A (rather sporadic) series about my endless quest for the ultimate red lipstick…

Lip pencils are a dodgy bet, half the time – they’re either hard and drag your skin or they’re so soft they smear all over your face then wear down and are unusable within the first week because there’s no way to sharpen them without getting crimson wax everywhere.  

Also I avoided pencils for years because I worked in a pub and saw too many women staggering out at the end of the night with their lipstick all worn off and only a bright red, drawn-on line left around their drooling maw. Then I had an epiphany – what if I just used the pencil to colour my entire lippage? There followed several episodes of having lips so dry and flaky that the only thing I could put on them without looking like I was decaying from the mouth down (shut up) was vaseline. 

Luckily for me, pencils are MUCH better these days and there are several that I use in place of normal lipstick. This one by Maybelline is really good – it goes on neatly, colours in well and (so long as you blot it well) it lasts through eating and drinking. It’s a dark pinky-red rather than crimson and doesn’t ‘creep’ off your lips (I’m in my forties, I know all about lipstick-creep). It loses points for being a bit dry, but it’s not uncomfortable at all. 

Brand/colour: Maybelline Color Drama lip pencil in 310 – ‘Berry Red’

Price: £4

Score: 8/10 – it’s cheap, a flattering colour and it lasts well. Just a tiny bit dry.

Click here to buy now from Amazon