“That’s The French Way To Do It”: 3 Pro Make-Up Artists On How To Wear Lipstick Now

“That’s The French Way To Do It”: 3 Pro Make-Up Artists On How To Wear Lipstick Now

Taylor Hill

If lipstick temporarily fell out of favour during the pandemic, it’s now back to tell the tale. Its resurrection is confirmed by an onslaught of new launches, from Estée Lauder’s Sabyasachi collection to Byredo’s new liquid matte – each one formulated with new-gen technology that promises easy application and (most importantly) a hydrated and comfortable feel on the lips. None of that drying malarky that might have put you off lipstick before.

Before we explore some of the new formulas you need to know about, Vogue spoke to three pro make-up artists to learn exactly how to wear lipstick now.

Lucia Pica

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A post shared by Lucia Pica (@luciapicaofficial)

As a lipstick devotee herself, naturally Pica knew exactly how to execute the creation of Byredo’s new liquid matte formulas – by marrying a fluid application technique with a long-lasting, highly-pigmented formula in a matte finish that “becomes a part of you”, rather than feeling heavy, drying or alien. She encourages a curious approach to colour, and suggests experimenting with shades you might not ordinarily opt for. “There are many chapters and moments within a day, week and year, and lipstick can represent each moment, along with your moods,” she says.

One of her top tips is to ensure you “blur the edges of the lipstick a little bit”. Otherwise, it can make lips look smaller and more strict. “I tend to use very transparent textures on the skin, so you can see it through the make-up, and I don’t use a lot of powders. Then, add a little colour on the cheeks to retain a sense of freshness and leave your hair natural and not blow dried. That way, you look like you’re not wearing make-up on your face, which gives you the freedom to wear a bolder lip. That’s a very French thing to do, actually! You lose a little bit of polish and the look feels a little easier.”

Gucci Westman

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Modern lipstick is all about the texture, feeling and formulation for Westman, whose clients include Cameron Diaz, Jennifer Aniston and Anne Hathaway. “Our new lipsticks include lots of encapsulated active ingredients – such as peptides, vitamins C and E and three types of hyaluronic acid – which smooth the texture of our lips and create that juiciness,” she says. Named “hydro suede” technology, it feels as soft and sensorial as the material it’s named after, plus – as is the Westman Atelier way – it is almost entirely clean. “Instead of petrochemicals, which are on our blacklist, we used a blend of sunflower seed oil and candelilla wax,” she explains. “It was super challenging as I didn’t want to compromise at any point.”

As for how to wear lipstick now? “There’s an occasion for everything,” she says. “Sometimes wearing a bright or deep colour with very little else on your face is a great way to elevate your look. I always ask myself whether my mood or outfit needs elevating. If it does, I’ll do a gorgeous rich colour and a flushed cheek and brighten myself up. It makes me feel good.”

Thom Walker

Elsesser at the Fashion Awards, 2023. Dominic Lipinski/Getty Images

“Lipstick is less precise than it has been for a while,” says Walker, creative director of make-up at Givenchy Beauty, who has worked with everyone from Pamela Anderson to Paloma Elsesser. “Even if lip liner is used, it’s softened and diffused. I’m still using lip pencil to fill the whole lip, but then softening over the top – whether that’s taking it off with a tissue or blending with a cotton bud to soften the lip.”

Referencing Elsesser’s ’90s-inspired ombré lip – “a black lip liner that faded into a complete nude” – for the Fashion Awards in December last year, he says that many of us are gradually becoming more experimental with how we wear our lipstick. “I used the Givenchy Le Rouge Interdit black balm, which is essentially a lip balm with a pH reactor, which makes lips look rosy and just bitten,” he says. “We blended that into the black to create a slight hint of colour.”

10 of the best new lipsticks to try now

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