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Spring Lips


  • PHOTO ILLUSTRATION BY DAVE SWANN / DSWANN@STARADVERTISER.COM
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Subtly stained lips will be in style for spring, and a few companies are making the look a whole lot easier to get with their crayon-like gloss sticks.

Nars Cosmetics plans to release its Velvet Gloss Lip Pencils in February, just in time to draw on a perfect pout for a Valentine’s Day date. The pencil looks like the company’s Velvet Matte lip pencil that came out in the fall, but it slides on similar to a gloss, sans the sticky, drippy shine glosses can have. The formula contains vitamins E and A to keep lips moisturized and comes in six shades. One sure-to-be-favorite is New Lover, which is described by the company as a "strawberry pink laced with gold that mimics the look of overly kissed lips."

Skeptical about how a pencil could also be a gloss, I tested Nars and thought it felt more like a balm than a gloss. The color is very subtle and gives lips a sheer blush that looks really natural. The color fades gradually over a few hours but without getting clumpy or dry.

Clinique’s Chubby Stick Moisturizing Lip Colour Balm, which landed in stores a couple of weeks ago, has a similar effect and comes in eight bright and girlie shades. The pink-red color of the Chunky Cherry pencil took me back to my childhood, when my obsession with Hawaiian Punch led to the syrupy drink staining my mouth. A more neutral Richer Raisin is a versatile pink-brown that would look good on almost any skin tone. Like Nars, the Clinique stain is subtle, sheer and glides on easily due to the shea butter and jojoba seed oil in the formula. But after it started to fade, my lips were left a bit dry and feathery — something gloss from a tube trends not to do.

Most of us are tethered to our favorite tubes of traditional lip gloss formula, but if it’s the more natural, "no lipstick-lipstick" look you’re going for this spring, gloss pencils will be your beauty must-have.

Nars Cosmetics Velvet Gloss Lips Pencil, $24, are available at www.narscosmetics.com.

Clinique Chubby Stick Moisturizing Lip Colour Balm, $15, can be found at Clinique counters nationwide.

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