Prepare to pout and pucker up


Mistletoe plays hell with your lips - even air-kissing can make your lipstick feather and crack. How about some lip enhancers that look good and stay on?

Back from the Sixties, Mary Quant Lipsticks are amazing. Forget the clotted dry sticks of yore: Quant now produces the most comfortable, long-lasting and moisturising lippies around. Four different finishes in 101 shades - all in her famous brushed-silver case (pounds 12.50 at Mary Quant stores or mail order 0171-581 1811).

Quant lipsticks are very big in Japan - as are those from Kanebo BIO. Gorgeously pigment-saturated, moisturising and loads of staying power, they're one of the best lipsticks around. And so they should be at these prices (pounds 22.95 at all major department stores).

Everybody loves a great red lipstick, and Paloma Picasso's Mon Rouge is a modern classic (pounds 17.00 at all major department stores).

Not everyone can wear pastels but the perfect test-drive set comes from Prescriptives, which have launched a range of pre-packaged cosmetic gifts. Their Little Shiners include three wanded pastel glosses, perfect for the girl who has everything but still needs a stuffed stocking (pounds 15.00 exclusively at Harrods). For the Bond girl in every woman, L'Oreal offers "Colour Never Dies", a James Bond 007 limited edition colour collection for lips, nails and hair. Their ColourRiche lipstick - in burnt red, cardinal red, gold and silver - is at Boots and Superdrug for just pounds 5.29.

The Yanks have been going gaga over Revlon's famous Line & Shine, a pencil and gloss in one handy stick. A limited supply of six colours is available at Boots for pounds 7.95.

For me, however, Christmas kissing involves Origins new Shimmer Stick (pounds 10), applied over their good old favourite-of-the-stars Lip Remedy - the best pounds 7.50 you can spend. Alas the Shimmer Stick, a moisturising pencil that stays put and blends perfectly, isn't available until March. But order now, because it's bound to be a must-have.

For sheer naughtiness, you can't beat the full-on glitter and creme brulee flavour (yes, really) of Barry M's Glitter Gloss (pounds 3.95 through mail-order 0181-349 2992). This one looks and tastes so good, they'll be taking numbers for you under that mistletoe...

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