Nicola Bonn tests the entire MAC lipstick counter and finds The One
I have never been speed-dating before, but I imagine that my lipstick-buying technique provides a very similar experience.
I never buy my lippies online. Instead, I go into an actual shop on an actual high street (very underrated these days) and spend a fair amount of time getting to know as many individuals as possible. The ones that don't work for me are swiftly removed with a wipe and then the next lucky victim has a go.
My favourite lipstick dating destination is MAC. Oh my goodness the colours, the different formulas, the choice and of course the exquisitely made-up makeup artists who are always on hand to give great advice. The whole experience is decidedly heady and a trip to MAC is not a quick in and out one. Oh no... I can lose myself in that store for hours.
So it was on a Tuesday lunchtime that I found myself ready for a bit of lipstick romance in MAC Covent Garden. Turned out I wasn’t the only one. As I walked in I came across a woman who must have been in her 70s. She had lined up a row of neutral and, dare I say, dull looking lippies and was testing them on her lips despondently. Not being one to keep my thoughts to myself, I asked her why she wasn’t trying bolder, brighter colours. Her answer made me want to scream and cry all at once. She looked me in the eyes and said, “because I’m too old”. Well, that was that. I informed her that you are NEVER too old to wear bright makeup. In fact, the older you are the wilder you should go. So often older women are made to feel redundant and invisible. A bright lippie is a middle finger up at expectation. It’s a statement. You are here, you are vibrant and you are relevant. So off I dragged her around the store for a lipstick double date.
Pile it on unapologetically in December and then snog it off under the mistletoe
In my experience, a good lipstick (wherever you buy it) is all about promise. A bright pink is the promise of fun nights out and giggling with your friends, an orange is the power to tell someone what you really think, a bold red is confidence and strength. Sometimes it's fun to choose a lipstick that is the polar opposite to your own personality. That way you can project a whole new side of yourself. For my new friend, I chose a bright orange, which I knew would look great and give her confidence.
As she applied her orange lipstick there was a definite look of doubt on her face. “I can’t wear this,” she said. To which a makeup artist, her husband and I all chimed that she totally could because she looked brilliant. It took her a while to come round, which I totally understood. But eventually, she went for it. Anyone who says loving makeup is shallow is so wrong; makeup can be so empowering and for some people a teeny bit life-changing.
For myself, I chose a vibrant, luxurious red - Liptensity Lipstick in 'Mulling Spices', £18 . It's Christmas in a tube and made me think of cuddling up by a warm fire. It’s a juicy, shiny formulation that makes your lips look and feel luscious and utterly snoggable. Pile it on unapologetically in December and then snog it off under the mistletoe. Come January, apply and blot for a more pared down look. I always think that January is the time to really go bright... bring some colour along to the dull grey days!
However you use it, this is a red that will light up your face like a fairy light and instantly get you feeling festive. Oh and if you feel you can’t wear a bright red then you’re wrong. There are no rules in makeup. Wear what makes you feel good, bold and visible.
Like the sound of MAC Liptensity Lipstick in Mulling Spices, £18? Buy it now
Nicola is the host of chart-topping beauty podcast Outspoken Beauty. For all the latest updates on episodes guests and beauty recommendations, follow @Outspokenbeautypodcast on Instagram .