I’m reliably informed that lipgloss sales have gone belly-up thanks to the soaring popularity of liquid lipsticks. This alone should be enough to win my support, but I’ve had misgivings. I can see the appeal: matte, vivid and exceptionally durable, liquid lipsticks are colour-saturated stains that apply quickly and uniformly on the go, direct from a pointy-tipped wand. But they’ve also been, from my perspective, a bit hard-looking (think the painted, sculpted mouth of a shop mannequin) and not entirely comfy (with more pigment than anything else, they offer little in the way of moisture).
I prefer the sophistication of a traditional lipstick bullet, its versatility of finish, the waxy, almost thoughtless swish across the mouth. The occasional touch-up seems no more effortful than boiling the kettle. But I’m no beauty luddite, so I’ve given liquids another go.
This time, I’m blown away by Nars Powermatte Lip Pigment (£23, 5.5ml). What it lacks in bulk (the consistency is so watery, one can barely feel it), it delivers in dense, vibrant colour (I love Light My Fire, a 1970s-style orangey-red, but there are plenty of nudes, too). The applicator is sharp, easy to navigate and so precise that I can even skip lipliner.
Packaging was a decisive factor across the board – a pointed, mobile nib is essential for a clean, even glide, especially since the necks of the tubes aren’t wide enough for one’s own lip brush (besides, I can never be bothered to use one).