An assortment of new lip products promises exactly that. Take, for example, Gucci’s Rouge de Beauté Brillant Glow & Care Shine Lipstick, introduced last month. Encased in a slender, vintage-look tube, it leaves a thin wash of color. (Like many of these products, the shades appear considerably more saturated in the package than on the lips.) The Tinted Lip Balm from Byredo, which came out earlier this month, is offered in three sheer, low-key options that suit many complexions.
Hermès recently added Rosy Lip Enhancer to its makeup line, in three pink-based versions that deliver a soft, pretty hint of pigment. (It’s pricey — $67 per tube — with luxe touches like the trademark Hermès orange box as part of its packaging.) Guerlain’s KissKiss Shine Bloom Lipstick, which was released in April, comes in 20 hues, most of which are quite neutral; one, My Kiss Glow, is a pale pink that adapts to the pH of each wearer’s lips to create a natural-looking tone.
Illamasqua’s new Hydra Lip Tints also offer a subtle slick of color. They look a bit edgy in the tube but blend into a quiet veil of plum, mauve or pink.
“There’s no fuss, and there’s no major transformation that you have to think about,” said Gucci Westman, the makeup artist and co-founder of Westman Atelier. “It’s just like, ‘I want to enhance myself.’” In April, her company released Squeaky Clean Lip Balm in muted, transparent shades of beige, pink and red; later this month will come the Lip Suede compact in Les Nudes, with four emollient colors that can be smudged together and applied with a brush or simply a finger.
Ms. Westman said her goal was to create “a civilian level of approachability and achievability.” Like most other products of this sort, they’re easy to apply, even for mere mortals. Some, like her Lip Suede colors, work on cheeks as well. Ilia’s Balmy Tint Hydrating Lip Balm, which comes out next month, can be put on without a mirror, according to Sasha Plavsic, the Ilia founder.