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Lessons in lipstick with hospitality icon Poi Eruera

Poi Eruera is a stylish icon of Auckland hospitality, known for her regular bold lipstick. As the operations manager for Odettes in City Works Depot and Hugo’s Bistro in the city, she works long hours in a public facing job - so she needs her lipstick to work hard, and stay put.

We asked her to cast her eye over five luscious matte shades, and share her expert lipstick insights.

I wear lipstick almost every day. Many years ago I worked out that if I wanted the extra 10 minutes in bed each morning (who doesn’t?), I needed the world’s fastest ‘beauty’ routine.

I’m a five minute, slap-on-and-go kinda gal and quickly worked out that I couldn’t do eye makeup in that short time, I wasn’t into the feeling of a full face of foundation, and I definitely couldn’t do anything fancy with my disobedient hair. Lipstick is my high impact saviour.

Over the years, it’s become my ‘thing’, my identifiable look, and people don’t seem to notice that I rely on its brightness to distract from the tired eyes that working odd hospitality hours can bring. Lipstick makes me feel ‘put together’.

Because of my inherent morning laziness combined with my tendency to hit snooze, I do demand a lot from a lipstick. I love liquid matte lipsticks and lip stains, and if it only comes off with oil then that’s even better. I’ll layer and blot a lip stain over and over to get the brightest colour and longest wear, or layer a powdery lippie over a stain.

I tend to stick to brands and formulas I know and love, and have been known to pack a sad when my faves are discontinued - so trying five new lipsticks in a short space of time was a whole new experience.

Revlon Matte Super Lustrous The Luscious Mattes Lipstick in Fire and Ice, $28

I love this colour - warm and slightly orange based - and while the red is similar to ones I wear, the feel of the formula is different to what I am used to. Coverage is great and really easy to apply. It has some kind of light catching pigment but not in a glittery way, which added a bit of glam and though it feels a bit waxy my guess is that helps with staying power.

It did crack quite quickly though, and next time I think I’ll layer it over a red lip stain so the cracking is less visible. Or maybe I needed to apply/blot/reapply a few times. I ate lunch with it on and only required a really small touch up - even after eating fried chicken - so apart from the cracking, it does have great staying power.

A couple of customers commented that ‘you always wear the best lipstick’ which affirmed that it was 100 percent a ‘me’ shade.

Urban Decay Vice Comfort Matte Lipstick in Doubt, $37

This lipstick photographed brighter than it looked IRL. In person it is a darker shade of red, beautiful to apply with one swipe opaqueness. It is a blue toned red, while I tend towards the orange tones. It was creamy and didn’t have a drying effect, and while it is matte, it isn’t super matte. I like how it photographed and I think I’ll retry it in summer when I have a bit of a tan as it won’t appear so dark.

M.A.C. Powder Kiss Lipstick in Devoted to Chili, $35

Fun fact: this lipstick tastes like icing sugar. This was my favourite formula of them all, a true matte that was incredibly smooth to apply. I only needed one quick coat for full coverage and it felt weightless. It felt less drying than their classic mattes, which I appreciate.

This colour was way out of my comfort zone though, and against my skin it was a browny bricky tone. It made me feel serious and a bit sombre; I felt like I didn’t look like myself. I blotted, reapplied, and blotted again but that seemed to amplify the brown tones. Eventually I felt too self conscious about it, and had to switch to a brighter colour to leave the house. I got a friend to try it on and it suited her colouring and looked great! No bleeding, no cracking and super light to wear.

Shiseido Modern Matte Powder Lipstick in Bubble Era, $55

Definitely the winner on the fun packaging front - the magnetic closure is genius! The colour is a super matte baby/Barbie pink. Again, this photographed less baby pink and more fuchsia which I have no explanation for. It did seem quite drying (though it claims not to be) and I now understand the reason for a lip primer as it was difficult to get a smooth look. A couple of coats were required, but that’s not necessarily a bad thing – the colour was definitely intense. More than two coats had a kind of pilling effect on me, so I’ll reserve it for a short wear, or a night shift. Probably more of a high summer colour for me.

Tom Ford Lip Colour Lipstick in True Coral, $88

This is a high shimmer lipstick that looked pink toned on my arm but more a bright coral on my lip, living up to it’s name. I couldn’t get an opaque coverage with this one - even after a few goes blotting and reapplying, it remained sheer and able to be wiped off in one swipe.

It did feel very hydrating but I doubted it’s longevity and couldn’t risk wearing it to work. Glossy/shiny isn’t usually my style, but I did like the colour potential and will try it with a lip stain under in summer, and use it more as an added peachy shimmer as opposed to a standalone lippie.

Lipstick lessons:

• Cream lipsticks are a totally different game than liquid to matte ones. A lip pencil would be the goer first me in future, to make sure there’s no slipping or movement, and a lip stain under for backup.

• I’m terrible at selfies and need lessons.

• The colour of my arm is very different to the colour of my face.

• Lipsticks photograph differently than how they look IRL, even if photographing in natural light. I tend to choose lipsticks after seeing them worn by someone, or after trying them on.

• If it doesn’t make you feel great instantly, it’s unlikely to improve over time. I have to feel comfortable in a shade and then it is a fantastic confidence booster.

The majority of product in our beauty reviews is gifted to our reviewers with the requirement it be trialled over a period of time. Editorial opinions are the writer's own. Is there a product you’d like to see reviewed? Let us know!

No items found.

Poi Eruera is a stylish icon of Auckland hospitality, known for her regular bold lipstick. As the operations manager for Odettes in City Works Depot and Hugo’s Bistro in the city, she works long hours in a public facing job - so she needs her lipstick to work hard, and stay put.

We asked her to cast her eye over five luscious matte shades, and share her expert lipstick insights.

I wear lipstick almost every day. Many years ago I worked out that if I wanted the extra 10 minutes in bed each morning (who doesn’t?), I needed the world’s fastest ‘beauty’ routine.

I’m a five minute, slap-on-and-go kinda gal and quickly worked out that I couldn’t do eye makeup in that short time, I wasn’t into the feeling of a full face of foundation, and I definitely couldn’t do anything fancy with my disobedient hair. Lipstick is my high impact saviour.

Over the years, it’s become my ‘thing’, my identifiable look, and people don’t seem to notice that I rely on its brightness to distract from the tired eyes that working odd hospitality hours can bring. Lipstick makes me feel ‘put together’.

Because of my inherent morning laziness combined with my tendency to hit snooze, I do demand a lot from a lipstick. I love liquid matte lipsticks and lip stains, and if it only comes off with oil then that’s even better. I’ll layer and blot a lip stain over and over to get the brightest colour and longest wear, or layer a powdery lippie over a stain.

I tend to stick to brands and formulas I know and love, and have been known to pack a sad when my faves are discontinued - so trying five new lipsticks in a short space of time was a whole new experience.

Revlon Matte Super Lustrous The Luscious Mattes Lipstick in Fire and Ice, $28

I love this colour - warm and slightly orange based - and while the red is similar to ones I wear, the feel of the formula is different to what I am used to. Coverage is great and really easy to apply. It has some kind of light catching pigment but not in a glittery way, which added a bit of glam and though it feels a bit waxy my guess is that helps with staying power.

It did crack quite quickly though, and next time I think I’ll layer it over a red lip stain so the cracking is less visible. Or maybe I needed to apply/blot/reapply a few times. I ate lunch with it on and only required a really small touch up - even after eating fried chicken - so apart from the cracking, it does have great staying power.

A couple of customers commented that ‘you always wear the best lipstick’ which affirmed that it was 100 percent a ‘me’ shade.

Urban Decay Vice Comfort Matte Lipstick in Doubt, $37

This lipstick photographed brighter than it looked IRL. In person it is a darker shade of red, beautiful to apply with one swipe opaqueness. It is a blue toned red, while I tend towards the orange tones. It was creamy and didn’t have a drying effect, and while it is matte, it isn’t super matte. I like how it photographed and I think I’ll retry it in summer when I have a bit of a tan as it won’t appear so dark.

M.A.C. Powder Kiss Lipstick in Devoted to Chili, $35

Fun fact: this lipstick tastes like icing sugar. This was my favourite formula of them all, a true matte that was incredibly smooth to apply. I only needed one quick coat for full coverage and it felt weightless. It felt less drying than their classic mattes, which I appreciate.

This colour was way out of my comfort zone though, and against my skin it was a browny bricky tone. It made me feel serious and a bit sombre; I felt like I didn’t look like myself. I blotted, reapplied, and blotted again but that seemed to amplify the brown tones. Eventually I felt too self conscious about it, and had to switch to a brighter colour to leave the house. I got a friend to try it on and it suited her colouring and looked great! No bleeding, no cracking and super light to wear.

Shiseido Modern Matte Powder Lipstick in Bubble Era, $55

Definitely the winner on the fun packaging front - the magnetic closure is genius! The colour is a super matte baby/Barbie pink. Again, this photographed less baby pink and more fuchsia which I have no explanation for. It did seem quite drying (though it claims not to be) and I now understand the reason for a lip primer as it was difficult to get a smooth look. A couple of coats were required, but that’s not necessarily a bad thing – the colour was definitely intense. More than two coats had a kind of pilling effect on me, so I’ll reserve it for a short wear, or a night shift. Probably more of a high summer colour for me.

Tom Ford Lip Colour Lipstick in True Coral, $88

This is a high shimmer lipstick that looked pink toned on my arm but more a bright coral on my lip, living up to it’s name. I couldn’t get an opaque coverage with this one - even after a few goes blotting and reapplying, it remained sheer and able to be wiped off in one swipe.

It did feel very hydrating but I doubted it’s longevity and couldn’t risk wearing it to work. Glossy/shiny isn’t usually my style, but I did like the colour potential and will try it with a lip stain under in summer, and use it more as an added peachy shimmer as opposed to a standalone lippie.

Lipstick lessons:

• Cream lipsticks are a totally different game than liquid to matte ones. A lip pencil would be the goer first me in future, to make sure there’s no slipping or movement, and a lip stain under for backup.

• I’m terrible at selfies and need lessons.

• The colour of my arm is very different to the colour of my face.

• Lipsticks photograph differently than how they look IRL, even if photographing in natural light. I tend to choose lipsticks after seeing them worn by someone, or after trying them on.

• If it doesn’t make you feel great instantly, it’s unlikely to improve over time. I have to feel comfortable in a shade and then it is a fantastic confidence booster.

The majority of product in our beauty reviews is gifted to our reviewers with the requirement it be trialled over a period of time. Editorial opinions are the writer's own. Is there a product you’d like to see reviewed? Let us know!

Creativity, evocative visual storytelling and good journalism come at a price. Support our work and join the Ensemble membership program
No items found.

Lessons in lipstick with hospitality icon Poi Eruera

Poi Eruera is a stylish icon of Auckland hospitality, known for her regular bold lipstick. As the operations manager for Odettes in City Works Depot and Hugo’s Bistro in the city, she works long hours in a public facing job - so she needs her lipstick to work hard, and stay put.

We asked her to cast her eye over five luscious matte shades, and share her expert lipstick insights.

I wear lipstick almost every day. Many years ago I worked out that if I wanted the extra 10 minutes in bed each morning (who doesn’t?), I needed the world’s fastest ‘beauty’ routine.

I’m a five minute, slap-on-and-go kinda gal and quickly worked out that I couldn’t do eye makeup in that short time, I wasn’t into the feeling of a full face of foundation, and I definitely couldn’t do anything fancy with my disobedient hair. Lipstick is my high impact saviour.

Over the years, it’s become my ‘thing’, my identifiable look, and people don’t seem to notice that I rely on its brightness to distract from the tired eyes that working odd hospitality hours can bring. Lipstick makes me feel ‘put together’.

Because of my inherent morning laziness combined with my tendency to hit snooze, I do demand a lot from a lipstick. I love liquid matte lipsticks and lip stains, and if it only comes off with oil then that’s even better. I’ll layer and blot a lip stain over and over to get the brightest colour and longest wear, or layer a powdery lippie over a stain.

I tend to stick to brands and formulas I know and love, and have been known to pack a sad when my faves are discontinued - so trying five new lipsticks in a short space of time was a whole new experience.

Revlon Matte Super Lustrous The Luscious Mattes Lipstick in Fire and Ice, $28

I love this colour - warm and slightly orange based - and while the red is similar to ones I wear, the feel of the formula is different to what I am used to. Coverage is great and really easy to apply. It has some kind of light catching pigment but not in a glittery way, which added a bit of glam and though it feels a bit waxy my guess is that helps with staying power.

It did crack quite quickly though, and next time I think I’ll layer it over a red lip stain so the cracking is less visible. Or maybe I needed to apply/blot/reapply a few times. I ate lunch with it on and only required a really small touch up - even after eating fried chicken - so apart from the cracking, it does have great staying power.

A couple of customers commented that ‘you always wear the best lipstick’ which affirmed that it was 100 percent a ‘me’ shade.

Urban Decay Vice Comfort Matte Lipstick in Doubt, $37

This lipstick photographed brighter than it looked IRL. In person it is a darker shade of red, beautiful to apply with one swipe opaqueness. It is a blue toned red, while I tend towards the orange tones. It was creamy and didn’t have a drying effect, and while it is matte, it isn’t super matte. I like how it photographed and I think I’ll retry it in summer when I have a bit of a tan as it won’t appear so dark.

M.A.C. Powder Kiss Lipstick in Devoted to Chili, $35

Fun fact: this lipstick tastes like icing sugar. This was my favourite formula of them all, a true matte that was incredibly smooth to apply. I only needed one quick coat for full coverage and it felt weightless. It felt less drying than their classic mattes, which I appreciate.

This colour was way out of my comfort zone though, and against my skin it was a browny bricky tone. It made me feel serious and a bit sombre; I felt like I didn’t look like myself. I blotted, reapplied, and blotted again but that seemed to amplify the brown tones. Eventually I felt too self conscious about it, and had to switch to a brighter colour to leave the house. I got a friend to try it on and it suited her colouring and looked great! No bleeding, no cracking and super light to wear.

Shiseido Modern Matte Powder Lipstick in Bubble Era, $55

Definitely the winner on the fun packaging front - the magnetic closure is genius! The colour is a super matte baby/Barbie pink. Again, this photographed less baby pink and more fuchsia which I have no explanation for. It did seem quite drying (though it claims not to be) and I now understand the reason for a lip primer as it was difficult to get a smooth look. A couple of coats were required, but that’s not necessarily a bad thing – the colour was definitely intense. More than two coats had a kind of pilling effect on me, so I’ll reserve it for a short wear, or a night shift. Probably more of a high summer colour for me.

Tom Ford Lip Colour Lipstick in True Coral, $88

This is a high shimmer lipstick that looked pink toned on my arm but more a bright coral on my lip, living up to it’s name. I couldn’t get an opaque coverage with this one - even after a few goes blotting and reapplying, it remained sheer and able to be wiped off in one swipe.

It did feel very hydrating but I doubted it’s longevity and couldn’t risk wearing it to work. Glossy/shiny isn’t usually my style, but I did like the colour potential and will try it with a lip stain under in summer, and use it more as an added peachy shimmer as opposed to a standalone lippie.

Lipstick lessons:

• Cream lipsticks are a totally different game than liquid to matte ones. A lip pencil would be the goer first me in future, to make sure there’s no slipping or movement, and a lip stain under for backup.

• I’m terrible at selfies and need lessons.

• The colour of my arm is very different to the colour of my face.

• Lipsticks photograph differently than how they look IRL, even if photographing in natural light. I tend to choose lipsticks after seeing them worn by someone, or after trying them on.

• If it doesn’t make you feel great instantly, it’s unlikely to improve over time. I have to feel comfortable in a shade and then it is a fantastic confidence booster.

The majority of product in our beauty reviews is gifted to our reviewers with the requirement it be trialled over a period of time. Editorial opinions are the writer's own. Is there a product you’d like to see reviewed? Let us know!

Creativity, evocative visual storytelling and good journalism come at a price. Support our work and join the Ensemble membership program
No items found.

Lessons in lipstick with hospitality icon Poi Eruera

Poi Eruera is a stylish icon of Auckland hospitality, known for her regular bold lipstick. As the operations manager for Odettes in City Works Depot and Hugo’s Bistro in the city, she works long hours in a public facing job - so she needs her lipstick to work hard, and stay put.

We asked her to cast her eye over five luscious matte shades, and share her expert lipstick insights.

I wear lipstick almost every day. Many years ago I worked out that if I wanted the extra 10 minutes in bed each morning (who doesn’t?), I needed the world’s fastest ‘beauty’ routine.

I’m a five minute, slap-on-and-go kinda gal and quickly worked out that I couldn’t do eye makeup in that short time, I wasn’t into the feeling of a full face of foundation, and I definitely couldn’t do anything fancy with my disobedient hair. Lipstick is my high impact saviour.

Over the years, it’s become my ‘thing’, my identifiable look, and people don’t seem to notice that I rely on its brightness to distract from the tired eyes that working odd hospitality hours can bring. Lipstick makes me feel ‘put together’.

Because of my inherent morning laziness combined with my tendency to hit snooze, I do demand a lot from a lipstick. I love liquid matte lipsticks and lip stains, and if it only comes off with oil then that’s even better. I’ll layer and blot a lip stain over and over to get the brightest colour and longest wear, or layer a powdery lippie over a stain.

I tend to stick to brands and formulas I know and love, and have been known to pack a sad when my faves are discontinued - so trying five new lipsticks in a short space of time was a whole new experience.

Revlon Matte Super Lustrous The Luscious Mattes Lipstick in Fire and Ice, $28

I love this colour - warm and slightly orange based - and while the red is similar to ones I wear, the feel of the formula is different to what I am used to. Coverage is great and really easy to apply. It has some kind of light catching pigment but not in a glittery way, which added a bit of glam and though it feels a bit waxy my guess is that helps with staying power.

It did crack quite quickly though, and next time I think I’ll layer it over a red lip stain so the cracking is less visible. Or maybe I needed to apply/blot/reapply a few times. I ate lunch with it on and only required a really small touch up - even after eating fried chicken - so apart from the cracking, it does have great staying power.

A couple of customers commented that ‘you always wear the best lipstick’ which affirmed that it was 100 percent a ‘me’ shade.

Urban Decay Vice Comfort Matte Lipstick in Doubt, $37

This lipstick photographed brighter than it looked IRL. In person it is a darker shade of red, beautiful to apply with one swipe opaqueness. It is a blue toned red, while I tend towards the orange tones. It was creamy and didn’t have a drying effect, and while it is matte, it isn’t super matte. I like how it photographed and I think I’ll retry it in summer when I have a bit of a tan as it won’t appear so dark.

M.A.C. Powder Kiss Lipstick in Devoted to Chili, $35

Fun fact: this lipstick tastes like icing sugar. This was my favourite formula of them all, a true matte that was incredibly smooth to apply. I only needed one quick coat for full coverage and it felt weightless. It felt less drying than their classic mattes, which I appreciate.

This colour was way out of my comfort zone though, and against my skin it was a browny bricky tone. It made me feel serious and a bit sombre; I felt like I didn’t look like myself. I blotted, reapplied, and blotted again but that seemed to amplify the brown tones. Eventually I felt too self conscious about it, and had to switch to a brighter colour to leave the house. I got a friend to try it on and it suited her colouring and looked great! No bleeding, no cracking and super light to wear.

Shiseido Modern Matte Powder Lipstick in Bubble Era, $55

Definitely the winner on the fun packaging front - the magnetic closure is genius! The colour is a super matte baby/Barbie pink. Again, this photographed less baby pink and more fuchsia which I have no explanation for. It did seem quite drying (though it claims not to be) and I now understand the reason for a lip primer as it was difficult to get a smooth look. A couple of coats were required, but that’s not necessarily a bad thing – the colour was definitely intense. More than two coats had a kind of pilling effect on me, so I’ll reserve it for a short wear, or a night shift. Probably more of a high summer colour for me.

Tom Ford Lip Colour Lipstick in True Coral, $88

This is a high shimmer lipstick that looked pink toned on my arm but more a bright coral on my lip, living up to it’s name. I couldn’t get an opaque coverage with this one - even after a few goes blotting and reapplying, it remained sheer and able to be wiped off in one swipe.

It did feel very hydrating but I doubted it’s longevity and couldn’t risk wearing it to work. Glossy/shiny isn’t usually my style, but I did like the colour potential and will try it with a lip stain under in summer, and use it more as an added peachy shimmer as opposed to a standalone lippie.

Lipstick lessons:

• Cream lipsticks are a totally different game than liquid to matte ones. A lip pencil would be the goer first me in future, to make sure there’s no slipping or movement, and a lip stain under for backup.

• I’m terrible at selfies and need lessons.

• The colour of my arm is very different to the colour of my face.

• Lipsticks photograph differently than how they look IRL, even if photographing in natural light. I tend to choose lipsticks after seeing them worn by someone, or after trying them on.

• If it doesn’t make you feel great instantly, it’s unlikely to improve over time. I have to feel comfortable in a shade and then it is a fantastic confidence booster.

The majority of product in our beauty reviews is gifted to our reviewers with the requirement it be trialled over a period of time. Editorial opinions are the writer's own. Is there a product you’d like to see reviewed? Let us know!

Creativity, evocative visual storytelling and good journalism come at a price. Support our work and join the Ensemble membership program
No items found.

Poi Eruera is a stylish icon of Auckland hospitality, known for her regular bold lipstick. As the operations manager for Odettes in City Works Depot and Hugo’s Bistro in the city, she works long hours in a public facing job - so she needs her lipstick to work hard, and stay put.

We asked her to cast her eye over five luscious matte shades, and share her expert lipstick insights.

I wear lipstick almost every day. Many years ago I worked out that if I wanted the extra 10 minutes in bed each morning (who doesn’t?), I needed the world’s fastest ‘beauty’ routine.

I’m a five minute, slap-on-and-go kinda gal and quickly worked out that I couldn’t do eye makeup in that short time, I wasn’t into the feeling of a full face of foundation, and I definitely couldn’t do anything fancy with my disobedient hair. Lipstick is my high impact saviour.

Over the years, it’s become my ‘thing’, my identifiable look, and people don’t seem to notice that I rely on its brightness to distract from the tired eyes that working odd hospitality hours can bring. Lipstick makes me feel ‘put together’.

Because of my inherent morning laziness combined with my tendency to hit snooze, I do demand a lot from a lipstick. I love liquid matte lipsticks and lip stains, and if it only comes off with oil then that’s even better. I’ll layer and blot a lip stain over and over to get the brightest colour and longest wear, or layer a powdery lippie over a stain.

I tend to stick to brands and formulas I know and love, and have been known to pack a sad when my faves are discontinued - so trying five new lipsticks in a short space of time was a whole new experience.

Revlon Matte Super Lustrous The Luscious Mattes Lipstick in Fire and Ice, $28

I love this colour - warm and slightly orange based - and while the red is similar to ones I wear, the feel of the formula is different to what I am used to. Coverage is great and really easy to apply. It has some kind of light catching pigment but not in a glittery way, which added a bit of glam and though it feels a bit waxy my guess is that helps with staying power.

It did crack quite quickly though, and next time I think I’ll layer it over a red lip stain so the cracking is less visible. Or maybe I needed to apply/blot/reapply a few times. I ate lunch with it on and only required a really small touch up - even after eating fried chicken - so apart from the cracking, it does have great staying power.

A couple of customers commented that ‘you always wear the best lipstick’ which affirmed that it was 100 percent a ‘me’ shade.

Urban Decay Vice Comfort Matte Lipstick in Doubt, $37

This lipstick photographed brighter than it looked IRL. In person it is a darker shade of red, beautiful to apply with one swipe opaqueness. It is a blue toned red, while I tend towards the orange tones. It was creamy and didn’t have a drying effect, and while it is matte, it isn’t super matte. I like how it photographed and I think I’ll retry it in summer when I have a bit of a tan as it won’t appear so dark.

M.A.C. Powder Kiss Lipstick in Devoted to Chili, $35

Fun fact: this lipstick tastes like icing sugar. This was my favourite formula of them all, a true matte that was incredibly smooth to apply. I only needed one quick coat for full coverage and it felt weightless. It felt less drying than their classic mattes, which I appreciate.

This colour was way out of my comfort zone though, and against my skin it was a browny bricky tone. It made me feel serious and a bit sombre; I felt like I didn’t look like myself. I blotted, reapplied, and blotted again but that seemed to amplify the brown tones. Eventually I felt too self conscious about it, and had to switch to a brighter colour to leave the house. I got a friend to try it on and it suited her colouring and looked great! No bleeding, no cracking and super light to wear.

Shiseido Modern Matte Powder Lipstick in Bubble Era, $55

Definitely the winner on the fun packaging front - the magnetic closure is genius! The colour is a super matte baby/Barbie pink. Again, this photographed less baby pink and more fuchsia which I have no explanation for. It did seem quite drying (though it claims not to be) and I now understand the reason for a lip primer as it was difficult to get a smooth look. A couple of coats were required, but that’s not necessarily a bad thing – the colour was definitely intense. More than two coats had a kind of pilling effect on me, so I’ll reserve it for a short wear, or a night shift. Probably more of a high summer colour for me.

Tom Ford Lip Colour Lipstick in True Coral, $88

This is a high shimmer lipstick that looked pink toned on my arm but more a bright coral on my lip, living up to it’s name. I couldn’t get an opaque coverage with this one - even after a few goes blotting and reapplying, it remained sheer and able to be wiped off in one swipe.

It did feel very hydrating but I doubted it’s longevity and couldn’t risk wearing it to work. Glossy/shiny isn’t usually my style, but I did like the colour potential and will try it with a lip stain under in summer, and use it more as an added peachy shimmer as opposed to a standalone lippie.

Lipstick lessons:

• Cream lipsticks are a totally different game than liquid to matte ones. A lip pencil would be the goer first me in future, to make sure there’s no slipping or movement, and a lip stain under for backup.

• I’m terrible at selfies and need lessons.

• The colour of my arm is very different to the colour of my face.

• Lipsticks photograph differently than how they look IRL, even if photographing in natural light. I tend to choose lipsticks after seeing them worn by someone, or after trying them on.

• If it doesn’t make you feel great instantly, it’s unlikely to improve over time. I have to feel comfortable in a shade and then it is a fantastic confidence booster.

The majority of product in our beauty reviews is gifted to our reviewers with the requirement it be trialled over a period of time. Editorial opinions are the writer's own. Is there a product you’d like to see reviewed? Let us know!

Creativity, evocative visual storytelling and good journalism come at a price. Support our work and join the Ensemble membership program
No items found.

Lessons in lipstick with hospitality icon Poi Eruera

Poi Eruera is a stylish icon of Auckland hospitality, known for her regular bold lipstick. As the operations manager for Odettes in City Works Depot and Hugo’s Bistro in the city, she works long hours in a public facing job - so she needs her lipstick to work hard, and stay put.

We asked her to cast her eye over five luscious matte shades, and share her expert lipstick insights.

I wear lipstick almost every day. Many years ago I worked out that if I wanted the extra 10 minutes in bed each morning (who doesn’t?), I needed the world’s fastest ‘beauty’ routine.

I’m a five minute, slap-on-and-go kinda gal and quickly worked out that I couldn’t do eye makeup in that short time, I wasn’t into the feeling of a full face of foundation, and I definitely couldn’t do anything fancy with my disobedient hair. Lipstick is my high impact saviour.

Over the years, it’s become my ‘thing’, my identifiable look, and people don’t seem to notice that I rely on its brightness to distract from the tired eyes that working odd hospitality hours can bring. Lipstick makes me feel ‘put together’.

Because of my inherent morning laziness combined with my tendency to hit snooze, I do demand a lot from a lipstick. I love liquid matte lipsticks and lip stains, and if it only comes off with oil then that’s even better. I’ll layer and blot a lip stain over and over to get the brightest colour and longest wear, or layer a powdery lippie over a stain.

I tend to stick to brands and formulas I know and love, and have been known to pack a sad when my faves are discontinued - so trying five new lipsticks in a short space of time was a whole new experience.

Revlon Matte Super Lustrous The Luscious Mattes Lipstick in Fire and Ice, $28

I love this colour - warm and slightly orange based - and while the red is similar to ones I wear, the feel of the formula is different to what I am used to. Coverage is great and really easy to apply. It has some kind of light catching pigment but not in a glittery way, which added a bit of glam and though it feels a bit waxy my guess is that helps with staying power.

It did crack quite quickly though, and next time I think I’ll layer it over a red lip stain so the cracking is less visible. Or maybe I needed to apply/blot/reapply a few times. I ate lunch with it on and only required a really small touch up - even after eating fried chicken - so apart from the cracking, it does have great staying power.

A couple of customers commented that ‘you always wear the best lipstick’ which affirmed that it was 100 percent a ‘me’ shade.

Urban Decay Vice Comfort Matte Lipstick in Doubt, $37

This lipstick photographed brighter than it looked IRL. In person it is a darker shade of red, beautiful to apply with one swipe opaqueness. It is a blue toned red, while I tend towards the orange tones. It was creamy and didn’t have a drying effect, and while it is matte, it isn’t super matte. I like how it photographed and I think I’ll retry it in summer when I have a bit of a tan as it won’t appear so dark.

M.A.C. Powder Kiss Lipstick in Devoted to Chili, $35

Fun fact: this lipstick tastes like icing sugar. This was my favourite formula of them all, a true matte that was incredibly smooth to apply. I only needed one quick coat for full coverage and it felt weightless. It felt less drying than their classic mattes, which I appreciate.

This colour was way out of my comfort zone though, and against my skin it was a browny bricky tone. It made me feel serious and a bit sombre; I felt like I didn’t look like myself. I blotted, reapplied, and blotted again but that seemed to amplify the brown tones. Eventually I felt too self conscious about it, and had to switch to a brighter colour to leave the house. I got a friend to try it on and it suited her colouring and looked great! No bleeding, no cracking and super light to wear.

Shiseido Modern Matte Powder Lipstick in Bubble Era, $55

Definitely the winner on the fun packaging front - the magnetic closure is genius! The colour is a super matte baby/Barbie pink. Again, this photographed less baby pink and more fuchsia which I have no explanation for. It did seem quite drying (though it claims not to be) and I now understand the reason for a lip primer as it was difficult to get a smooth look. A couple of coats were required, but that’s not necessarily a bad thing – the colour was definitely intense. More than two coats had a kind of pilling effect on me, so I’ll reserve it for a short wear, or a night shift. Probably more of a high summer colour for me.

Tom Ford Lip Colour Lipstick in True Coral, $88

This is a high shimmer lipstick that looked pink toned on my arm but more a bright coral on my lip, living up to it’s name. I couldn’t get an opaque coverage with this one - even after a few goes blotting and reapplying, it remained sheer and able to be wiped off in one swipe.

It did feel very hydrating but I doubted it’s longevity and couldn’t risk wearing it to work. Glossy/shiny isn’t usually my style, but I did like the colour potential and will try it with a lip stain under in summer, and use it more as an added peachy shimmer as opposed to a standalone lippie.

Lipstick lessons:

• Cream lipsticks are a totally different game than liquid to matte ones. A lip pencil would be the goer first me in future, to make sure there’s no slipping or movement, and a lip stain under for backup.

• I’m terrible at selfies and need lessons.

• The colour of my arm is very different to the colour of my face.

• Lipsticks photograph differently than how they look IRL, even if photographing in natural light. I tend to choose lipsticks after seeing them worn by someone, or after trying them on.

• If it doesn’t make you feel great instantly, it’s unlikely to improve over time. I have to feel comfortable in a shade and then it is a fantastic confidence booster.

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