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Lipstick is the one accessory that women all over the world must have, no matter what,” says French cosmetics maestro François Nars.

Slight overstatement? Perhaps. But the best new lipsticks really are luxe, little accessories—perfectly packaged objects of desire that look as good as they feel. They have the right shape, the right weight, the right whoosh or click as you close the lid.

And no other product or pigment makes as powerful, or personal, a statement, whether you opt for a vivid hue (spring runways were rife with crimson, fuchsia, orange red, and plum), go for girlie pale pink, or settle for a barely-there balm.

Luckily, for all kinds of lipstick lovers (and the people who kiss them), the latest formulas are light, super hydrating, easy to apply, and forgiving—forget feathering or the need for a pencil. Liner is pretty much passé. “Bright and darker shades are more modern without it, not so early-’90s power lip,” says Chanel celebrity makeup artist Kate Lee. And versatility is key. Take indie brand Tatcha’s first lipstick. A gorgeous, long-lasting vermilion shade inspired by traditional geisha makeup, Kyoto Red Silk was designed to flatter any skin tone. Now, we’re talking—and it’s not just lip service.


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