Friday 1 February 2013


History student Elyse Clarke reviews Topshop's Lip Marker in Parade for us:

I really like the idea of a lip stain but over the years I’ve tried quite a few and most of them have failed to live up to my expectations. Either the colour payoff is rubbish or they rub off quickly leaving an unflattering patchy effect. But despite this, I still keep buying them in the hope that one will meet my expectations! Which is why, instead of picking up the dress that I intended to in Topshop, I ended up leaving with their version of a lip stain instead - the Lip Marker in the colour Parade.

First off, I LOVE the colour. It’s a deep, blue toned red that compliments my fair/ghostly Irish skin. Friends of mine with darker/more human skin tones have borrowed it and it looks great on them too – I think the main thing is that you have to suit products with blue undertones to get away with this.

The pen-like applicator is a cinch to use and makes a change from wands or doe foot applicators which lack the precision a product like this needs. I use the thicker part of the pen to fill in my whole lip and then draw around my lip line with the tapered end to create a sharp, defined line. Out of curiosity I’ve tried using this product with a lipliner underneath but I don’t think it’s necessary or any more effective than using the Lip Marker on its own.

So on to the main issue - staying power! As lip stains go, this has been one of the better that I’ve tried, especially as Topshop is not really a high-end brand. You will inevitably have to re-apply it at some point if you’re planning on wearing it all day or on a night out to avoid the red lip-liner look that can develop after a meal or many drinks, but on the whole it wears remarkably well.

The only issues I have with it are that it does cling to any dry patches that you may have and that I think my Marker has dried out quite quickly. Clinging to dry patches is to be expected with a matte product like this, something I knew before I bought it. So I would advise using a good quality lip balm before you apply the Lip Marker and then gently buff over any dry patches so that the Marker goes on as smoothly as possible and you don’t have any uneven patches. As far as the product itself drying out it is again to be expected as products like these don’t have the same longevity as normal lipsticks do. However you need to make sure you’ve fully closed the lid – it sort of clicks closed twice and I think this is where I went wrong and didn’t quite close it, resulting in it drying out more quickly than it perhaps should have.

On the whole I really enjoy using and wearing this product – it makes a nice change to wearing neutral or pink colours and is less high maintenance than wearing a red lipstick that can easily smudge and leave you with clown mouth. Ok, YSL Glossy Stain it is not. But for £8 you could do far worse!

 Apologies about the state of the lighting – it was dark! This is how intense I wear the Lip Marker but you could use fewer coats for a softer look.

Swatch: one coat on the left, two coats on the right.

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