Red lipstick gets a bad rap for being high maintenance, but I swear up and down that that’s just not true. Sure, you can spend hours lining lips and applying crease-proof mattes that will last until your first sip of coffee (read: five minutes after application). Or, for more of a “literally no maintenance at all” take, you can slather on Fresh Sugar Tinted Lip Treatment Sunscreen SPF 15 in Icon ($24), the brand’s newly-launched shade that imparts the most gorge red this side of 16 minutes spent applying lipstick in the mirror.
Beauty editors sing the praises of these tinted balms for a few reasons, the least of which is that they contain SPF 15 (do not get trapped in a small space with a beauty editor and not expect them to rapid-fire list off the reasons you should be slathering sunscreen onto every inch of your body). In addition to the fact that they make your lips a no-go zone for sun damage, they’re also packed with good-for-skin ingredients like sugar, which acts as a humectant to lock in moisture, and grapeseed oil, which nourishes and squelches free radicals. But don’t just take my word for it: these balms are so effective that 97 percent of folks who swiped them in a clinical trial said their lips were softened after use.
But not only do they feel good, they look good, too. The balms impart a buildable wash of color that can range from “barely-there” to “oh hi, I’m here.” Which means that this red will be just as comfortable on your Monday morning commute as it will be when you’re channeling Jenna Lyons or Debbie Harry (who both swear by a rosy hue) at your holiday party. To close, the Fresh Sugar Lip Treatment OG in me would like to leave you with with a bit of nostalgic trivia: Icon is the truest red that the brand has launched since the days of its now-discontinued Cherry Lip Treatment, which was such a cult-classic that you can still find it on eBay. Head over to Sephora for a new tube of the shade that’s destined to be a cult-fave—er icon—itself.
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