Matte has been the lipstick finish of choice for some time now, with a certain Jenner sister at least partly to thank (or blame, depending how you feel about the shine-free formulas) for the phenomenon. But at the end of the day, the most exciting thing about beauty is the endless innovation and the evolution of trends, which sees us slathering on cooling jelly cleansers, exfoliants without a grain in sight, and sheet masks... for our hair. And the latest in makeup technology we never saw coming? Powder lipstick.
Our initial gut reaction to the trend was that it'd be a hassle — the mess, the fallout, the lack of precision. But when By Terry's new Lip Powder Essence came into play, our doubts up and vanished. The powder comes in a narrow screw-top tube that's practically spill-proof, and the applicator is more fine than a cotton bud. Designed to mimic a pen, the slender tip enables a neat and precise application, which works best when used as a liner to shape the lips first then turned on its side to fill in the color. The four shades — Pink Kiss, a bubblegum pink; Nude Flirt, a rosy beige; Chill Wine, a burgundy purple; and our favorite, Red Carpet, a vibrant orange-red — are all gorgeous and highly pigmented.
So far, so good. The science behind the formula is pretty impressive, too. "The breakthrough powder-to-liquid technology has been created by coating water essence microbubbles with highly concentrated pigments," By Terry's digital coordinator Olivia Sharpe explains. "The microbubbles then explode on contact with lips, miraculously transforming from powder to liquid."
You're best off layering the product to build pigment and resilience against food, drink, and kissing; once on, it doesn't budge. In fact, it takes an oil cleanser to remove it — perfect for long work days and into-the-early-hours evenings. "It's the premium pigments within the formula which provide the high-impact color, while the silica and water powders cling to the skin’s surface and lock the pigment in place, thereby delivering long-lasting and smudge-proof hold," Sharpe says.
Having tried many a lip product in our day, we know that "long-lasting" usually translates to "drying." While the silica adds hydration, the reapplication of the powder does make lips drier than usual, and there's nothing like feeling self-conscious about your lip color to throw you off your work presentation. However, on second try, buffing lips with a toothbrush beforehand (to stop the color clinging to dry patches) followed by a thick coat of balm (the brand's glorious Baume de Rose, ideally), and it's a much smoother affair.
By Terry isn't the only brand to launch a colored lip powder: Chanel dropped its limited-edition Poudre à Lèvres, a compact palette containing a balm and bold, pigmented powder, earlier this year. The balm is non-greasy and proves the perfect base for the powder (we recommend using blotting papers to remove any excess product), which can be dabbed on with the provided brush or smudged on for a more lived-in effect. The powder can also be used on eyes and cheeks, too, for a rosy finish.
While powder lip products are certainly fun to apply, highly-pigmented, and therefore uniquely statement-making, they are a bit more dehydrating than creamier options. But if you're after durability and color that packs a bunch, they're well worth having a little fun with — and that's what beauty's all about, right?