Time To Pay Lip Service

11/07/2013 18:35 | Updated 22 May 2015

Neutrals, bolds, and everything in between, now is the time for a lip colour makeover. Get out of your current lipgloss rut. Consider lipstick a cost effective fashion accessory. Invest in a new lip wardrobe and discover the amazing new formulas and fresh shades for summer.

For workdays, and especially in these economic climes when first impressions are judged and personal appearances scrutinised, looking polished has to be the priority. A cream lipstick (not too shiny, not too matte) in a neutral rosy brown, nude, or beige-y pink will get you there. Neutral colours flatter a wide range of skin tones and wear off in a natural way. They never look unkempt even if you forget to reapply after lunch.

For the fashionistas among you, or for big nights out, wear red. It's not a rule, but a good excuse excuse to try out this sexy shade. Take inspiration from the Fendi catwalk and opt for a matte tomato-red by day. When darkness falls think of the ruby red lips of an Argentinian tango dancer and try a sultry, deeper shade of vermillion.

Dark lips are striking on every skin tone; they only cross into horror film territory when they begin to fade and feather. To keep the colour in place, use a matching red lip liner to trace just inside the edge of your lip line and fill in prior to adding lipstick. A cautionary note here, when playing up the mouth, pare back the eye makeup or you may look like you are channeling Joan Collins in her 1980s Alexis Carrington Colby, Dynasty era.

For glamour without the maintenance choose a sheer red. To give this extra staying power, apply your red gloss over a full-lip application of liner in a shade that matches your natural lip tone.

When running errands, heading off to an exercise class or during the weekend, the last thing you want is to look too "done." This is when tinted lip balm comes into its own. A single swipe hydrates and protects lips from the elements, as well as adding a hint of face-brightening colour.

So what's on the horizon for autumn? "Dark and venomous" is how makeup supremo Pat McGrath described the fully saturated red mouths at Gucci. Vampy, almost black cherry was the order of the season at Bottega Veneta. Bright mattes are also going to have their moment, without sheen all you focus on is intense, pure pigment. Rarely have lips looked prettier than those matte rose petal pinks revealed at Raf Simons' tearful swansong show for Jil Sander.

So what are you waiting for? This summer get out there and experiment. Want a shortcut route to lip perfection? Then try something new from the Lipstick Queen herself, Poppy King's Liptropolis Lipstick Library; a trio of Manhattan-inspired very wearable demi matte shades - Upper East Side, a chic beige nude, Central Park, a polished melon coral and Soho an edgy red. Now is the time to ditch the trusty old gloss and follow your own lipstick inspiration.

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