Yves Saint Laurent
During hot months, I like my makeup to be light and playful, so I went in search of shiny, pink gloss. At the Barneys’ YSL counter, I loved the huge logo on Golden Gloss’s sleek, rectangular case. Its watermelon scent oozed summertime. But, as the color’s name hinted, my lips were glowing with glitter—it was too Donna Summer to make to use as an everyday shade. 660 Madison Ave., at 61st St.; 212-826-8900.
PIR Cosmetics’ gloss boasted that it would puff up my lips. According to the small print, vitamin E and sodium hyaluronate add up to 40 percent more volume. Since I don’t have the naturally bee-stung look, I was intrigued. The vivid color would be great to lacquer on for a day in the sun. Then I found out I’d have to smear this on for four weeks before I started looking like Angelina Jolie. 14 Prince St., at Elizabeth St.; 212-219-1290.
At Kiehl’s, I stocked up on my favorite face lotion before hitting up the glosses. I found a range of eight different colors from the new Simply Mahvelous group. The sheerest of them all, Icy Everest, reminded me of strawberry sorbet and tasted like it too. I liked the angled squeeze tube which was easier to use than a brush version. But I needed a brighter hue to avoid looking washed out. 109 Third Ave., at 13th St.; 212-677-3171.
After a meticulous older woman finished testing every eye shadow at Bloomingdale’s in Soho, I finally found room at the Chanel counter to scope out the lip choices. After explaining that I wanted something that felt silky, I was directed to the Rouge Double Intensité collection. On one end of the tube was the tourmaline-colored gloss, and on the other side was clear polish meant to add a little extra shine and lock in color. The bright pink would be a fun change from my daytime, bare-faced look, but the two-sided tube was too much fuss—and too sticky—for the beach. 504 Broadway, nr. Broome St.; 212-729-5900.
At Henri Bendel, I discovered the Mally collection. I’d never heard of the brand, but a saleswoman explained that the founder, Mally Roncal, was a makeup artist for Beyoncé and Jennifer Lopez. Good enough for me. Channeling the divas, I boldly opted for “Life is Fuchsia,” which was bright and incredibly saturated in the tube. Once I brushed the cream on, I was surprised by the result: a faintly opalescent, cosmopolitan-colored pout. 712 Fifth Ave., nr. 56th St.; 212-247-1100.
At Saks, I reverted back to my high-school obsession: M.A.C. I picked a pastel shade called “Underage,” a super-light pink. I liked how the moisturizing gloss skipped the sparkle in favor of the wet-look sheen. But although it went on quite smoothly, I didn’t love the color. It looked chalky on my lips—almost white under some lights. 611 Fifth Ave., at 50th St.; 212-753-4000.
Most of Duane Reade’s makeup seemed to be already opened. But since I often lose my lipstick on trains or in bars, it’d be nice to spend a little less dough on my cosmetics. Cover Girl’s “Tutu” tinted lip gloss looked safe enough and claimed to last five times longer than the leading product. It felt like I’d poured cement on my lips. 95 Wall St., at Water St.; 212-363-5830.
At Bergdorf Goodman, I was treated to a glamorous chemistry lesson at the Prescriptives counter. Fully equipped to create or duplicate any shade, the Master Blender—a.k.a. the salesguy—examined my skin and lips carefully while peppering me with questions. Afterward, he squirted four different kinds of pinks and a dash of Bellini flavor into a mixing syringe. And in only five minutes, he had whipped up the “Kendall” gloss: a rich, medium rose that squeezed out slickly from a wand. I tossed my old lip gloss on the way out. 754 Fifth Ave., at 57th St.; 212-753-7300.