What can give you rouged, bruised lips without the studied drama delivered by a proper, grown-up lipstick?
Hmmm. What can supply an imperfect lip blush without the air of insanity delivered by badly applied grown-up lipstick. What if you just want a careless smoosh that also looks polished? An approachably rosy mouth that doesn’t look done? You get my drift.
The answer to all these questions is Clarins Instant Light Natural Lip Balm Perfector in Red. Yup, just ‘Red’. It’s not called Violent Mood Swing or Tempting Innards or Tumescent Organ. Just Red. That is why everyone needs a bit of Clarins in their life: for that elegant Parisian clarity. From its classics such as Eau Dynamisante (which takes me back to my school days) to the radiance-inducing Beauty Flash Balm (which takes me back to my university days) to the Tonic Body Oil (which whispers naughty French promises about firming and toning), Clarins is always a thrill.
Back to the balm. First of all I’m mad about the taste, which is, broadly, toffee. Delicious. Second I’m nuts about the compact tube, which shuts with the pleasing click of an expensive car door. Next the colour is a true red — with none of those uncomfortable blue tones that can be so unflattering. Lastly the texture has the slide-iness and sheen you want from a balm without the more obvious, effortful shine of a gloss.
I think it’s best to put this stuff on without a mirror; the more naïve the better. This is the definition of a casual red lip. Barely there and yet unmistakeable.
Clarins Instant Light Natural Lip Balm Perfector in Red, £18.50 (clarins.co.uk)