WHEN YOU PUCKER up this season, make sure it's voluptuous and sassy. Lips for spring and summer are going to sparkle and shimmer, judging by the latest range of glosses on the shelves.
'Everybody wants big lips,' says Giorgio Forgani, international makeup artist at the Pupa cosmetics brand. To fatten up, he recommends using a lighter colour on the outside of the lips and a darker shade in the middle.
Most glosses are giving just a hint of colour this season, and there's no clear favourite - although pink and orange are prolific, and makeup artists such as Forgani have noticed a lot of violet on the catwalks.
'Violet is the colour of the season,' he says, although he admits it can give a gothic tinge, so it's not for everyone. Nor is the sparkle effect. 'There are two types of women,' Forgani says. 'Really young women love the sparkles, to be extra luminous. But with older women, maybe the texture isn't so much sparkle as shimmer. And not too much gloss - a softer look.'
For the rest of your face, he recommends complementing lip shimmer with shine for the eyes and cheeks. 'Asian women have very nice skin, so I think this is a really important thing for them,' Forgani says. 'They can create a very beautiful base - a shiny base - and bright colours on the eyes.'
Kiwi Divas' Yasmin Chir also likes the sparkling look for summer, to lift the face, rather than keep things flat and matte. She recommends 'gold highlights on the centre of the lips, and go easy on the colours. If people have very pink lips, it's good to dab on just a bit of shimmer. It kind of highlights the lips - gives a 3D effect.'
The highlight of the face for this spring and summer is the eyes, she says - so lips should be understated. That means gloss rather than lipstick, and subtle application. Although lip gloss gives a more natural look than lipstick, it often doesn't last long. That glossy sheen is usually gone with the first bite of a meal or sip of a drink.
Makeup artist Liz Bohan has a tip for getting around this: put some lipstick on before you apply gloss. 'If it does come off, at least there'll be some colour underneath,' she says.
Here's a rundown on some of the latest spring and summer glosses on offer:
Lancome Juicy Tubes Plump Ultra Shiny Hydrating Lip Gloss ($160)
These tubes are great for chucking into your handbag and pulling out for a sly application of gloss on the go. There's a variety of shades with matching tastes, for example, strawberry sorbet lives up to its name with a fruity smell and red sheen. They're among the longer-lasting glosses, and don't disappear as soon as you eat or drink. The overall effect is shiny. Other shades for the season include watermelon sorbet, plum sorbet and caramel sorbet. It's almost as good as a trip to the dessert buffet.
Dior Addict Ultra-Gloss
Pearl Shine collection ($175)
The first thing that hits you is the taste - it's strong, but enjoyably so. The texture is creamy and luxurious, and it feels as if it's moisturising your lips. It looks natural, but you've got to re-apply after any eating or drinking. The colours are subtle, and there are six new shades this year, including reflecting pink, and hologram coral.
Nars Lip Gloss ($190)
Nars' new colours include violet (Metis) and a coral tone called Sandpiper. Its more neutral tone, Orgasm, doesn't disappoint. It has a great velvety texture and lasts longer than you might think, given the name. It feels quite thick when applied, and stays in place without feeling sticky. It keeps your lips moist and gives them a definite shine. The look is glamorous.
Clarins Colour Quench
Lip Balm ($130)
Clarins has introduced three new colours to its Touch of Magic range: Indian Violet, Rose and Red Poppy. These balms have a sweet taste, glide onto the lips easily and have a great moisturising effect. The Red Poppy is a strong colour, whereas the violet is subtle. They have good staying power in keeping your lips moist, but as a gloss you may want to reapply quite often for that shiny look.
Chanel Cristalle Gloss Watertight
Lip Gloss ($170)
Chanel has two new colours: a gold beige called Vanilla Dream, and coffee-like Cappuccino. On the application stick, the cappuccino shade looks a bit severe, but is subtle on the lips, and feels more like a balm than a gloss, even if you have to pile a lot on if you're planning to go out. It requires quite a bit of re-application, but the lack of fragrance may be a hit for purists.
Biotherm Glossy Shine Luminous
Crystal Gloss ($130)
Biotherm's six new spring colours look scary, particularly the Neon Pink and Neon Orange. Once on, however, they're quite dull, giving just a hint of colour. These weren't easy to get on the lips evenly. If you pucker up, you'll get a rim of the stuff gathering at the top of your lips. But they feel quite moisturising.
Pupa Lip Perfection Ultra Reflex
Extreme Brilliance Lipcolour ($96)
These are seriously sparkly, with a subtle taste Pupa says is 'frozen sugar', but seems more like orange. There are nine colours to choose from - all of which are hints rather than overwhelming tones, giving a subtle look. They have reasonable staying power, but a drying effect on the lips.
Shu Uemura Sweet Lip Gloss ($150)
Shu Uemura has gone for floral colours this season, namely pulmeria (a yellowish tone), orange daisy and lavender. Bright on the outside, once applied, the colours are subtle. They feel like jelly when applied and are quite thick. They last for a reasonable time before having to be re-applied.
Vichy Lip Care-Gloss
Radiance Revealer ($150)
This feels more like a balm than a gloss, but its fresh taste and wet look are alluring. The durability is good, but you miss that shimmery look. They're easily applied, spreading quite evenly across the lips, and keep the lips moist for quite a while. The shades have a girly, summery look, with the likes of radiant red and fizzy rose new for the season.