing good health and fits the personality of a woman who is cool, calm, down to earth and confident in her own skin.

Orange lipstick

Even though orange looks fun and bouncy, it’s not really an easy colour to pull off for everyone. If you gravitate towards this palette, you’re likely to be carefree, wild, vivacious, whimsical, energetic and adventurous. You don’t mind standing out in a crowd and easily throw caution to the winds.

lipstick shades3Berry or wine-stained lipstick

You shy away from being pastel pretty and revel in the power of your sensuality. You also like drama and are an all-or-nothing kind of person… doing things halfway has never appealed to you.

Nude lipstick

Nude is simply not a look-at-me colour and hence it’s perfect for women who marry comfort with discreet chic. Yet, they are also very très fashion and keep an eye out for the latest trends while playing it safe with investment pieces, rather than one season wonders. This one is unlikely to rock the boat or loudly demand to be the centre of attention!

Burgundy or purple lipstick

It’s edgy with a hefty dose of badass, making purple perfect for women who women who are edgy and appreciate a good challenge. You don’t suffer fools too gladly and like to temper trends with your own individual flourish.

Purple lipstick

More layered than red, more mysterious than a bright pink, a purple lip is usually worn by a woman who revels in her power and femininity. She’s strong, confident, sexy, individualistic and a bit unapproachable… not someone who suffers fools gladly.

Brown or plum lipstick

Forget the image of racy reds and striking fuchsias, the true femme fatale wears brown. Or plum. Women who love these deep and moody shades are most likely to have a seriously adventurous streak. They’d rather play risky than safe, love challenges, are ambitious, driven and independent.

Blue or black lipstick

While many of us may push the envelope and experiment with black nail polish once in a while, black or blue lipstick is for the seriously daring. You don’t give a hoot about society and will, in fact, go out of your way to flout traditional norms. You are powerful, like to remain mysterious and unapproachable, and run as far away from “pretty” as possible. Your fashion statement is more ironic than trendy, and remain young at heart always.

No lipstick (or maybe just a clear lip gloss)!

You look like you don’t care… because you really don’t. You are fuss free, low maintenance and are cool without caring to be cool. You are a leader rather than a follower, and just want to get on with life!

Which is your favourite go-to lipstick shade?

Also read: What does your nail polish say about you?

Spring beauty essentials: The 12 new beauty products I am obsessing over this season

After a long career in magazines, I have developed a deep distrust of that particular industry’s beauty awards, top 10 lists and best-of-the-best new launch announcements. Why? Because the unwritten rule in literally every magazine that I have ever worked for is simple: The position and number of products on any of these lists is directly proportional to the number of advertising pages bought in the magazine by the beauty brand. That ‘world’s best lipstick’ tag doesn’t sound half as authentic after that, right? Even if it comes from your favourite publication?

Here, instead, I’ve put together a list of the top beauty launches for this season that come sans payment or inducement of any kind. Hopefully, they will catch your fancy for all the right reasons – as they did mine!

Clarins 4-Color All-in-One Pen, $30

Anyone growing up in the ’90s will definitely remember those four-colour retractable pens that were the height of cool back in the good ol’ days! Well, Clarins now has a makeup version for you, with three eyeliners – blue, black and brown – and a neutral coloured lip liner. All available at a click. Makes packing that vanity kit so much easier!

clarins-4-color-penClarisonic Sonic Foundation Brush, $35

If I had to choose one single product from all the ones listed here, this would be it! The company that has so far been taking off every last bit of our makeup at 18,000 micro-pulses is now going to be putting it on at 18,000 micro-blends… simply by popping on this new brush head onto any existing Clarisonic device. It works with both creams and liquids, the sonic technology making primers, foundations, blushes and concealers simply melt into the skin for a flawless, airbrushed finish that mere mortal hands would find nearly impossible to rival. Total blessing for someone like me who knows we need to blend, blend, blend and then blend some more… but is usually just too lazy tired to follow it through!

Clinique Chubby Crayola Stick Moisturizing Lip Colour Balm Collection, $17

It’s not just about the packaging. The joint venture between Clinique and Crayola has made every childhood dream of scribbling on your lips with jumbo crayons come true. The limited edition collection of 10 Chubby Stick Moisturising Lip Colour Balms is not just encased in the signature Crayola packing, the two companies have also worked to colour match and name match to actual crayons in the latter’s sets. My favourites? The punchy Brick Red and sangria-hued Red Violet.

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Sephora Sweet Balms, $6

Did I mention the ’90s theme running through almost every one of Spring’s beauty products? Sephora joins the bandwagon with Push-Pop-inspired lip balms. They come in three tints – violet, pink, and coral – and will transport you right back to days filled with Bonne Bell lipsticks and PEZ candy dispensers!

sephora-sweet-balmsLabiotte Chateau Wine Lipstick Fitting, $15

Wine + Korean cool = Total awesomeness. This time in the world of lipsticks. Labiotte’s wine bottle-shaped lippies contain actual wine extract and come in four varietals: Malbec Burgundy, (a purplish berry), Nebbiolo Red (a cherry red), Shiraz Red (a more pink-tinted red) and Cabernet Red (a deep rose). Or you can opt for one of the six long wearing lip tints, or one the eight Wine Melting lipsticks, which mimic the look of wine-stained lips.

labiotte-chateau-wine-lipstick-fittingNars Sun Wash Diffusing Bronzer, $40

Finding a bronzer that’s just the right amount of glow-y without piling on the shimmer may just be the Holy Grail of makeup. And NARS seems to have gotten it just right, debuting the cult Laguna bronzer (along with three other shades) in a brand new super finely milled formula that seems to light up your face from the inside out. It’s so fine that while the texture starts out as a powder, it literally melts into skin like a cream. And you can build it up from sheer to super-pigmented with just a few swipes.

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Tom Ford Soleil Lip Balm, $36

There’s just something about summer that makes me want to stay far, far away from heavy lipsticks in the daytime (is that just me?). But I also don’t much like the look of bare lips, especially when offset against a tinted moisturiser or a touch of glow-inducing bronzer. Tom Ford’s new lip balm flirts with just the right amount of colour and the perfect levels of hydration to keep lips both tinted and supple in one go. It starts off as a sheer wash of colour but moves into serious pigment territory with a few more swipes, making it totally multipurpose. And since it’s a balm, there’s no wilting, drying or slippage in the heat. Win-win all around.

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Julep Love Your Bare Face Detoxifying Cleansing Stick, $28

This one’s perfect for popping in your purse – a face cleanser that comes in stick form and is packed with rice bran oil, reship oil and fruit enzymes. Just rub the stick across your face and rub gently with damp fingers to emulsify for squeaky clean skin. No fear of spills. No breakage. Just easy portability married with maximum efficiency.

julep-love-your-bare-face-detoxifying-cleansing-stickYuni Shower Sheets Large Body Wipes, $15

These are a Godsend for long journeys and other offending factors where you feel icky (hello, long day in office hell!) but having a bath is simply not an option. The oversized sheets can be reused multiple times and will leave you looking and feeling minty fresh. I have taken to stocking one in my purse just in case, coz who knows what waits round the next corner!

yuni-shower-sheetsLush Metamorphosis Bath Bomb, $8.95

What looks grey and grungy but explodes into the most gorgeous, pretty-inducing ribbons of pink, orange, yellow and green when it enters your bath? The Lush Metamorphosis Bath Bomb. Forget about the sexy, spicy myrrh and black pepper scent… I want this one purely for the feeling of bathing in a rainbow!

Pixi Peel & Polish, $24

While I am all for an at-home facial, sometimes there are just not enough hours in a day to get everything done. Enter this brilliant new peel, which sits on your face for just two minutes, dissolving away dead cells and other accumulated grime. I pop it on while in the shower to maximise time efficiency… genius, or what?

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Charlotte Tilbury Instant Magic Facial Dry Sheet Mask, $22

While I adore sheet masks, they’re sometimes too sticky and slippery and sloppy for my taste. Charlotte Tilbury’s “dry” version solves that problem with a precedent-setting fabric that substitutes traditional sheet mask serums for tiny vectors of vitamins, floral extracts, peptides, oils and butters. It also works on a smart technology, which tailors the mask to your specific problems. So, for instance, your T-zone may need brightening, your cheeks may need hydration and your jawline may need lifting… and the mask will tackle each zone both independently and simultaneously. According to Tilbury, you can even use it over your foundation for a creamy radiance. And it comes with these clever loops that hook around the ears and hold the sheet firmly against the skin.

My only grouse? Each mask is capable of being re-used there times, which means a lot of folding and popping it in and out of the packet. Given my way, I would stick to the single use, chuck-it-out effortlessness but in this case, the pros clearly outweigh the cons.