As much as I miss lipstick (and a hundred other things I will never again take for granted), I plan to keep my lower face covered until we’re further out of the woods. Simultaneously, patience is not exactly my defining characteristic, and so I decided to explore budge‑proof, long-lasting lipsticks, of which I’m traditionally no big fan. Well. Colour me converted.
Stila’s Stay All Day (£17) is, without question, the longest-lasting lipstick I’ve ever worn in my life. Last week I wore Portofino (a mid-tone pink) for a friend’s birthday. I ate two courses, drank two glasses of wine, one vodka and tonic, and chatted nonstop for four-and-a‑half hours. I then took the late train home and fell fast asleep in my specs and lipstick, and awoke, face-down, with the latter still present, correct and ready to party. My lips were as immaculate at 8am as they had been when the lipstick was applied (the brand boasts 12 hours of wear – I’d say double it).
In 35-odd years of excessive lipstick testing, I have truly never known the like. Most importantly, Stila Stay All Day waltzes across the pitfalls of long-wearing lipstick, which are routinely drying, uncomfortable, draggy to apply and often a bit flat‑looking on the face. It somehow combines staying power with silky, moist colour that glides on plushly (that’ll be the avocado oil) with a pleasingly sharp edge (I used a lipliner to prevent the liquid lipstick formula from bleeding into fine lines, but a younger woman could skip it) and sits congenially on the mouth all night.
The finish is described by the brand as matte, but I’ve worn matte-er. It still allows a little light to bounce.
My one and only grumble is that for such an outstanding formula, the 14-strong shade lineup is uninspiring and nowhere near sufficient. There are eight variations on the same pink, yet only one red, Beso, a blue‑based pillar-box tone that falls short if, like me, you favour an orangey, tomatoey hue.
I had fully intended this week to offer you a selection of long-lasting lipsticks, but I can’t in good conscience imply that anything else came close to this hardy, cheerful powerhouse. It laughs defiantly in the face of PPE.