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Image / Style / Beauty

The best lipsticks to launch in 2021, from hydrating balms to creamy mattes

Looking for something new to lift your grey face? Meet the latest launches in lipsticks.

by Holly O'Neill
24th Feb 2021

Read time: 5 minutes


Don’t let your mask keep you away from your lipstick. The latest launches come in mattes that your mask won’t budge, with hydrating formulas that will soothe and heal lips that become sensitive in winter. Meet the best lipstick launches of 2021.

First up, the balmy, hydrating ones.

Is your mouth ravaged, chapped and sore from your daily cold winter walks? Charlotte Tilbury has created a lipstick just for you, that’s secretly a lip balm.Charlotte Tilbury Hyaluronic Happkiss, €32 is filled with magic ingredients; there’s hyaluronic acid for plumping and hydrating, C-peptide for firming and fine line reduction, glossy Ester and emollients for a moisturising, glassy shine and hydrating butters that are responsibly harvested and sustainably sourced for nourishing your lips. Available in ten perfect shades that glide on, lips are left hydrated and plump for 24 hours.

Still not settling into your make-up routine after a long break from foundation? Wondering how to make your face look awake again for video calls with the least amount of effort? Answer: Bobbi Brown Crushed Shine Jelly Sticks, €28. Infused with fruit oils and hyaluronic acid, they come in six universally flattering shades for a vibrant pop of moisturising colour that glides on.

Finally, if you’re not familiar with YSL Rouge Volupté Shine lipsticks, €35.50, they are famous for their hydrating oil-based formula and pigment payoff. Created with hydrating, antioxidant-rich ingredients, the lipstick acts as a silky lip conditioner. It’s like a medical-grade lip balm, except the packaging is beautiful, it feels amazing on and comes in the best wardrobe of colours. Eight spicy new shades have joined the line-up. There’s something for everyone, with warm pinks, electric oranges and fiery reds with an extra glossy finish.

Next up are for those who like a liquid lip.

Chanel’s new Rouge Allure Laque lipsticks, €36, are something of a miracle formula. They’re shiny and glossy on, but can’t be budged easily – your mask won’t shift it, and neither will your coffee. You’ll get a full 12 hours of intense lip colour, with a comfortable fluid formula created with antioxidant-rich oils that protect the skin barrier of the lips.

If the idea of a chalky matte makes you want to gag, the new Nars Air Matte Lip Colours, €28, are also basically a lip balm. It feels lightweight and cushiony on, thanks to a weightless blend of silky polymers and micro-powders that give the formula it’s subtle effect while keeping your lips comfortable. It’s a smooth liquid texture that’s smudge-proof, so you won’t find it down your chin an hour later. The applicator is smart too, making it idiot-proof to apply and rendering lip liner unnecessary. It’s the perfect wardrobe of 10 no-faff shades; there are firetruck reds, blush nudes and a coral that’ll perk up your grey face. On first application, it gives a soft-focus diffused stain but this can be built up for high impact if a shouty shade of lipstick is more your thing.

Next up are some very clever pencils.

Sculpted by Aimee Connolly have a new collection of her innovative Lip Duos, €19. The Undressed Collection is a range of double-ended, twist-up lipsticks and slightly darker lipliners for fuller lips, and now comes in three gorgeous new nudes.

If you’re looking for something a little warmer, Bobbi Brown’s new Luxe Defining Lipstick in Terracotta, €33, is a precise, fine-tipped moisturising matte in a brick red that will see you through to summer.

And finally, if it’s been decades since you bought yourself a really great lipstick, these are the luxe ones worth splashing out on.

For Chanel, the lion is a special totem. She was a superstitious Leo and her apartment was filled with lion sculptures. Today, you’ll find lions pressed onto Chanel blushers and eyeshadows, embellished on brooches, belts and jewellery and inspiring a new selection of limited edition lipsticks, Rouge Allure Velvet Le Lion. There are eight velvet-effect shades of roaring reds, bold oranges and elegant nudes, beautifully packaged with a golden cap stamped with the silhouette of the lion.

Nars have released the Claudette collection, named after the mother and muse of Nars’ founder François Nars. The collection is inspired by 1970s Paris Rive Gauche, and there’s a chic blusher, an eyeshadow palette of everyday essential shades and a wardrobe of lipsticks in French women-esque shades from rose nude to scarlet red.

Featured photography by Chanel.


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