Jun 19, 2012 6:01PM

Oyster #99: Lip Service

Everything you need to know about lips, from primer and liner to the perfect vermillion lipstick.

I used to think of myself as low-maintenance. I don't wear any make-up to work, I wash my hair once a week, and I'm allergic to almost every mascara/eyeliner/ eyeshadow so I never wear eye make-up. Then I got a job at a fashion magazine and now, almost two years later, my make-up and skincare collection has undergone a transformation much like the giant blue guy at the beginning of Prometheus​ — it's multiplying at an exponential rate. In Oyster #99 we shot some of the newest and most exciting lip products, and while one of the best things about lipstick is that you can just chuck it on and hope for the best, the result is more impressive (and longer-lasting) if you do a  bit of prep beforehand. Here are my tips for the best possible Lip Service.

Why do you need to exfoliate your lips? Well, it feels nice for one (smooth lips!) and it makes lipstick go on much more easily. You'll need less of it, too, because you won't be using it to cover up flaky skin. Exfoliating your lips is especially important if you're planning on wearing matte lipcolour, which is super unforgiving.
Cheap: Damp face washer
Fancy: Clarins Extra-Firming Lip & Contour Gentle Exfoliator
Ballin': RéVive Lip & Perioral Renewal Cream — Perioral refers to the skin around your mouth. This stuff is meant to be amazing, if you can spare the 120 bucks. It gently exfoliates the skin while simultaneously healing.

Lip treatment
Lots of people love Lucas' Paw Paw Ointment, but I find it just make my lips worse — maybe because it's petroleum based. I've also tried Pure Neutraceuticals' Paw Paw Ointment, which has the advantage over Lucas' because it contains calendula (and doesn't contain petrochemicals). However my absolute favourite is boring old lanolin, which you can get from the chemist — it's a natural fat that comes from sheep's wool, which sounds disgusting but isn't.
Cheap: Lanolin
Fancy: Elizabeth Arden 8 Hour Cream Lip Protectant
Ballin': La Mer The Lip Balm

Elizabeth Arden 8 Hour Cream Lip Protectant

Lip Primer — all around $30
​Do you need to use a primer? It depends on the condition of your lips, and on the type of lip product you're going to be wearing. If your lips are in poor condition it can double as a lip balm — Napoleon Auto Pilot is great for this (and it smells like vanilla). And no matter what state your lips are in, primer will fill in the gaps, smooth over bumps, prevent feathering, and make your lipstick last longer. All these products are around $30:
M.A.C Prep+Prime Lip — when used properly this is an incredible product, but you need to make sure you wait about a minute before touching your lips together or applying lipstick.
Napoleon Auto Pilot Lip Service
Trish McEvoy Flawless Lip  

Lip Liner
Putting on lip liner is fun. It's like the colouring-in you did back in pre-school — first you do the outline, then you colour in the middle bit, and it's very important that you don't go outside the lines. Liner makes lipstick last longer and will stop any bleeding (of lipstick, that is), and if all that lipstick happens to come off because you've been eating hotdogs and doing tequila shots all night, it will keep you looking relatively put-together until you wake up the next day.  
Revlon Colorstay Lipliner in Red — I LOVE this. It lasts forever, it's not too drying, and it's got one of those telescopic pen thingies.
Korres Lip Pencil — I cannot say enough good things about this Greek brand, which is stocked at Kit Cosmetics. Check out this description:

Smooth cedar wood pencil with 100% natural base rich in herbs and vitamins. This lip liner pencil is luxuriously rich in vegetable oils and waxes. Meadowfoam seed oil revitalises dry lips, while shea butter and vitamin E deeply moisturise and protect.

It sounds like the kind of thing Cleopatra would use.
M.A.C Lip Pencil in Spice — I've never actually worn this colour (I tend to wear bright colours, and this is a pinky cinnamon), but people rave about it all the time, so there you go.
NARS Velvet Matte Lip Pencil in Dragon Girl — you could easily lump this into the 'lipstick' category. It comes in a pencil but goes on like a lipstick, and it lasts forever.

NARS Velvet Matte in Dragon Girl

YSL Glossy Stain — this does exactly what it claims to, and there aren't many products out there like it.
Burberry Lip Glow Natural Lip Gloss in Bright Plum — we got a tube of this in the office last week and fell in love. It's the BEST colour.
Kiehl's Lip Gloss — this is the best combined lip balm/gloss that I've tried. Being Kiehl's it's filled with good stuff, like mango and grape seed, rose hips, and apricot kernel.
Stila Lip Glaze — an oldie that's still going strong, this comes in a billion colours and has the added benefit of fun packaging.  

YSL Glossy Stain

I'm ashamed to say how many lipsticks I have. One day I will count them, but in the meantime these are some of my all-time favourites.
YSL Rouge Volupte Lipstick in Ultimate Beige — I might even love this one merely for its name. It sounds like a really boring superhero: ULTIMATE BEIGE!
Giorgio Armani Rouge d'Armani Lipstick in 400 — this red works on ANYONE (according to the beauty editor of Vogue​ Paris, and I believe her).
Tom Ford Beauty Lip Color in Wild Ginger — Tom Ford has THE BEST packaging, and in the beauty business that's half the battle. Wild Ginger is the perfect vermillion (the CK One in Pure Vermillion at the top of the page is a close second).
M.A.C Amplified Creme Lipstick in Morange — did you know you needed a fluorescent orange matte lipstick? Well, you do. (P.S. M.A.C, if you're listening: please make a matching liner one day!)
NARS Lipstick - Schiap or Jungle Red — No one beats NARS when it comes to colours. Schiap is the perfect fluoro pink; Jungle Red is the perfect red.

Tom Ford's Wild Ginger

M.A.C's Morange

Photography: Anna Pogossova
Creative Direction: Sam Addington