"For someone so socially awkward I'd rather walk over hot coals than make eye contact (not quite, but nearly) it's bizarre that I've never been shy about making a bold make up statement. Since infancy, when my mum says I'd peep round the top of the stairs at our NEIGHBOURS who thought I was mute (I prefer to believe I was being 'observant'), I've always been drawn to a bright swipe of lipstick or glittery gloss in a Barbie-pink hue.

"From my colouring-in days, when all of my ladies bore gaudy 'kiss' lips, to teenage years 'studying' pages from VOGUE, lipstick has held me in thrall. Every shade from barely-there to practically-black has staked its claim to my collection (I queued to secure an obsidian YSL lacquer) but, although I still dabble with vinyl and never say no to a balm, absolutely matte is where it's at (in my opinion).

"Step forward: NARS {Velvet Matte Lip Pencil} - a long-wearing crayon that's stolen my soul. Since I first bought 'Cruella' a decade ago, I've never looked back and have steadily stockpiled a wardrobe of colours for every whim, wedding or weather. Creamy yet velvety, cocktail-resistant but comfortable, these quick, convenient sticks are the ultimate finishing touch to an otherwise minimal look (I'm low-maintenance). 

"The best trick I've found for disguising a hangover, these stunning, pigment-rich crayons unfailingly help me feel polished - whether I'm dressed-up or sporting my 'uniform' (t-shirt and jeans for-the-win). {Cruella} - my 'Holy Grail' red - is the perfect blue-crimson that 'lifts' my complexion and looks just as great when applied with precision, as blended with fingers for 'caught snogging' cool (or so I tell myself).

"And if red feels a little too trop try {Walkyrie} - a soft nearly-nude with a whisper of coral that's pretty and beautifully bridal (my best friend chose this for her wedding last week). 

"Fancy reliving your Barbie-besotted youth (just me?)? Reach straight for {Let's Go Crazy} - the vivid(est) pink in the lip-lovers arsenal (watch our Ken). And, for pairing with holiday skin, I can't wait to embrace the new {Summertime} hues: {Dance Fever} is going with me to Mallorca and {Promiscuous} will see me through the season of soirees (and countless rosés)." - Verity Douglas, Content Editor

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