Tuesday, 25 March 2008

With up to 250 new shades introduced every year, lipstick is the one beauty product many women say they canít live without. We find out more about this makeup bag staple.


The Basics

  • Spending more doesn’t necessarily get you a better lipstick or gloss.

  • Apart from choosing a shade, you need to consider the composition:

    • Matte lipsticks create a flat, stained look and have no gloss. It’s usually longer lasting, but can be drying. Matte lipsticks are heavy in wax and light on emollients and can be aging. Apply a layer of gloss on top to give it a fresh look.

    • High Gloss lipsticks give a shimmery look that helps lips appear fuller, but can be sticky and tend to wear off quickly.

    • Long-lasting lipsticks are just that. Be careful not to make a mistake. Only mineral oil takes it off. There are also fixatives you can apply over top of your favourite lipstick to make it longer lasting.

    • Satin finish is the most popular type of lipstick, which is a combination of gloss and matte. The creaminess hydrates the lips, but it stays on better than high gloss.

    • Frosted lipsticks have a pearlizing agent (often a bismuth compound) that adds luster to the colour. Most bismuth compounds used in cosmetics have low toxicity when ingested, but sometimes can cause allergic reactions on the skin.

  • Choose a color that complements the natural shade of your lips and skin:

    • Plums, wines and deep reds flatter a dark skin tone

    • Light-brown beiges with pink or orange undertones complement a lighter skin tone.

    • Olive skin looks good with brownish reds, light browns and raisin shades.

    • A safe bet on almost any lips, our expert says you can’t go wrong with a pinky-brown.

  • Choose your composition based on where you’re planning to wear it:

  • Creams and matte finishes are good for a subtle daytime look, but matte can be aging so use a gloss over top.

  • High-gloss lipsticks are great as you head out for a night on the town.

  • A clear gloss is perfect for a natural look. You can also add it on top of your favourite shade.

Other Considerations

  • If you’re lucky, you’ve found an ideal shade that makes you look marvelous no matter what outfit, or whether it's day or night, summer or winter. Our advice? Stockpile! You never know it will be discontinued.


We tested these lipsticks for two weeks, and also gave them an intense workout over a five course meal to see which one held on the best.

Wear Test

  • Half of our testers liked the Stila, which was moisturizing and stayed on with a perfect texture.

  • The other half liked the Maybelline. It had a smooth, gloss-like feel and also felt moisturizing.


We liked the Maybelline for its smooth texture and moisturizing feel, as well as for its price. The Stila also tied for top pick, but it cost almost 3 times as much.



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