Ditch single-use lipsticks – make like Rihanna and embrace refillables | Sali Hughes

There’s now a whole wardrobe of shades available in snap-in-snap-out, plastic-saving canisters

Having just run down a posh lip balm sample in three weeks flat, leaving its plastic canister fit only for recycling, I’m wondering how much longer brands can excuse their selling of non-reusable lipsticks, and how we as consumers can justify our decision to buy cheaper single-use ones over only initially costlier refillables.

Because truly, we’re spoiled for choice. Rihanna’s commitment to refillable beauty (much of her Fenty skin line already uses a snap-in refill pod system) has now extended to lip colour, with the launch of Icon, 10 new, creamy, semi-matte lipstick bullets that click in and out of a metallic hexagonal case (they’re £28 for a complete lipstick, £18 a refill thereafter).

The formula is moisturising, packed with bold pigment (even the neutrals – Pose Queen is a rich, expensive-looking caramel; Scholar Sista makes rose seem less of a cop-out) and reasonably long-lasting. When one has been swiped to the nub, out comes the tiny plastic cartridge for recycling and in goes the fresh stick.

There’s nothing particularly revolutionary about refillable lipsticks, of course (props to Guerlain, which was doggedly selling its heirloom-worthy Rouge G bullets and luxury cases years before forever lipsticks were cool). But the adoption of refillables by major players such as Rihanna may well prove influential to brands yet to bite.

Before Rihanna was Hourglass, whose all-vegan refillable Confession lipsticks are still among the best designed. If you like to keep a whole wardrobe of shades in constant rotation, these are your best bet, since the individually covered refills (£22) snap in and out so quickly and neatly as to become interchangeable. You’ll probably need never buy more than one case (£35 for the whole thing).

Christian Dior’s first-ever lipstick was refillable, but like everything else, lasting quality made way for disposables for several decades and only recently has Dior rejoined the long game.

Rouge Dior (pictured) comes in 75 shades and four finishes, and the everlasting tube can even be engraved with your initials. You’ll certainly find a shade to suit, but I urge you toward the reds, as they include Dior’s famous 999, a pillar-box paint in a matte, satin, velvet or metallic finish, and the less famous (but more my poison, since it’s more orangey) Strong Red. Both look terrific against otherwise simple spring makeup. The whole kit and caboodle is £32, then £25.50 to refill when the bullet is spent.

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Contributor

Sali Hughes

The GuardianTramp

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