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Goodbye Gloss, I'm Leaving With Lipstick

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"Bubblegum pinks" filled with sparkles that taste like strawberries. They were all the rage when I was growing up. In school we'd always compare our purples and nudes and reds (for those whose mothers' permitted it), and we could never get enough of the stickiest, gooiest glosses. At 16, I swore I'd never trade my lipgloss for a dry boring lipstick. Now, I can't remember the last lipgloss I purchased.

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--The Perfect Formula - Lancôme's longwear Rouge In Love lipstick--

In the summer you'll find me painting on the brightest and boldest colour I can find. Gone are the days of having my hair stick to my lips, or having my boyfriend tell me that my kisses are goopy. My latest obsession with the Rouge In Love lipsticks by Lancôme have had me counting down the days until payday to justify adding another to my collection.

"Collector items" is the excuse I use when anyone asks why I need that many lipsticks in my makeup drawers. Perhaps it's also the packaging that has made me loyal to the little cases of colour. There's something about a lipstick that takes me back to days of watching my mother colour her lips with Estee Lauder or Dior lipsticks. There's a feeling of maturity and class that comes with applying a deep shade of berry.

"Lipstick should make a woman feel confident and certainly more sexy and beautiful. Not just went she wears it but as she applies it on her lips as well. The act of warming this creamy pop of colour on the lips is tantalizing to the senses," says Lora Spiga, official make-up artist for Lancôme.

As the beauty industry evolves, the packaging evolves with it. Take Guerlain's stunning Rouge G de Guerlain, Jewel lipstick. My first one made me feel like I was in a James Bond movie but this time I was the spy. The pop-out mirror and sleek, silver case is one of the most glamourous packages out there, along with Armani's sleek black casing and one of the more modern designers, Tom Ford's white and gold cubes of class.

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--Ultimate Luxury - Tom Ford Lip Colour--

"A great lipstick should be beautiful inside and out, therefore packaging is very important. I like my lipstick cases to be show stoppers, like a fashion accessory," says Lora. I couldn't agree more.

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--The Accessory - YSL's Rouge Volupte Lipstick--

Of course there's the classic "black bullets" by MAC. Last week I was discussing the first ever MAC lipsticks with former Judy Welch model, Helen Bilhete. Her eyes sparkled as she spoke of Frank and Frank's first creations and how Russian red in its vintage metal packaging was in her purse at all times. MAC -- known as Makeup Artist Cosmetics back then -- was only used at modelling agencies and by makeup professionals. At the time, the Toronto-born brand was sold in their Carlton Street store.

"Russian red was their most popular colour at the time", says Bilhete.

"Madonna was wearing it during her Dick Tracy hair stages; you could say she made it popular.

"Even in recessionary times women buy lipsticks because it gives them that lift without having to pay a lot; it doesn't cost as much as a new pair of shoes. There's that saying, 'You know you're in a recession when the sales of lipsticks go up!' "

Captivated by her stories, I drifted back to my little silver cases of Rouge In Love or my gold YSL lipsticks that almost look like jewellery. With over flowing makeup drawers and lipsticks falling from my shelves, it's still not enough. A new order for five different shades of OCC Lips Tars is in the mail