Hair & Makeup

Welcome back lipstick, it’s been a while

Face coverings may have put paid to lipstick during the pandemic, but now’s the time to rediscover your mouth’s mojo, says GEORGIA DAY


The act of wearing lipstick has been turned on its head over the past year; what was once synonymous with an instant mood boost quickly became messy, mask-induced smudges. Thankfully, lipstick is making its (well-deserved) comeback – and it is bolder and more joyous than ever. So what better way to welcome it back than with a round-up of some of the best formulas to try – and ways to wear them?

Choose hybrid formulas

The pandemic has seen people streamlining their beauty routines. “When you are wearing minimal makeup, the minute you put on a beautiful lip color, it instantly makes you look as if you’ve made more effort than you really have,” says makeup artist Adeola Gboyega. If you want to simplify your regimen but don’t want to compromise on color, look for a formula that offers both. Tinted oils or balms are not just a quick route to pretty color; the added skincare benefits condition the lips, which in turn helps pigment to hold for longer. Plus, oils and balms are easier to apply than a densely pigmented lipstick, so they’re a great option for anyone who normally finds lipstick application a bit tricky.

Go for gloss

Switching up your textures to suit your day (and mood) is a great way to make lip color more exciting again. Create a base using a long-lasting stain, then simply swipe on a gloss (clear, or colored to match your chosen shade) as and when you’re able to remove your face mask. To keep your base in place, reach for a liner. “Fill in your lip with a liner first to create a really good base for the lipstick to grip onto. Choose a gel-based lip liner, as these are waterproof and are great for a long-lasting effect,” says Gboyega.

Go bold (but stay foolproof)

If it’s your first foray back into lipstick for a while, eschew the safety net of nudes and go for something more daring instead. Bright shades will help warm up your skin for summer, but bear in mind the intense pigments mean they are unforgiving if smudged. To keep your color in place, opt for long-lasting formulas and follow Gboyega’s advice: “Layering your lipstick is important, as it will naturally wear off. By applying multiple thin layers, if your lipstick does wear off during the day, it will do so in a flattering and seamless way.” Every skin tone will find something flattering within the spectrum of pinks, reds, corals and oranges. For a grown-up, glamorous look, simply pair with brushed-through brows and a slick of lash-lengthening

Accessorize your smile

Face masks have probably hidden your smile for more than a year, so chances are you’ll want to make up for lost time when you’re finally mask-free. Nothing accentuates your best asset better than lipstick – specifically blue-based shades that will bring out the white of your teeth and reduce yellow and orange tones. But whatever color you choose, make sure you don’t ruin it by walking out with lipstick on your pearly whites. Blot lips after application, then run one finger between your lips and teeth to remove any excess.


The model featured in this story is not associated with NET-A-PORTER and does not endorse it or the products shown