Being really, really good at something is both a blessing and a curse. In Julep’s case, the indie-to-mainstream brand is widely celebrated for its chic, ergonomically designed nail polishes and audience-focused approach to branding and product development. Though Julep also sells non-nail polish items (the cleansing oil is an editor-favorite), it has always been known, more or less, as a polish brand—until now. This year, the Seattle-based company is throwing everyone a curveball and releasing a sleek, chic little line of lipsticks called Light on Your Lips. We got the exclusive first look, and (obviously) swiped them on immediately.
The verdict? To put it lightly, the entire Byrdie team is obsessed. The lipsticks go on silky-smooth and give a sheer wash of color after the first swipe, while a few more swipes delivers a more pigmented, intense color pay-off. Though they’re marketed as a crème-finish lipsticks, we found that they actually dried to a more matte finish—but without the telltale flaking, tightness, or dryness that comes with most matte formulas. In fact, we could barely feel them on our lips at all after applying—one editor actually compared it to the feeling after applying a light lip balm (crazy, we know).
At the end of the day, the pigment stayed in place with just the slightest fading; the end result was a stain-like finish. The eight-piece collection ranges from a soft taupe-y-rose to a bright poppy-red, with a shade to suit every lipstick personality. Intrigued? Keep scrolling to read our interview with Julep-founder Jane Park and find out when and where you can stock up!
Congrats on this cool new line! What inspired you to focus on lipsticks this year?
Park: This year at Julep we’re excited to bring the fun, social, innovative approach we’ve brought to nail color to the lips. We’re launching Light on Your Lips lipstick to enable women to experience high impact, rich color without the heavy, drying build-up associated with traditional crème lipsticks.
They’re definitely not like any crème lipstick we’ve ever tried!
Park: Right—this is definitely not your mother’s lipstick. Back when I started work, I went out and bought a power suit with huge shoulder pads. Thank goodness we’re not doing that anymore! Lipstick is the new power suit.
So what inspired you to do a crème finish, instead of matte or shiny?
Park: What’s different about Julep is that we give women a voice in beauty—so when we set out to launch our first lipstick line, we connected with our Mavens to figure out how we could fundamentally transform the lipstick experience for them. Through thousands of online and in-person conversations, we saw an opportunity and a huge need to update crème lipstick to deliver rich color in a micro-thin layer that feels really good to wear. Crème lipstick is also the most versatile building block to any lip color wardrobe. You can always glam it up with gloss, or layer it over a matte primer.
What do you think sets them apart from other lipsticks out there?
Park: The magic of Light on Your Lips is that the colors are incredibly rich and stay put. But, you don’t feel like you’re wearing a heavy lipstick…because you’re not. In a micro-thin layer, we’ve built in high impact pigments and our proprietary age-defying Powercell Complex that we developed while performing thousands of facials in our Julep parlors. Wearing Light on Your Lips is like giving your lips a facial while you’re wearing fantastic color. I also believe that every aspect of the beauty experience should be fun, which is why we built in unexpected surprises like a magnetic closure and a sensory “click” that lets you know when you’ve twisted the lipstick back all the way.
We noticed the magnetic closure immediately! Thank you for that.
Finally—what’s your favorite shade in the bunch?
Park: It’s SO hard for me to pick one. This week I’m obsessed with Chit Chat, a gorgeous modern rose shade—just like the dress Kerry Washington wore to the Golden Globes! For going out, I love Happy Hour. Every woman needs a gorgeous magenta in her lip color wardrobe.
Swatches from left to right: Girl Code, Twirl, Footloose, Happy Hour, Chit Chat, Tutu, Primp, Stepping Out
You can buy Light on Your Lips lipsticks at Julep.com at the beginning of March for $22.
What’s your favorite crème-finish lipstick? Will you give these a try? Sound off below!