As flattering and face-warming as lip color can be, finding the right shade is daunting. I’ve got to hand it to the girls who can seriously pull off a bright red lip like it’s no big deal. One sure-fire way to ease into bolder, uncharted waters is to start sheer. You still get some pigment without the full-on-ness of lipstick. Plus, it’s easy to layer on the color, if you do feel like dialing it up a notch.
While brightly-colored in the tube, these sheer lip conditioners from Ilia have the hydrating texture of a balm, tint of a lipstick and subtle shine of a gloss. One swipe gives you a sheer wash of color; a few more creates deeper, more saturated tones. Plus, it’s super hydrating: the all-natural, 85% organic formula is loaded with jojoba oil, cocoa butter, vitamin E and antioxidants.
Though I’ll admit, the shades are the best part. There’s a gorgeous melon color, a surprisingly wearable red and a nude that won’t wash you out. Ultimately I gravitated towards the 90’s deep berry-colored “Arabian Knights” shade. It gives a subtle tint without veering into goth territory. High school me would approve.
Ilia Lip Conditioners in Arabian Knights, Dizzy, Bang Bang, Shell Shock, Nobody’s Baby & Blossom Lady, $24 each.