Dublin: 9 °C Monday 18 January, 2021

Skin Deep: Here are the lipsticks I can't live without

Buying a new lipstick is a special feeling.


Welcome to Skin Deep with Louise McSharry, my opportunity to put years of obsessing over beauty products and techniques to good use. I won’t tell you something is good if it’s not. I won’t recommend products I haven’t actually tried. As the magical sitar in Moulin Rouge said, I only speak the truth.

I own at least sixty lipsticks. It’s outrageous, really. Each one was purchased in a moment of optimism, with the excitement that only a new lipstick purchase can bring. You think about all the outfits you might wear it with, the events you might wear it to, the way you might feel when you wear it. It’s a special feeling, and one I wish I could transmit to non-makeup wearers to try to help them understand why I love makeup so much.

The sad reality, though, is that there are really only eight that I wear on a regular basis. Eight staples, if you will. They are not inexpensive, and I apologise for that. It’s not that there are not excellent lipsticks available at less expensive price points, it’s simply that these are the ones that I keep coming back to. I get asked about them all the time, and since I love nothing more than hearing about other women’s favourites (check out Bethany Rutter’s excellent post on this topic), I thought I would share them with you today. (Sorry about the moody selfies.)

Mac - Lady Danger


For years, this was my go-to red. I read about it in an interview with a very cool bleached blonde rock star and immediately purchased, as at the time I too was bleached blonde and wanted to look like a very cool rock star. It doesn’t look quite as cool with normal hair, but it’s still a super orange hued red. As with most of Mac’s matte lipsticks, it is a bit drying, but that’s a price I’m willing to pay.

Revlon Colourburst Balm Stain - Crush


I’m not usually one for a balm or gloss, but this dupe for Clinique’s Chubby Sticks has enough colour that I find myself wearing it time and time again. Sometimes a dark matte lipstick can be a bit much, but a wine balm like this gives you the colour you want with a little less impact. This is comfortable to wear and handy to pull out of your bag and reapply without a liner or mirror.

Kylie Cosmetics Matte Lip Kit - Koko K


I can’t resist hype, so I was on Kylie Cosmetics’ website the minute her lipkits became available. I didn’t expect to love them, but Koko K (the original lipstick named for Khloe!) became an immediate favourite. It’s a super-wearable pinkish nude, and it works with every look.

Charlotte Tilbury Hot Lips - Electric Poppy


If I don’t have time to put on a full face of makeup, I like to pop on a bright lip, either red or pink. I’ve tried lots and lots of bright pinks over the years and this is my favourite (Kat Von D’s Bachelorette is another favourite). It’s matte, which means it’s not the most comfortable, Charlotte Tilbury’s formulation is one of the more comfortable mattes to wear, in my opinion.

Nars Audacious - Anita


When it comes to formulation, Nars Audacious are my favourite lipsticks to wear. They feel rich and glide on beautifully. The packaging is gorgeous, with a magnetic lid which won’t allow you to put it on the wrong way (honestly, it is so satisfying to take on and off), and it just feels like a luxury product. It has a satiny finish, which I tend to blot away and is extremely comfortable. Anita is my go-to lipstick for day to day wear, it’s a ‘your lips but better’ colour which goes with everything.

Koko Cosmetics Matte Lip Kits - Mary Jo 


Unlike Lady Danger, Mary Jo is a true blue red which gives a classic look and makes me feel glam. One of the reasons I like Kylie’s Lip kits is that the liner goes on smoothly and easily and a little of the lipstick goes a long way, which means the kind of crumbling which is common with liquid lipstick doesn’t happen as frequently. Since the release of her range there are a lot more liquid lipstick and liner options on the market, though, so you don’t necessarily have to spend the dollah to get a similiar result. Sleek Cosmetics Twist-Up Lip Liners, for example, are just as good, and I’m very much looking forward to the release of Charlotte Tilbury’s much anticipated liquid lipstick range. For now though, I’m happy to keep going back to Mary Jo.

Mac Matte - Pink Plaid


This pink helps me feel ladylike when I’m going for a soft look. This doesn’t happen very often, but when it does, Pink Plaid is the one.

Charlotte Tilbury - Pillow Talk


This is a recent favourite, as the lipstick only came on the market last month after customers who had fallen in love with the shade as a lip liner begged for it. It has a reputation as a universal shade, and I find it is super handy to throw on, but I know some people feel it doesn’t work on them. Try at a counter before you buy, if possible!

What are your favourite lipsticks? Please share in the comments – I really want to know!

New Product


Well, it’s not really a new product, although it does house Urban Decay’s new Naked Skin Shapeshifter palette which is well worth a look. Of course, I’m talking about the new Urban Decay Boutique which opens its doors to the public today. It’s on two floors, has ten makeup stations and a designated selfie station with ring lights so you can capture yourself at your best. They had me at ring lights, to be honest.

Want to get a notification every week when Skin Deep is published? Of course you do! Just send us a WhatsApp saying ‘Skin Deep’ to 083 8120901, and add our number to your contacts as DailyEdge. (If you don’t add us, we can’t message you :( ) We’ll never spam you or share your personal details with anyone, and you can unsubscribe at any time. 

Check out previous columns>

About the author:

Read next: