Sometimes, when it matters most, you don’t have time to reapply your makeup. Being shuttled from person to person in a job interview? Sitting in front of a jury for four hours straight? You still want to look your best, but a lipstick, lip gloss, or tint really does not go the distance. Because of this, we’ve always been fans of long-lasting lipsticks. In the past, they’ve been things to endure. Some felt crunchy and drying after five minutes of wear. Others would wear unevenly, leaving you with lipstick only on the outer portions of your lips. But technology advances, and some of the new ones are exceptional — comfortable, great colors, and long lasting — and this occasional series will examine which ones those are. First up: L’Oreal’s selection of infallible lip colors, which the company was good enough to send to us to try out.
They sent us three kinds: the glosses, the lipsticks, and the LipColour. We were already fans of the LipColour — it’s a liquid that you use a sponge applicator to put on. It goes on precisely and smoothly, and, amazingly, doesn’t dry your lips too much — it’s more than normal lipsticks, but only slightly. The accompanying clear lip balm is also a keeper — moisturizing without being tacky or too glossy. The balm tends to wear off, though, and needs to be reapplied — whereas the LipColour is generally going to stay put until you decide to take it off. (Yes, even through a salad with an oily dressing.) The only problem here is color — finding the exact right shade can be a challenge. Nutmeg was too nude; Teaberry too pink. We wound up trying about eight different colors (even buying some with our own money!) and ended up liking Amethyst the best (L’Oreal Infallible LipColour, Amethyst 520), but it’s very hard to recommend a specific color. It’s $11.99 at Drugstore.com.
By far, the best find was the most surprising — a lip gloss. We’ve long thought that really glossy glosses (juicy ones, for lack of a better word) are unprofessional; you just don’t want to be parading around the office with really, um, wet lips. But this one is great because some magical change happens after you put it on. You apply it, and it feels sticky and looks glossy… and then, about two minutes later, it has become more permanent, more matte (it doesn’t look terribly wet after the first few minutes) and feels like it’s moisturizing and protecting your lips. It’s still slightly sticky — on a windy day your hair will get caught in it. The best thing about it is the staying power — we’ve never found a gloss that would stay put for more than an HOUR, let alone the three that we’re guestimating this one will stick through. We were given three colors to try, and wound up LOVING “Barely Nude” — especially as a compliment to a long-lasting lipstick, the duration and comfort are ridiculous. We would suggest staying with nude shades because, at least on us, the colors didn’t wear evenly — at one point we went to the bathroom and realized all of the red seemed to have migrated to the corners of our lips. Embarrassing! But the “Barely Nude” shade is one we’ll keep in our makeup bag for a long, long time. L’Oreal Infallible Never Fail Lipgloss, Barely Nude 815, available at Drugstore.com for $9.99.
Finally, we tested the lipstick version of the liquid lip colour. Personally, we didn’t like it — we found that compared to the liquid stuff, it didn’t wear as evenly, didn’t go on as smoothly, and didn’t last as long — but the colors we tried were REALLY, really, not our colors.