22 September 2017Last updated

Beauty | Grooming

The lipstick effect

New research reveals lipstick sales are set to go up by 12 per cent in 2016 alone – a rise being coined The Kylie Jenner Effect. So is the teenage reality TV star really behind such a boost in sales? And if we decide to join her for a lipstick revolution, what shades and formulas will be big news for the season ahead? Louise Emma Clarke finds out…

Louise Emma Clarke
26 Sep 2016 | 01:40 pm
  • Source:iStock

The lippie has been back in fashion for a while now, with research group Mintel ( recently revealing that worldwide lipstick sales grew by 8 per cent between 2014 and 2015. This year, however, they are predicting a rise of another 12 per cent, bringing the total sales to a whopping Dh1.5 billion. In fact, two out of five women worldwide purchased lipstick in the past year – this figure rose to a staggering 48 per cent for those between 16 and 24 years old. That’s a lot of lipstick.

Gone are the days of subtle glosses and shimmers being swept off counters (remember the Juicy Tube fad of the early 2000s?). These days, only classic barrels of lipstick will do – but what is responsible for such a sudden boost in sales? And why is it the younger generation that’s predominantly driving the sales of a cosmetic item that was previously considered sophisticated, lady-like, and above all, grown-up?

The experts are calling it The Kylie Jenner Effect, thanks to the 19-year old Keeping Up with the Kardashians reality starlet’s love of a good tube of lippie. Not only does she have her own make-up line, with a collection of lip kits to peddle, but she also has a huge following on Instagram – over 74 million – who are clearly influenced when she pouts into the camera in a seemingly endless stream of selfies.

But it isn’t just Kylie driving the sales, with top beauty bloggers posting tutorials, celebs pouting at paparazzi in quick succession, and the brands themselves listening to demand with new collection launches arriving on shelves on a near-daily basis.

Charlotte Libby, senior beauty analyst at Mintel, explains, ‘Sales of lipstick are expected to grow significantly this year, thanks to a high number of new product launches in the category. While matte lipsticks have been a popular trend, the fuller lip has also been made fashionable again by celebrities such as Kylie Jenner.’

She adds, ‘As beauty blogger tutorials continue to focus on recreating the full-lip look, sales of lip products are expected to increase. Mintel’s research found one in five make-up buyers seeks out products to create looks they have seen on video tutorials, while 16 per cent say they buy products from brands that have collaborated with their favourite designers, celebrities and bloggers.”

Lipsticks, of course, have never really gone out of fashion. In fact, the lipstick is believed to have been used by women in one form of another for over 5,000 years, becoming truly fashionable in the early 1900s thanks to the likes of Estée Lauder and Elizabeth Arden selling tubes in their salons. Fifties’ Hollywood starlets Elizabeth Taylor and Marilyn Monroe propelled it into the mainstream – and ever since then, most women have been able to delve into their make-up bags and pull out a tube or two to swipe across their pouts.

What the glamorous celebrities of the 1950s would’ve thought about Kylie Jenner’s influence is anyone’s guess (although we think they’d be fans of a selfie themselves) – but there is no denying that to the world of lipstick, she is the Marilyn Monroe of her generation, propelling sales, inspiring beauty bloggers, and prompting brands to launch new products by the day.

We shouldn’t be surprised by her influence. After all, her fans can afford to emulate her. Unlike designer wardrobes, thousand-dollar bag collections, and holidays to far-flung shores, most can afford to add a lipstick or two to their monthly supermarket or shopping spree budget. 
And as the brands listen to demand and launch ever-more innovative and diverse products, the older generations get the benefit too. Lipstick sales soar – and trends are born in quick succession.

Ready to rediscover the joys of lipstick yourself? Now is the time to follow the crowd – but with so many different products out there to pick from, what is on trend for the season ahead?

We’ve taken a look at the products that are flying off shelves worldwide and found the best of the best in the UAE so you can fill up that make-up bag in style…

The Lip Plumpers

Whether Kylie Jenner’s oversized pout is solely down to the effects of plumping lipsticks, or the surgeon has lent a hand, isn’t public knowledge – but either way, those lips have set a trend for bigger, plumper pouts, and there are plenty of products on shelves to help you emulate the look.

Guerlain KissKiss Lipstick (Dh190, Paris Gallery) is the perfect way to blow up that pout, infused with hyaluronic acid spheres for a noticeable lip shaping and plumping effect. It also contains commiphora myrrha oil and mango butter to boost hydration, ensuring impressive shine too. It’s great for instantly transforming your look for an evening out.

For day wear, keep it simple with Clarins Joli Rouge Lipstick (Dh115,, which contains an ingredient called Maxi Lip Complex to maximise fullness of lips. It’s not going to plump them up to gigantic proportions, but it works perfectly as an everyday lip colour to highlight your pout – and comes in a rainbow of different hues for every complexion.

Want to stick to your favourite lippie? No problem – invest in a lip plumping product that you can apply to lips before your lipstick, such as SkinMedica TNS Lip Plump System (Dh285,; a dual-action plumping treatment that visibly restores volume to lips within minutes of application (and you’ll notice your lips are smoother and better hydrated too).

The Dark Berries

If you haven’t already heard, one of the biggest styles for the season ahead is the darkest, vampish shades of berry on lips, with designers as diverse as Marc Jacobs, Gareth Pugh, Sibling and Rodarte setting the trend as their models pouted down the runway.

You need confidence to pull off the darkest colours, such as Kat Von D Studded Kiss Lipstick in Homegirl (Dh110) or Sephora Rouge Cream Lipstick in Bewitch Me (Dh69, both at Sephora) – but you will definitely be winning in the style stakes.

Not for you? Take inspiration with a more wearable shade of berry, such as Lipstick Queen Butterfly Ball in Goodbye (Dh135,; a shimmering wine hue that will hint at the trend without turning every head in the room in shock.

The Matte Finishes

If you like a matte look, you are in luck as this season is all about matte lipstick finishes – another trend that we have Insta-celebrities such as Kylie Jenner to thank for.

A bit edgier than the classic lustrous lipstick, matte lips will take any make-up look to the next level – however, there’s a catch. Just like silk dresses, matte lipsticks tend to show up any flaw – and in the world of lipsticks, that means your lips need to be in perfect condition before you paint them (matte might be in – but chapped, peeling, dry lips certainly aren’t).

Exfoliating and moisturising your pout before applying your lipstick will do the trick. Invest in a good lip scrub, such as Lush Bubblegum Sugar Lip Scrub (Dh63, stores nationwide), and follow with a deep conditioning moisturiser that can be worn under lipstick, such as L’Occitane Ultra Rich Lip Balm (Dh55, stores nationwide), which is packed with shea butter to ward off dryness.

When it comes to the matte lipstick itself, picking a liquid formula is a good idea to keep the application flawless and the finish smooth. NYX Soft Matte Lip Cream (Dh38, is a good choice and comes in a vast hue of shades, offering the finish of a lipstick, but with the ease of application of a gloss.

Alternatively, transform your favourite lippie with a quick application of Smashbox Insta-Matte Lipstick Transform (Dh140, The gel formula works instantly to transform the lipstick underneath into the perfect matte finish. Clever, huh?

The Crimson Reds

Red lipstick has never really been out of fashion since the days when Marilyn and Co. were strutting the red carpet in the 1950s – and this season, red is hotter than ever, but with a new, slightly modern spin.

Instead of standout pillar box red, this trend is all about grown-up shades of crimson, scarlet and deep brick, thanks to catwalk shows by the likes of Victoria Beckham, Proenza Schouler, and Naeem Khan. The look is best worn with neutral shades on your eyes, allowing your pout to do all the talking.

Keep it classic with Yves Saint Laurent Rouge Pur Couture The Mats in Rouge Anarchy (Dh186, – or for a darker hue, go for an easy-to-apply cream formula like Clarins Rouge Eclat Lipstick in Red Paprika (Dh120, stores and counters nationwide).

Louise Emma Clarke

Louise Emma Clarke