In the mid-1990’s boutique make-up brands were all the range. When I first started at Vogue House as a very junior, junior, the hip girls were all wearing nail varnish that looked like pastel Tippex from Urban Decay, and every month it seemed like another cool brand with a must-have product was launched. Inevitably nearly all of them ended up being bought by the big luxury conglomerates that recognised that the new niche brands were stealing their thunder.

One of my favourites was always Poppy, a capsule collection of the perfect red lipsticks for any complexion, formulated by a twenty something Australian called Poppy King, stocked by SpaceNK, & which I shot for my beauty pages at every available opportunity.

Eventually she too got snapped up, and went off to Estée Lauder to work in development there. But now she’s back with Lipstick Queen, which launches exclusively in UK Space NK stores and online in the UK from August 3. (It’s already available in Barneys in the US). The range was designed to offer rich lipsticks reminiscent of the 1940s and includes two formulations: Saints, a sheer formula with a hint of colour, and Sinners, an opaque formula with a creamy, matte finish.

It’s perfect timing as the strong lip is key for AW, and already this summer a bright colour looks perfect. I can’t wear red lipstick, so I’ve been wearing an almost neon pink, Revlon’s Love That Pink – a last-minute drugstore buy before a date with S. Before that I religiously wore Red Earth’s Lip Lacquer in Fuchsia which is fabulous, one of the best lip products in the best colours ever, but unfortunately no longer sold in Europe or America.

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*Huff* I tried to relive my youth by looking for Revlon’s Love That Red lipstick (worn by moi in the 80s, and my mum before me) and lo, I couldn’t even FIND it in House of Fraser or Selfridges. “Try Boots” suggested a would-be helpful staffer. I rolled my eyes thinking “No, it’s not some crappy brand, it’s old school Revlon dammit!” but sure enough Revlon WAS at Boots, just not my shade.

There was a very sweet article with Poppy King in US Vogue (er…or was it UK Harpers?) recently. All about how Jerry Hall inspired her to launch her label. Totally inspiring!

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