Just when you thought that your matte lip couldn’t get any more matte-y, so powder lipstick comes along. Or at least that was my take when I did my beauty maths in that 3 x new genre of product launch = a trend, but also, frankly, trends don’t always imply usability, functionality or that a product has real legs. So I have my cynicism goggles on when surveying the ascendance of the lip powder. Here are my impressions so far…
Rather than painting on a scarily unctuous liquid lipstick and waiting for it to dry, or skidding a matte lipstick along your lips until it makes an impact, lip powders feel like sheer nada once applied. You don’t need to layer, blot or reapply- colour is intense but literally barely there. It’s a bit weird. But it works.
I’ve actually only road-tested lip powders in vivid, unsubtle colours, but all the better to verify whether they create a uniform pigment or bite the dust. So far, so bold and even.
They’re surprisingly precise
Applying a powder with exactness seems unlikely, but most of the lip powders on the market deliver a clean line of colour thanks to a sharp tipped applicator. Once on, so far they haven’t bled or migrated away from the lip line during the day either. Curiouser and curiouser.
They stick around
Unlike, say, powdering your nose (I still do this regularly throughout the day with a compact in the manner of a 19th century lady), lip powder leaves behind a deep stain, and as such it’s got longevity.
They don’t flake
A common matte lip gripe, one matte crack and you’re in danger of your whole lip look shedding off, snake style. As powder doesn’t create a film, it doesn’t flake away- it just kind of diffuses and fades, which can actually be a flattering effect in itself.
They don’t transfer
Cups, children and collars are safe- you can keep powdered lips to yourself.
They’re drier than the desert
There is no getting around this. I don’t care what brands say. There is no moisture here. You slightly pay for all of the above pros with an arid feeling mouth from first application. If you’re used to the feeling of matte liquid lipstick, this probably won’t bother you. If you lovely a juicy buttery lip colour, powder won’t tick that box or get anywhere near it.
The three’s a trend edit
Clinique Pop Lip Shadow Cushion Matte Lip Powder, £16.50
Try saying that with your mouth full. Seemingly combining ALL the beauty buzzwords (matte, cushion, lip powder), this long handled lip pigment applies intense colour straight from the pointy tipped antibacterial sponge. It lasts all day while remaining bold and surprisingly luminous for what’s technically a dust.
Cle Cosmetics Melting Lip Powder, £16
Straight from Seoul, we’re not greatly surprised that powdered lipstick forms part of the K-beauty wave, and this stain fuses gloriously 90s hues (Barbie pastels, a very All Saints era chocolate brown) with immaculate stay-put power.
Dior Kohl Powder Lipstick, £29.50
More creamy than other powder offerings, this crayon-esque golden clad matte looks delightfully retro and combines the exactness of a lip pencil with the lushness of a sophisticated lipstick. I can imagine Elizabeth Taylor et al whipping this out of their pristine handbags at regular intervals (not that you’d need to- it’s very longl asting as lipstick goes).
Also keep your eyes peeled for a chic Chanel lip powder plus balm compact coming your way...
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