The first time I heard about International Kissing Day was when working at Bourjois. The PR team would typically use this 6th July celebration as the perfect excuse to promote lip products. It’s International Kissing Day! Grab a mint-flavoured lipgloss and pucker up! This was a pre-Instagram era, but today with all the social media platforms available for cosmetic brands to interact with their fans, you can really have a lot of fun with this theme. A quick scan of #internationalkissingday posts shows that beauty brands are making the most of the opportunity, with the likes of Nivea, Fresh, Fenty and Estee Lauder all highlighting their lipsticks and lipglosses. Maybe things haven’t changed that much in the last 10 years after all. Here is a selection of shades and finishes to create a variety of looks, whatever your plans are for 6th July. Just don’t save them up for next year’s International Kissing Day – every day should be a kissing day!
Starting with the most subtle finish in this line up, Caudalie’s moisturising tinted lip balm offers a light wash of colour for those aiming for an ultra natural look. Playing on their French heritage, the tongue in cheek product name seems like a perfect PR opportunity for the brand to participate in #InternationalKissingDay. But their Instagram page shows no such sign. Maybe the concept is too cheesy for the French? The balm is very well presented in a red wine-coloured card box, matching the shade colour called Addiction… like wine? Opening the box I find a pot with a wooden lid and French Kiss written in elegant twirly font in the same Bordeaux colour. So far so good. My only criticism of the packaging is that the inside of the lid and the actual pot are plastic, which instantly cheapens the look and feel of the product. It seems a shame to only go half way when it comes to sustainable packaging. I unscrew the lid to smell the balm and am greeted with a subtle fruity scent. Not at all unpleasant and barely noticeable once applied so you don’t smell like a tweenager discovering The Body Shop for the first time.
Whilst browsing Caudalie’s product page I end up watching a French Kiss video which shows a model applying Addiction. The coverage looks as intense as a lipstick but I really don’t see how this is achievable in real life. I apply a generous amount with my finger yet only achieve a hint of glossy berry colour, what I deem merely a step beyond a natural lip colour. I don’t mind the result at all, and the 97% natural formula is deliciously nourishing thanks to plant waxes beeswax and squalane, but it jars with what’s promised in the video. At least a kiss won’t completely destroy this very natural look. 7.5g RRP £10.00
I always get noticed when applying this lipgloss on the go, especially at night. Featuring a bright torch rivalling your phone’s and a generously-sized mirror running along one side of the tube, there’s no need to run to the bar’s bathroom for application. It does draw a few raised eyebrows from some and a few ‘so cool! Where did you get it’ from others. Either way I’m on board with this comfortable sheer Tickled Pink shade and it’s become a handbag staple for nights out, if only to help me hunt for the house keys lost at the bottom of my bag. 6.2g RRP £19.00
When it comes to lipsticks I don’t tend to go for matte finishes as they seem to dry my lips or end up in the creases, making me look like a heavy smoker. A lot has happened in terms of product development and formulas have massively progressed since I last dipped my toes (well my lips) in the matte look, but MAC’s Powder Kiss has swayed me. Encased in black soft touch packaging, the bullet slides out smoothly and glides onto lips just as smoothly. The product blurb claims to deliver ‘the zero shine look of a matte lipstick with the cushiony, lightweight feel of a balm’, and it’s true! The Sultry Move shade offers the perfect nude, for a soft matte finish and invisible moisture. For added precision add a lip pencil in a matching nude shade and apply the lipstick with a lip brush. 3g RRP £17.50
I really struggled with this one. I received Estee Lauder’s Pure Colour Love lipstick as part of a goodie bag, and on first impressions it looked promising. As an American behemoth of a beauty brand, it’s not one that I’ve developed an emotional connection with. But as with other well-established cosmetic brands, it offers a few undeniably high performing big hitters such as their iconic and multi-award winning Advanced Night Repair. Not sure where to start with this odd little number though. This product goes big on packaging, with the card box in the brand’s trademark midnight blue and gold lettering, revealing a thick clear plastic, silver and gold lipstick case. The Pure Color Love range includes a whole host of finishes and textures, enough to suit every taste. I believe the Starglazer shade is a chrome finish which you can mix and match with other shades. A bit like a top coat, it adds golden shimmer to a base colour. It’s probably the perfect product to add that only-seen-on-models shimmer on the cupid’s bow. I try applying Starglazer on top of a pure red shade, just in the centre of lips to make them seem fuller, but it just looks unfinished, so I extend the gold high shimmer to my entire lips. Still not convinced – I think this one requires a bit of a makeup artist approach. 3.8g RRP £21.00
What’s your lip product of choice for International Kissing Day? Leave a comment below to let me know.
Features gifted products.