Lets have a very quick crash-course in why you should be excited about Boots’ forthcoming collection with Lipstick Queen Poppy King. As a teenager, this makeup maverick launched a lipstick line in her native Australia called Poppy when her efforts to source a matte red from any other brand failed.
A decade and cult status later, the Prescriptives brand wooed her to New York in 2002, where she worked until the desire struck to once again branch out on her own. The Space NK-stocked Lipstick Queen line was born and is a go-to for anyone big into the business of serious, grown-up lip colour.
Swatches of three of the lipsticks in the line
So, the Boots collaboration is a new proposition for her: think of the Lipstick Queen brand as the new No7 line’s big, pouty, indie sister. Where the former quietly sells to an informed niche beauty lover who’s fond of deep pigments and brave shades, the No7 and Poppy King range is a tamer beast altogether.
Deliberately so, by the way: the whole idea was to produce a collection of shades that would offer a choice to women looking for something a little different in the mass market, yet which still offered a glam and grown-up feel. Textures are glossy and finishes are sheer yet buildable with no shimmer or glitter. As a result the lipsticks in the collection achieve an easy-to-wear positioning that’s between gloss and full-on opaque colour. That’s particularly hot this season with similar launches from Shiseido and Chanel, by the way – so it’s very well timed.
Lipstick in Glamour, heavily swatched on the left and one swipe on the right
Quick to praise the team at Boots, Poppy explained that they’d really allowed her vision to come through, giving her free reign to use the sort of weights and finishes she wanted, right through to the Marilyn Monroe and Man Ray-inspired packaging. The result is an edit that manages to walk the line between safe – nothing’s very shockingly-shaded and the finishes are medium sheer and pretty – and covetable, because it all just looks so nice.
For lipstick novices, this is a good intro to the harder stuff. I like it, for sure – though hands-up, I’m more of a Lipstick Queen kinda gal because there’s a rare thing I like more than a thick, deep bullet in a daring colour. But hey – anything that gets gals up and out of gloss is always gonna be a good thing to me.
Seven lipsticks, €16.25, and seven glosses, €14.25, form the collection, which will land at bigger Boots stores towards the end of March. Look for it from about the 23rd at Boots Liffey Valley, Cork Half Moon Street, Limerick and Belfast. Get saving!
And here’s me and Poppy, totally mugging for the camera.