By Rhea Cartwright
rom Ancient Greek prostitutes being legally required to don a red pout as not to be confused for being a “respectable” upper-class woman, to red lipstick becoming the symbol of feminism during the Suffragette movement, lipstick has long been the cosmetic staple epitomising power, emancipation and rebellion.
In 2021, after a year of enforced global lockdowns, lipstick will now come to represent not only freedom, but also a return to normal life. As we succumbed to a seemingly shared cyclical schedule of bed-sofa-banana bread-sofa-bed, masking the lower half of our face became the norm when venturing outside for essential supermarket top-ups and daily meanders.
Lipstick may have been made redundant but the taste of freedom is now firmly on our lips. As virtual Bumble dates finally move beyond the realm of URLs to IRL, mimosa-yielding brunches are quickly being booked-up and multi-household soirées can resume, we need lipsticks with staying power for the frenzy of antics that will surely follow. If post-lockdown life is tipped to be akin to the roaring 20s, we’ve rounded up the ultimate long-lasting lipsticks that will survive all the post-lockdown revelry.
BEST FOR RED SHADES - YSL ROUGE PUR COUTURE THE SLIM LIPSTICK
There's no greater makeup faux-pas than red lipstick ending up one's teeth but according to esteemed makeup artist and backstage beauty regular, Rachel Freeman, YSL have you covered. "This range has the best collection of red shades that stay on for hours and are the perfect amalgamation of being matte without being drying." If colouring within the lines wasn't your strongest skill, the square-bullet tip makes it a breeze for creating sharp lines and a precision shape without the need for a lipliner.
BEST FOR A SUBTLE STAIN - GLOSSIER CLOUD PAINT
Long-lasting doesn't have to equate to a heavily-drenched pout. Creating a stain gives a flush of colour while being inherently weightless and Glossier's Cloud Paint fits the bill perfectly. Technically for cheeks, the multi-purpose, gel-cream formula works beautifully on the lips too. Available in 8 shades, Spark is one of the newer additions and a flattering red-toned hue for all skin tones.
BEST FOR ALL-DAY NUDES - VIEVE MODERN MATTE LIPSTICK
If you thought brands created by beauty influencers would be nothing but hype, think again. Having started her makeup career while working on a Debenhams beauty counter, Jamie Genevieve's makeup line is nothing short of brilliant. The incredibly creamy Modern Matte Lipsticks come in 5 shades that will flatter all skin tones and are a nod to the 90s makeup trend that has been dominating in recent months.
BEST FOR DRY LIPS - MAC POWDER KISS LIQUID LIPCOLOUR
"If you’d asked me a year ago, my go-to long-lasting lipstick would’ve been a properly adhesive and slightly thicker-than-desired liquid lipstick. But after so many months of just lip balm, to return to anything matte requires much more comfort and flexibility," says freelance Beauty Editor and Columnist Ava-Welsing Kitcher. "I’ve racked up quite a collection of MAC’s Powder Kiss lipstick, thanks to its velvet finish and cloud-like texture that lets it (unofficially) double up as a cream blush. Whether it’s fiery crimson-pink Escandalo! or russet nude Mull It Over, my longwear lip library is sorted for every mood."
BEST FOR COMFORT AND COLOUR - PAT MCGRATH LIQUILUST LEGENDARY WEAR MATTE LIPSTICK
Leave it to the mother of makeup Pat Mcgrath to create a liquid lipstick that prioritises comfort. Make-Up Artist Adeola Gboyega swears by the shade Flesh 3 which is a deep, rich brown with whispers of rose. "It's a super comfortable matte that lasts for 12 hours without smudging or transferring." The tapered doe-foot applicator make it a breeze to apply, too.
BEST FOR AFFORDABILITY - NYX SOFT MATTE LIP CREAM
For those familiar with The Stack's Highbrow/Lowbrow franchise, you'll know that a higher price doesn't always equate to higher quality. Drugstore favourite NYX is one such brand that competes with the premium beauty behemoths like no other. Available in 30 shades, their liquid lipstick has an almost whipped texture that is comfortable, long-lasting and doesn't require too much prep.
Header image by: Dennis Harper / Flickr
Long gone are the days of long-lasting lipsticks being drying and uncomfortable. The latest formulas have serious staying power with comfort being key.
By Rhea Cartwright