Those gold leaf lips looked amazing on the Thom Browne catwalk, so we tried the trend out for ourselves… with disastrous results.
Once reserved for gilding Baroque palaces, gold leaf has been seen on everything that is extra. But now, Thom Browne has deemed our lips worthy of some opulent decor. A gilded lip is a trend as extravagant as it is impractical, but will the fiddly application dull the final result?
Stylist’s beauty team put Thom Browne’s Spring/Summer ‘19 look to the test full of trepidation. After all, there was a lot of gold leaf at stake.
Will the lip last five minutes? Does it even look that good in real life? Find out the team’s verdict in this very luxe edition of trend on trial.
Lucy Partington, Stylist’s beauty editor says:
“I was so excited to try this, and I was so desperate to love it that I immediately bought some gold leaf after I saw the catwalk show last September. I’m not sure why I liked the idea of wearing gold leaf on my lips so much, but sadly, the reality just wasn’t how I imagined it would be.
My heavy hand plus the delicate foil were not made for each other, plus the little flecks of gold got everywhere. On the catwalks it’s super chic, but on me? Well, it’s just a bit of a mess really.”
Hanna Ibraheem, Stylist’s beauty writer says:
“When I saw how cool the model looked with her decadently decorated gold lips, I was excited to try the look – but that was short-lived. When I tried to stick on little pieces of the gold foil, it was a lot trickier than I thought.
It kept getting stuck to my fingers, cheeks, chin; basically, everywhere except my lips. Once it was on, the foil felt uncomfortable and every time I breathed, I could see bits of gold flapping around in my peripheral vision. Not what you want from a beauty look.”
Ava Welsing-Kitcher, Stylist’s junior beauty writer says:
“Everything about this was awful, from the tedious application to the final result. I had to slick on a lot of lip balm, then tear the gold leaf into small pieces and somehow get them to stay on my lips and not my fingertips (in hindsight, maybe a brush would’ve worked better). It was fiddly and frustrating, and felt like crusty dead skin piled on top of my lips. It looks kind of cool, but I’d rather cop out and use a metallic lipstick to save my energy.”
It’s safe to say this look hasn’t earned its way onto the Stylist beauty team’s list of favourites. First of all, it looked way better on the model; secondly, it proved much too difficult to apply and maintain.
The nightmare of having golden flakes fluttering in every direction every time we dared to breathe was just too much to bear.
The power tools
Elf Glitter Primer
Festival Face Gold Flakes
Morphe M224 Oval Camouflage Brush
Lanolips 101 Ointment in Green Apple
Main image: Getty