This summer's most versatile lip enhancer is halfway between a gloss and a balm and it's under a tenner. Wear it on its own or to glam up your favourite lipstick, says Sarah Vine
Unless you are very young and very smooth-skinned, lipstick in summer is a hard one to pull off. There’s something about the way the direct sunlight falls on the face, highlighting every nook and crevice that can if one is not careful, bring to mind unflattering comparisons with Bette Davis in Whatever Happened to Baby Jane. Great film; terrible make-up.
Beach or poolside, it’s particularly impractical, not to mention just a tad too try-hard, unless of course one happens to be Jerry Hall for Vogue in Montego Bay in the 1970s, in which case you can get away with anything. The rest of us require something a little more versatile - and flattering.
Which brings me to Kiko. In recent years Kiko Milano has become one of the most innovative makeup brands on the high street. It’s one of those likes that appeals to the magpie in me: a myriad of shimmering, glittering colours, a kaleidoscope of looks. The fact that I am far too old to wear 95 per cent of their stuff is neither here nor there - I just love the paint pot possibility of it all.
It feels joyous and creative in a way that so many makeup brands do not these days. I can't really walk past one of their shops without having a rummage - not least because their turnover of looks is on a par with H&M’s - with prices to match. This is make-up at its most cheap and cheerful.
Except, affordable as it is, it’s not poor quality. I have many Kiko items in my makeup bag and they frequently outperform other, much more expensive brands, both in terms of longevity and impact. Some I even become a little bit obsessed with.
Top of my list currently is their Gold Waves Lip Oil, £9.90 . Very glamorous, very versatile, perfect for summer. It's the kind of thing anyone can wear, even people who don't like lipsticks. It bridges that gap between a lip balm and a lipgloss, being very nourishing and smelling teasingly of oranges, which also containing flecks of gold that add a dash of instant glamour to any look.
You can wear it on its own or over your favourite lipstick to vamp thing up; blot over colour and you will end up with a lovely soft, slightly fuzzy finish. And for under a tenner you can afford to have a few on the go - ensuring a perfect pout all summer long.