How to Pick the Best Lipstick, Gloss, Pencil or Stain

Michael Brown

Beauty Expert

Lipstick – it can lift our mood, execute confidence and is the go-to product for many women in hard times.

It is a fact that during World War II, Lipstick was the only cosmetic product not rationed by Winston Churchill, as he believed it boosted morale, as you can imagine, sales were very high! Sales also dramatically increased after September 11 and during the GFC, as larger luxury items seemed out of reach, but women still turned to lipstick for their shopping fix.


Over the years it has been saidthat only prostitutes wore red paint on their lips, it was suggested that lipstick be banned or only worn at a certain age, and it has also been seen as a status symbol. Elizabeth Taylor loved lipstick so much that she banned anyone else wearing it on her movie sets.

Now, lipstick is a daily routine item for most women, in all different shades and textures. But sometimes confusingly, there are so many varieties of lip colour from stains, to sheer tints and gloss – which one is better and when to wear it?

Michael Brown’s top lipstick tips:

Choosing a shade used to be the hard part and now it is textures… from matte to cream, stain to tint and then the once ever so popular gloss – what is best?
In my opinion it is really a personal choice with lipstic, but, women are looking for comfort and staying power and sometimes it is find the all in one!
They either stay all day but feel dry, or a creamy and comfortable but wear away… It is all about balance and what works for your lips, as they are all different.

MB PRO TIP – For a recap on shades, my guidelines are…

– Pale to pink base skin – go warm, summery undertones with lipstick to avoid extra pink showing up on the skin – this gives balance.
– Yellow to olive base skin – go cooler, blue base winter undertones with lipstick, your skin can handle the depth and it lifts and adds colour to sometimes a dull skin tone


Lipstick, the traditional one product wonder!
Applying only lipstick can still lift the face more than any other product – with the right shade of course!
The solid nature of the lipstick bullet means more concentrated pigment, therefore giving the highest amount of coverage.
But, we now have cream, matte and sheer varieties. Read on to discover how to pick the best lipstick for every occasion.


  • More comfort to the lip
  • luxurious texture
  • Adds moisture to the lip, allowing colour to soak into the lip
  • Great for mature or dry lips
  • Semi Matte finish, allowing for a slight sheen
  • Will transfer if not pressed into the lip


Tom Ford Lipstick (RRP $65)


  • On trend, statement lip
  • Longest lasting lipstick – it bonds very well with no slip
  • Not recommended for dry lips – it will catch
  • Full pigment


Model Co Party Proof Lipstick (RRP $16.95)


  • In between a gloss and lipstick
  • Great for lipstick beginners – not as full pigment
  • Moisturizing, lip balm like texture
  • If pressed in, it can give a tint, but not long lasting
  • Think sheen, not lacquer shine
  • Great for dry lips to mask the problem



CK one color Pure Shine Lipstick (RRP $35)

Lip Gloss

Once known as THE must have item in every girls makeup bag…

Gloss has gone from clear lacquers to flavored tubes as the once cult Juicy Tubes from Lancôme, selling 1 every second around the world – pretty impressive. We then saw more pigment pumped into glosses, to give a lipstick pigment but with a mirror shine…. Only thing was, the lasting power was never there and girls have always complained about hair getting caught in their mouth – always great as the camera flash goes off!

Why has lip-gloss declined in sales so much?

  • Trends moving to full pigment lip colour
  • Low lasting power
  • Sticky Feeling
  • Matte Trend taking over lip categories  (Main Reason)
  • 2n1 lipsticks – sheer lipsticks containing shine
  • Bled easily into expression lines

There is still a place for gloss and that is now they are more a full pigment, creamy texture – not so thin and sticky as they once were – much more wearable!

Women have less time to touch up, and matte lipsticks last, when the lip underneath is plump and smooth of course!

Gloss will give that moisturized look, even if lips are dry, but if worn it is either alone over the entire lip for a sheer, light sheen or on top of lipstick only in the centre of the mouth – if worn all over, it can sometimes move and creep to outer edges or feathered lines in lips.

I have definitely noticed a decline in gloss use, especially in my own work as I prefer a lipstick type product or just one not so shiny as trends are more about stained, colour from within, bitten lips effect.

My Fave lip-gloss for pigment is Nars Larger Than Life Gloss (RRP $42)


Chubby Sticks

The big fat lip pencil as most call them! These have become a little fun, easy to apply and a handbag favorite. From one of the originals from Clinique, they are now popping up in so many ways and some delivering great long lasting pigment.

Originally designed to create a lip define with a sheer colour, now we are seeing more of these chubby stick style lip colour creating full pigment with stain power. What I like about these is the fact that it creates a sharper outline to the lip than that of a gloss or lipstick as they are shaped like a pencil only thicker to not have a harsh detailed lip edge – no longer on trend, in case any of you where wondering!

The lip liner has now declined in popularity also… We do no longer want a sharp edge, more a lip stain effect, not placed, yet worn looking to create natural pigment in the lip.

The all in one, soft pencil and lip pigment combo is great for touch ups, perfect for the clutch on a nigh out and in general a very easy way to apply colour and still create a nice lip shape.

My fave is the Sisley Phyto Lip Twist (RRP $50) because of its balm texture, high pigment and twist to sharpen feature!



Lip Stains

Lip stains are more popular than ever as we are all searching for that long lasting, smudge free, heat resistant lip colour!
We have had cream blush before that can be used as a lip stain and gloss looking tubes also for the cheek and lips… But can anyway lipstick be a stain?
The more matte the colour is the better, the more glossy/shiny it is, not so much…. It almost needs a dryer texture to stain, or if it is liquid then a very quick dry formula to lock in the pigment, if it stays wet like a gloss, no chance of it being a stain.

MB PRO TIP – To help maximize a ‘Stain’ power for the lips, I always use my fingertip to apply the colour… By dabbing my ring finger onto the lip, you are pressing pigment into the skin and they will bond, lock and stain…

If you only use a brush and ‘paint’ product on the lip, it will more than likely just sit at the surface of the lip, therefore not locking pigment in for a long lasting result.

A traditional lip stain can stain the skin quickly, so it is best to work with the product straight away and place in areas where colour is needed, in saying that they massage so easily into the area, that they create a ‘colour from within’ look every time.

I regularly use the Benefit Cheek & Lip Stains in Posie Tint and Cha Cha Tint! (RRP $55) Looks like nail polish, but for me it is so fresh and really does last all day!


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