Product Review: Ilia Lip Conditioner (Plus: High School Lipstick Highs and Lows)
My relationship with lipstick began, as many girls’ do, with Clinique’s Almost Lipstick in Black Honey. I was 14, and all my friends wore it: the Ashkenazi Jews, the Irish girls, the doe-eyed brunette of forgettable but super-pretty extraction. There was a reason we all wore it: It had just a touch of color, which made it less of a commitment than a real lipstick. It also meant you could apply it without a mirror, but most of all, it looked good on everyone. Like, everyone.
(Now, you are under strict orders not to go out and buy it, even though it’s kind of amazingly pretty. Clinique—which I emailed twice and live-chatted with to try to get an ingredient list for this lipstick, and which promised a response within 24 hours but never did—is not a clean brand by our standards.)
So anyway a couple of years later, all my friends graduated to Revlon’s Coffee Bean—another lipstick you should not go out and buy—and with that, my girls left me behind. No, it didn’t look good on pink-faced blondes, but neither did any other lipstick as far as I was concerned. Which means my love of lipstick crested when I was in the 8th grade. I proceeded to take about 15 years off until, as I’ve explained in the past, I decided to write a beauty book, which was going to mean trying on lipstick would become an occupational requirement—and I wasn’t terribly excited about that.
But then, something happened. You can read about my early a-ha moments here: it involved beautiful W3LL People, Living Nature, Lip Ink, and Vapour—all colors I still like. Since then, I have continued to experiment. I love RMS in Smile, which is a screamy kind of pink that somehow totally flatters, despite its bold hue and now, my new toy:
The ladies at Nubonau were raving about this stuff, and sent me a tube in carefully chosen Blossom Lady (good call, girls). It has less blue in it than appears in the picture, at least on me. It’s a soft, warm pink on my face, and it has everything you could ever want from a daytime lipstick: It’s semi-sheer for easy application on the go (and without a mirror), it is loaded with skin-friendly moisturizing oils, it feels amazing and isn’t sticky (personal pet peeve), and the ingredients are 85% organic according to the company—which is CANADIAN. From Vancouver, no less.
I’ve been wearing this for about a week every day and one application lasts an hour or two depending on how much water I’m drinking. I have also forced it on a couple of other women and I’m happy to say it looks great on lots of different complexions.
And best of all, for me anyway: It’s the kind of lipstick that I’m doesn’t read as lipstick, so much as just: pretty!
J’aime! Have you tried Ilia? And what was YOUR first lipstick?