Make-up artist Caroline Barnes has come full circle and added a twist to a part of Max Factor's history with her first ever collection for the brand, writes Anna Hunter

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When one of the loveliest make-up artists out there collaborates with a legendary cosmetics house to launch a universally flattering make-up staple, we’re all ears (and eyes… and in this case, lips). Max Factor ambassador Caroline Barnes’ first ever collection with the brand hits counters today, and it’s a case of both the company and Caroline herself embracing their heritage and passion for reinvention. It’s a nude lip, but not as you know it. This is an au naturel venture that has quite the backstory.

Caroline’s line up of limited edition ‘Nude Pomade’ Colour Elixir glosses were inspired by the needs of real women, as well as the innovation of Mr Max Factor himself. We glossies owe a lot to Mr Factor - he created the very first lipgloss for screen actresses in the 1920s, christening it Lip Pomade.

Previous to his invention, Max Factor used dry pigment to add colour and asked actresses to lick their lips before being photographed, as he perceived that their lips looked fuller and healthier when slightly wet. Ironically repeatedly licking the lips eventually made them look worse, as it sapped moisture and led to chapping. His solution was the subtle and hydrating Lip Pomade, and we’ve been slicking our lips with a variation on his creation ever since. Many modern glosses, however, are tacky, overly sticky or simply unnatural looking. Thank the beauty gods, then, for Caroline Barnes. She’s perfectly placed to know exactly what the modern gloss addict wants.

In an astonishing twist of fate (or was it?) Caroline began her career in make-up working on a Max Factor counter in Boots. She dreamed of becoming a make-up artist before such a job became a viable career option for those without strong and established industry contacts. She pored over entertainment bible The Knowledge in her local library, sending out handwritten letters to over 150 make-up artists in the hope of gaining some invaluable experience. She only needed one response to get her career off the ground, and the rest is history. In many ways Caroline has come full circle; she’s bringing both her own experience and Max Factor’s to the fore, adding a fresh, contemporary twist to his original blueprint.

Caroline’s four Nude Pomade glosses are affordable, wearable and tailored to all skin tones; after all, one nude certainly does not fit all.  From caramel-hued Lustrous Sand (fabulous with a tan) to the gold-flecked Radiant Rose (perfect on pale skins), the range is light, fresh and the choice companion for a smokey eye. The weightless texture and moisture-boosting formulation make the glosses truly modern - they’ll slip just as well into your gym bag as they will your clutch. She’s a clever one, that Caroline Barnes.

The Nude Pomade collection launches in  Boots  stores today at £7.99. The full range of Colour Elixir Gloss is set to launch July 2014