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How to Look Better on Zoom Calls — Easy, Glossy Balms

By Renée Batchelor

Tung Pham. Styled by Michelle KokFrom left: Chantecaille Lip Chic in Passion Flower, S$80; Nars Afterglow Lip Balm in Deep Throat, S$40; Rouge Hermès Poppy Lip Shine, S$103; Dior Addict Stellar Halo Shine in 669 Superstar, S$52.

Makeup may be the last thing on the minds of those stuck at home. But the reality is that the occasional (or ubiquitous) Zoom meeting means that basic makeup may still be an essential in a period where many are working from home. Lip balm has always straddled the line between skincare and makeup — essentially it acts like a moisturiser for the lip area, and prevents dryness and chapping in cold and windy climates. But makeup brands have been combining its balmy and comforting texture with a touch of colour and a glossy finish for years, in an attempt to perfect this easy, no-makeup staple.

Luxury house Hermès’s debut lipstick line focuses on a wide range of matte and satin lipsticks, but also offers both a single lip balm as well as a gloss. The Poppy Lip Shine from Hermès contains mother-of-pearl micro particles that give it an ultra-glossy finish, while feeling very comfortable on the lips. Designed to be applied and re-applied on bare lips at any time of the day, the natural orange tone enhances the colour of the lips without being overwhelming — you’ll get just a light tint and a hint of shine. And if you love packaging, the white, orange and permabrass striped design of the Lip Shine stamped with the brand’s logo on the cap will convince you that it is an objet d’art worth splurging on.

Dior is known for its lipsticks and is constantly reinventing and upgrading them in a bid to improve the comfort, colour payoff and the longevity of its products. The new Dior Addict Stellar Halo Shine comes adorned with a star —a special formula has been poured into the lipstick and is infused with pearlescent pigments to give the lips extra shine when applied. The formula contains a base of natural-origin beeswax, oils and aloe vera to give your kissers long-lasting hydration. A step up from a colourless balm, this is scented with notes of musky vanilla and comes in 15 shades, including our favourite, Superstar, a bright orange with a sheer finish.

Nars Afterglow Lip Balm is similarly infused with skincare ingredients to care for your lips. It contains a monoi hydrating complex to smoothen the delicate skin on the lips and a blend of antioxidants to protect them. These come in eight shades including Clean Cut, a clear balm, and new shades like Dolce Vita, a sheer cherry rose and Deep Throat, a pink with shimmer. The best part about these balms is that they’re easy to apply. No mirror is needed, as they are much more forgiving than a full-on lipstick.

Chantecaille’s Lip Chic is meant to be a hybrid between a gloss and a lipstick. Like balm, it has a rich, meltingly soft texture but it also has the shine and plumping effects of a gloss. For this season, the brand is offering the Lip Chic in four limited edition shades with 5 per cent of sales going towards the work done by the Amazon Conservation Team. Each lipstick is named after a flower that is found in the Amazon. The shade Passion Flower is a fresh coral that will instantly brighten the complexion.