I came across the Guerlain KissKiss LipLift lip primer mid-sales pitch from a particularly enthusiastic sales assistant. Being polite, I agreed to try the Liplift whilst mentally preparing how politely, yet firmly, to decline the offer to purchase their “best selling product.” But then, oh dear lord. This thing is good. To me, lip primers bring back memories of glorified cement mixes or exceptionally drying quasi-foundations and are generally products that, without fail, make your face look worse, not better. However, this one (dare I be so bold) has transformed my relationship with lipstick.
You see, the issue I have is twofold. First, the colour of my lips, whilst not particularly pigmented, always shows through the lipstick I wear, masking the intended effect of the colour at hand. Secondly, my lips are quite dry making a less than ideal surface to apply lipstick to (an exercise that was becoming akin to varnishing an antique wooden table in contrast to french polishing a perfect veneer). Yep, I did just compare my lips to a table *not good.* What this particular primer does, with its waxy (not at all cakey) formula, is to smooth out the lips whilst creating an imperceptible barrier between your natural lip and the lipstick. This has the added bonus of meaning that the lipstick colour, once applied, stays ‘true’ unfazed by pesky natural pigmentation, whilst increasing the wear time of the lipstick. The result, for me, is that it has opened up a whole world of lipstick colours that I would ordinarily discount due to the overriding impact of my own lip colour and less than perfect finish. In terms of application, simply apply a thin layer to your lips before applying lipstick/liner etc.
I should address some of the reviews that I have read online about this product, most notably the fact that it doesn’t plump the lips. First, this is not a lip plumper (thank the lord, I have had enough of ‘lip plumping’ products that feel as if I have applied nail varnish remover to my lips in an attempt to “swell” them). Secondly, it does have a smoothing effect to the lip surface that will, in my humble opinion, have the effect of making your natural lip seem slightly fuller. Overall, lip primers do add another stage to the whole getting ready routine and if you currently don’t have a problem with lipstick finish/wear/colour then you really don’t need one. However, if you have a slightly less than ideal relationship with getting the right finish/wear/effect from lipsticks then I have found this product to be well worth the investment.
The facts: 3g of product costs circa £22 and is available from House of Fraser here.