These lip colors just won't quit

Lipsticks designed to be long-wearing evolve and improve

February 29, 2004|By Wendy Navratil | Wendy Navratil,Chicago Tribune

CHICAGO -- Few lipstick wearers ever make peace with the apply / release / repeat cycle.

Extended-wear lipsticks, however, promised something different when they rode into drugstores a few years ago:

Namely, that a single application would stay with you through thick soup and thin-rimmed glass, from "kiss" straight through to "tell."

There was just one problem with this breed.

"It didn't have great wearability," said cosmetics cop Paula Begoun, author of six editions of Don't Go to the Cosmetics Counter Without Me (Beginning Press). "Even though it stuck around, it rolled and peeled, and during the winter was almost an impossible product to wear. It was dry and didn't have any movement. And the last thing you want in the dead of winter is dry."

But stick around it did. And it evolved.

"The idea of a long-wearing lipstick is not new; however, the idea of matching it with a gloss is," said Marshall Field's cosmetics spokeswoman Fatima Olive.

Indeed, many of the longest-wearing lipsticks, such as Clinique's new 10-hour Stay the Day Lip Colour, now are two liquid potions in separate tubes or compartments. First is the color that swabs on to dry, followed by a glossy overcoat.

Others, like L'Oreal's Endless ($8 or $9), sacrifice a bit of endurance for moisture and convenience, in the form of a single-step liquid or solid.

In 2003, several extended-wear formulas made the top 10 of lipstick sales at mass retailers, according to Information Resources. Cover Girl's Outlast was No. 1, L'Oreal's Endless No. 3, Max Factor's Lipfinity No. 4 and Revlon's ColorStay No. 6 (for Overtime) and No. 8 (for basic).

At department stores, Clinique's Stay the Day made its debut in December. Lancome will introduce its six-hour Juicy Wear ($24), with color stick followed by caramel-flavored glaze, in August.

Begoun said Lipfinity and Outlast -- both with Procter & Gamble's PermaTone color formula -- are the best of the ones her team has reviewed.

Beauty bible Allure magazine recently named L'Oreal's Endless 8 Hour Comfortable Lip Colour in "Fired Up" as editor's choice for long-wearing lipstick. Allure readers chose Revlon's ColorStay Overtime in "Ultimate Wine" as a favorite.

The Chicago Tribune is a Tribune Publishing newspaper.

Here's what to expect

Tips for those unschooled in these potions:

* If a gloss is provided, stray from it at your peril. Other kinds of gloss may have oils that break down the pigment.

* Also, prepare for bold color. "Because they go on so opaque," Paula Begoun said, "whatever color you put on tends to look more saturated than (basic lipsticks) that have moisture and reflection."

* Finally, the longer-wearing a lip color, Fatima Olive said, the drier the formula will tend to be.

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