Beauty

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Godfrey’s Guide

Best Balm-Lipstick Mashup Ever

Jean Godfrey-June

Jean Godfrey-June is our beauty director, but her enthusiasms are many

Sometimes something is so cute, you just have to have it. And when the inside of such a thing turns out to be as great as the outside is promising, the gods are smiling in all directions. This little tinted balm radiates a sleek, fantastic coolness, and it ratchets the idea of “just a little color” up a very flattering notch.

  1. When a person whips out a fancy lipstick—rich pigment, creamy formula, weighty tube that clicks like the door on a new Mercedes when you close it—I’m always impressed. There’s something in the public/private gesture of swiping it on that’s just eternally chic, something that says, “Watch and learn, sweetheart.” It’s a secret the person’s showing off, to powerful, often sexy effect.

  2. Balm, on the other hand, is less deliberate in terms of power-grabbing and sophistication. It tells an at-least-initially humbler, even grungier story: “Oh this?” It’s more transient, transparent, offhanded, and ostensibly more practical.

  3. Kosas, Kosasport Lipfuel in Rush Kosas, Kosasport Lipfuel in Rush
    Kosas
    Kosasport Lipfuel
    in Rush

    goop, $18
  4. I lean toward balm, but actually, a particular lipstick often saves the day: Rosewater from Kosas, a pinky-mauvy-everything color that’s gorgeous on a staggering range of skin tones, including mine. I can balm around all I like, but if I want to look pulled together and pretty and get at least one compliment

  5. on my skin (truly, every time I wear it), a quick dash of Rosewater on both lips and cheeks wakes my whole face right up. I’ve watched it perform the same miracle on coworkers. It’s the thing that takes you instantly from “What time did you say it was?” to “I’m ready.”

  6. I lean toward balm, but actually, a particular lipstick often saves the day: Rosewater from Kosas, a pinky-mauvy-everything-color that’s gorgeous on a staggering range of skin tones, including mine. I can balm around all I like, but if I want to look pulled together and pretty and get at least one compliment on my skin (truly, every time I wear it), a quick dash of Rosewater on both lips and cheeks wakes my whole face right up. I’ve watched it perform the same miracle on coworkers. It’s the thing that takes you instantly from “What time did you say it was?” to “I’m ready.”

  7. Kosas Weightless Lip Color in Rosewater Kosas Weightless Lip Color in Rosewater
    Kosas
    Weightless Lip Color
    in Rosewater

    goop, $28
  8. Balms, though, enchant me. This one comes in a particularly irresistible, crinkly-shiny little packet/pod, as if designed to supply a busy, glamorous astronaut. When you open the sleek white tube, the color inside—in a brilliant, lip-fitting elliptical shape—is a little creamier and more opaque than you’d expect. It is also gorgeous, because it’s been mixed up by Kosas founder Sheena Yaitanes, who is an absolute genius with color. I chose Rush, because it reminded me of…Rosewater. It is not exactly Rosewater, but its your-lips-but-better effect is precisely the same. As well as the your-skin-is-suddenly-more-alluring effect, and the I-can-pretty-much-apply-this-without-looking one, too.

  9. In my mind, Rosewater is work, fancy restaurant, meet the parents, while Rush is weekend, farmers’ market, dive bar, kiss your boyfriend. You could definitely get by on one or the other, but the way Rush fits in a back pocket makes it especially versatile. Both are super moisturizing and really last; Rush’s formula

  10. involves a high-tech gel made with konjac root and spheres of hyaluronic acid that give it a sporty, high-performance air (again, the glamorous astronaut).

    There are two more shades of the balm: One is clear, the other’s a flattering neutral that’s a bit browner, and both are beyond hydrating, faintly minty, and pretty. Resistance is futile.

  11. In my mind, Rosewater is work, fancy restaurant, meet the parents, while Rush is weekend, farmers’ market, dive bar, kiss your boyfriend. You could definitely get by on one or the other, but the way Rush fits in a back pocket makes it especially versatile. Both are super moisturizing and really last; Rush’s formula involves a high-tech gel made with konjac root and spheres of hyaluronic acid that give it a sporty, high-performance air (again, the glamorous astronaut).

    There are two more shades of the balm: One is clear, the other’s a flattering neutral that’s a bit browner, and both are beyond hydrating, faintly minty, and pretty. Resistance is futile.

  1. Kosasport Lipfuel Kosasport Lipfuel
    Kosas
    Kosasport Lipfuel
    in Baseline

    goop, $18
  2. Kosasport Lipfuel Kosasport Lipfuel
    Kosas
    Kosasport Lipfuel
    in Pulse

    goop, $18
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