Over the last few years we’ve seen the rise of ‘Instagram makeup’ with key components such as baking, dramatic contour, blinding highlighter, lip plumping and overlining, brows ‘on fleek’, and next-level false lashes being a staple of the look. With its huge online presence and its universally loved finish, Emmy Award-winning makeup artist and advocate for the professional makeup industry, Kevin James Bennett, commented that social media had “absolutely [perpetuated] one aesthetic …. It’s like looking at a bunch of clones.”
Cue the rise of liquid lipsticks and liner sets cultivated by Kardashian/Jenner clan. Worldwide fans participated in ‘the Kylie Jenner challenge’ (suctioning one’s lips into a small glass to cause them to swell) and in 2015, Jenner admitted to lip augmentations and simultaneously launched Kylie Cosmetics and her flagship product: The Lip Kit. Their initial and subsequent releases have caused nothing less than complete chaos with website crashes, an eBay grey market, blatant counterfeits, and pandemonium as fans desperately scoured Jenner’s Instagram for hints of the next matte liquid lipstick and lip liner set. Competitors responded with their own renditions, reformulating, remarketing, and/or releasing for the first time (see: Kat Von D Everlasting Liquid Lipstick, Anastasia Beverly Hills Liquid Lipstick Long-Wearing Matte Formula, Huda Beauty Liquid Matte Lipstick). Suddenly, liquid lipsticks were the most coveted product in any retailer online or offline.
So … what happened? Did the market become oversaturated? Did customers exhaust new shades to try and turned to new finishes instead? Or, more simply were they tired of the high maintenance and dry lips that accompanied a liquid lipstick?
One thing is clear – the humble bullet lipstick is back. From June 2017 onwards, brands brought it back to basics. Anastasia Beverly Hills released 30 shades of Matte Lipstick and a Professional Lip Palette, Fenty Beauty celebrated Christmas with their Mattemoiselle Plush Matte Lipsticks and affordable online brand ColourPop followed suit with 24 Lux Lipsticks.
Ironically, it was none other than Kim Kardashian’s make-up artist, Mario Dedivanovic, who confirmed the death of the liquid lip. When asked by Emily Ferber of Into The Gloss if they were on their way out as a trend he had this to say: “Gosh, I hope so …. When the colour is matte and heavy, that’s when you have to start worrying about undertones and all that …. I do think we are moving away from the matte lip. I’ve always loved a true creamy lipstick … and I think that look is definitely about to make a comeback.”