Products that confer a little colour upon lips and cheeks really came to the fore in the late 90s. The preeminent one then was Stila’s Convertible Colour, which offers a sheer, sheeny wash of colour that looks fantastic on those with practically perfect skin.
Spotty complexions, not so much – in my experience the sheeny balm rubs concealer off and only serves to highlight blemishes (I learned this the hard way after spending a full month’s pocket money on a pan of Convertible Colour in Poppy back in 2000 after reading that all the actresses had it – those actresses, they had way better skin than my teenage self did).
Now that my skin’s a little more uniform, I’m a big fan of Stila’s formula, tapping it onto the apples of my cheeks after I’ve applied some sort of base (coloured balms love a little product to bind with), and adding a dot to lips when I want to look flushed and healthy. But Stila’s pan isn’t for everyone; the finish is slightly greasy and therefore to be avoided if you find your make-up is munched up by your skin, if your skin gets increasingly more shiny over the course of the day, or if you have acne on your cheeks.
Fortunately, options are now the name of the multistick game. Here are three that offer different finishes //
The Matte Multistick / Pixi Multibalm // This is a fantastic stick if you like your colour to fuse with skin, but want to avoid shine. As you swipe it on, the cream allows for a little blending before it finishes up powdery, so get tapping it into your skin straight away if you get one. I’m mad for Soft Strawberry and Watermelon Veil, but the colour range is pleasing and whichever you go for will contain a blend of calming and hydrating aloe vera, shea butter and rose hip oil.
The Shiny Gloss / Laura Mercier Colour Dots // These are an altogether different affair – shiny and sheer, but miraculously non-greasy. They kind of do the opposite to the above in that they’ll look very juicy, but won’t add any moisture to skin. Think coloured glaze and you’re on the right track. I personally prefer these on my lips, though I know ladies who think they are superb for lending youth to slightly sunken or saggy cheeks.
The One That’s Like Lipstick / Estee Lauder Genuine Glow Blushing Creme for Lips and Cheeks in Peachy Keen // This is a little waxier – meatier, if you will. I use it under my foundation (as I tap and blend in my base it subtly illuminates cheeks), but mostly reserve it for lips because it’s a bloomin’ glorious colour that always makes me think of the shade Holly Golightly applies in the back of the cab when she’s waffling on about that Brazilian super rat.