Somewhere along the line, I managed to amass over 250 lipsticks. I know this because I'm currently undergoing the rather laborious process of moving house and was forced to drastically cut down this number by someone (who shall not be named) who gently suggested that the minimal space in our intermediary storage container was required for things he deems more useful, like spatulas and sofas. Rather affronted, I cut my collection not only in half but down to a single fifth, donating the rest (sorry, poor, unworn purples and neglected oranges) to my sister, friends and back into the office beauty cupboard. And no, quite frankly, I'm still not over it.
Throw all the eye rolls my way that you want: I simply love lipstick. But since this mass exodus, the 50 (ish…) shades I clung to so dearly, the hues I swore to myself and others that I just couldn't part with have barely got a look in. And I'll tell you for why: Laura Mercier Velour Extreme Matte Lipsticks (£22) entered the orbit of my makeup bag (in my defence, he who shall not be named didn't say anything about new lipsticks), and now I can't seem to wear anything else. Hear me out on this one.
These crayon lipsticks are so utterly brilliant for a whole host of reasons. First, they're matte, but not in that cloying, peanut buttery way. Yes, they might be dubbed "velour," but the finish is nothing like a cheap tracksuit. Instead, it's like soft, buttery, buffed suede and feels no less moisturising than a balmier number.
The colours are pretty special too, with 24 shades that encompass just about every tone you could want. There's a poppy, straight-to-the-point red (Fire), a peachy waif of a shade (Vibe) as well as all the nutty browns and jewelled purples you'd expect. There's even a kind of violetish blue (Extreme), which I swear, with the right frame of mind, would look great on anyone. They translate really well to skin, too, providing a rather satisfying slick of dense colour.
The tube screws up and down like a regular mechanical crayon, but snap off the coloured base of the pen and you'll find a hidden sharpener, to keep the nib tapered. Honestly, this makes the lipstick so easy to apply, although I still might not do it without a mirror.
Below, I've laid out my three favourite shades. You didn't think I was just going to choose one, did you?
To be worn with extra-glowy skin and a bare eye.
The perfect merlot-mouth shade.
Not quite orange, not quite coral, this shade isn't far off my natural lip colour, so it's super subtle on me.