First up we have theBalm Read My Lips lipstick in Classified. This is my go-to colour for work as it’s a lovely, moisturising nude that feels just like a balm. It’s extremely sheer and gives a lovely sheen for that natural, ‘my lips only better’ look.
Next is the Bourjois shade. The Sweet Kiss range promises a luminous satin finish in one stroke, and that's pretty much what you get. Rose Paré is a sheer coral rose with a subtle shimmer and a moisturising finish. There’s more colour payoff here than with theBalm lippies and it lasts longer than I expected with this formulation.
Finally, theBalm's Wanted is a sheer cherry red with bluish undertones that looks intense in the tube but gives just a wash of colour to the lips. It’s a great introduction to red lipstick and you can build up the colour for a deeper finish.
Other good pocket-friendly picks would be the Catrice Ultimate Shine range, or Poppy King for Boots No 7. While not one for hardcore colour fans, this look is perfect for those who like the appearance of a gloss but without that gloopy, sticky feel.
You can pick up TheBalm in A-wear and Bourjois is stocked in most pharmacies. And a final comment: with all soft, sheer formulations, be alert to the prospect of breakage; when I was swatching these, Wanted broke off on my hands and I’d trampled it into my white bathmat before I knew it. Just don’t twist the lipstick too high in the tube and you should be fine.