Supersheer, moisturizing, and a lot more fun than the formulas our mothers wore—lipstick has gotten a twenty-first-century face-lift.
Not many cosmetics, having fallen from fashion, have ever staged a major comeback (when we bid adieu to you, pan-cake makeup, we meant it), but lipstick is proving itself to be the exception. It’s been blatantly back for the past few seasons—and judging by the painted pouts at Anna Sui, Jason Wu, and Donna Karan (to name just a few) at the New York spring/summer 2012 shows, it’s not going anywhere anytime soon. It is, however, evolving. Wo men may have taken up their bullets once again, but this time they’re gravitating toward lipsticks that feel more modern: Enter an array of new textures and finishes. Gone are ultramatte finishes and thick, opaque colors. Everything that once seemed dated about lipstick in comparison to lip gloss—the shinier, clearer, less-fussy little sister that has hogged the spotlight since the ’90s—is now absent from the equation. The latest iteration of the vanity classic is younger-looking, fresher, and notably sheerer.
Yves Saint Laurent Rouge Volupté Perle in Incandescent Orange features a glossy “mirror effect” to reflect light while hyaluronic acid plumps lips and gives long-lasting wearability; Lipstick Queen Saint Eden—the ELLE beauty team’s dream come true—will be available in limited quantities starting this month; Dolce & Gabbana The Passion Duo Gloss Fusion Lipstick in Satin offers the best of both worlds—a creamy lipstick with a satin gloss center. Photo: Steven Krause.