I've never been much of a lipstick girl. I’ve always struggled to find a colour that suits me, and once I do, struggled to keep it on my lips and off my teeth.  

That said, since moving to Paris, I have been inspired by the beauty and simplification of the French female aesthetic: trainers, jeans, a plain top and a bit of lipstick gives them all they need to confidently and comfortably take on the day. So while my accent and lack of proper verb conjugation constantly betrays me, I can at least look the part of the female Parisian with a toned down wardrobe and a slap of lipstick to match.

To begin my exploration into the fancy lips lifestyle, I first needed to solve the problem I faced with the lack of lasting lustre my lipstick lubrification brought. Luckily it was a battle easily won, as friends of mine (who work at an agency which represents the brand)  introduced me to Lipcote, a lipstick-locker-inner (for lack of a better word?) which keeps smearing, staining or smudging from your smile ... It stings a little when you put it on, but is cruelty free, vegetarian, made with natural ingredients, and comes in recyclable packaging ... Plus it works, once applied, your lipstick stays where you intended it to be ... a life changing improvement for me, as, for the first time, I was prevented from looking like a purveyor of illicit activities before the night had even begun. 

The second part of my ladylike lip 'transformation' was finding a lipstick that suits me. With every new want, ‘need’ or object replacement, I diligently searching for an eco friendly, ethically produced product to fill my desires, and in my hunt for lipstick, my mantra remained the same.

I knew I didn’t want animals testing my makeup, and knew I didn't want to wear makeup that might cause me health harms either - so I began researching and created a simple checklist to abide by when it comes to buying lustre for the lips:

ONE: Must Be Cruelty Free 
ie// not tested on animals.

TWO: Derived From Renewable Resources 
Ingredients from renewable resources, transformed by environmentally friendly processes.

THREE: No Cancer Causers or Yuckaroos 
NO GMO, parabens, phenoxyetanol, nanoparticles, silicone, PEG, perfumes and synthetic dyes, ingredients derived from animals (except naturally produced by them: milk, honey ect..), No Carmine (smushed up beetles

FOUR: Eco Packaging 
Biodegradable or recyclable packaging

FIVE: Au Naturale 
At least 95% of the total ingredients coming from a natural origin 

In my hunting, I created a small list of five brands who sell worldwide and meet my five set rule. 

ONE: IliaTWO: Neals YardTHREE: Alima PureFOUR: Well People, FIVE: Alva 

I myself bought the Neals Yard brand in Pomegranate, a choice that was based on proximity and reviews. It is a luscious, moisturising, and nourishing lipstick with subtle natural tones which compliment my skin tone but isn't bright enough to really rock my world. When she runs out, I'm going to head to a brighter colour from one of the five brands above, which I'll be sure to share when the time comes.

Let me know if you have any questions or find any great brands I missed!