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The Berry Lips are Back

I'm quiet and baby-faced. I use nonsense words to dogs I see in the street. I get asked if I'm old enough to buy lottery tickets, never mind whether I'm old enough to drink. But berry lips make me feel absolutely ruthless. Like I have my shit together.

Make-up doesn't just transform you on the outside; it can affect your state of mind, too. I love that.

Here are my favourite, go-to, cruelty-free berry shades. The best part? They're all available on the high street and cost less than a tenner each.

Burt's Bees Tinted Lip Balm in Red Dahlia; Sleek True Colour Lipstick in Dare; GOSH Velvet Touch Lipstick in Matt Plum

Burt's Bees Tinted Lip Balm in Red Dahlia

The cardboard packaging is excessive, given that there's just a standard lip balm inside, but I do get a kick out of the fact it has its own case.

The test

A creative writing workshop and an intense library session, complete with snacks.

The result

The balm is super-soft and feels lovely on lips; it's very moisturising. It leaves a hint of colour, which is still somewhat there after eating and drinking (I'd suggest reapplying). The licorice scent won't be for everyone, but this is one to try if full-on berry shades scare you and you want an easy way to wear the look.

How much does it cost?

Red Dahlia is £5.99 from Boots.

Berry lipstick swatches
Swatches: Burt's Bees Tinted Lip Balm in Red Dahlia; Sleek True Colour Lipstick in Dare; GOSH Velvet Touch Lipstick in Matt Plum


Sleek True Colour Lipstick in Dare

Dare is a dark, Bordeaux-red shade and I was unsure when I first put it on. But once I got the courage to wear it outside the house I felt like I could slay monsters.

The test

Breakfast (Full English for me, thank you very much) and a wander round the city centre.

The result

To my amazement I surfaced from my fry-up with my lipstick mostly intact. It was a little less sharp at the edges and some of it had worn away in the middle, but it was nothing disastrous; it just looked like more of a stain. I was able to touch it up at the table with minimal fuss.

Dare is a very matte lipstick, but it didn't feel drying at all.

How much does it cost?


GOSH Velvet Touch Lipstick in Matt Plum

A purple-y shade that's a lot brighter than you'd expect.

The test

A day of shopping, plus coffee with a friend.

The result

It went all over my sandwich but not my face  impressive. Matt Plum is a really pretty colour, and quite a warm purple, so you don't have to worry about looking too gothic (although I think black lipstick looks incredible if you can pull it off). The woman who served me in LUSH complimented this shade and said it was perfect for this time of year. I quite agree.

I didn't find this lipstick drying, but it can highlight any cracks or flakes of skin, so be careful.

How much does it cost?



Are you a fan of berry lips? Which product would you choose out of the ones here? Let me know.

Beth, 24, UK. I'm a writer who loves books, animals, yoga, travel, and the Oxford comma. I share my experiences of trying a cruelty-free, vegetarian and low waste lifestyle, with the odd bit of twenty-something angst thrown in. beth.toasty@gmail.com

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