As Good As Gloss
Since bold lipsticks had a resurgence a few seasons ago, nearly every shade and finish has come back into vogue. Velvety matte reds, glitter-flecked pinks, and dark bordeaux sheers are a dime a dozen these days. But the kind of truly glossy, almost plasticine opaque bullets that would make a Robert Palmer girl proud still somehow manage to elude product developers. Tom Ford’s Private Blend Scarlet Rouge almost pulls it off, although to get the shock value of the pure crimson’s initial shine factor, you have to keep reapplying. The challenge with high-gloss formulas is that if they stay on, they are sticky and highly mobile, which means contact with anything—food, drinks, cheeks, turtlenecks—means instant smudging. In other words, they work great in photographs, less so on your face. But YSL is hoping to change all that. The French brand has just debuted its Rouge Pur Couture Vernis à Lèvres. “It’s called Vernis because it’s like a nail polish for your lips,” YSL creative director of makeup Lloyd Simmonds said of the product’s almost lacquerlike effect at a recent demonstration of its reflective staying power. Available in 20 shades, the glossy stain benefits from the beauty industry’s very first implementation of ethylcellulose, a safe, sealantlike polymer that is used by the agriculture sector to give certain foods an appetizing shine. Devoid of sparkles, the resulting colors are extraordinarily glistening and glide on courtesy of a unique applicator with a wide and flat brush that has a pointed tip for precision. One coat imparts a long-lasting wash of pigment, while three coats gives you a cover shoot-caliber pout that is not coming off—and we mean that literally. An oil-based makeup remover and a good amount of elbow grease is the only way to smudge this color.