Round Up: The Holiday Lip Edit

There is a certain power that comes with a good red lip.  Yes it’s bold, but those who take the plunge never look back. The holidays are the perfect time to take the leap into a new lip look, by exploring the vast array the family of “bolds” has to offer-  including the aforementioned bright reds, mixed berries, and deeper plums.

—By Lauren Walker-Lee

Though many of us are digging deep to remain cheery and bright after a very trying 2020, the lipstick effect is still in effect. A powerful little product that has powered through the great depression and other economic recessions over the decades. Yes, we have been wearing masks a lot these days but there is nothing like a pop of colour to get camera ready for a FaceTime session or OOTD #wfh post. Lipstick has the power to flip a switch, brightening the face, and saying hell ya to the world or task at hand. 

“SOME DAYS I FORGET,  THEN WITH THE GLIDE OF A CREAMY LIPSTICK AND THAT POWERFUL PIGMENT- I AM REMINDED THAT I AM POWERFUL .”

— Jennifer Harper founder of Cheekbone Beauty 


Since it is true we can’t try lipstick on the way we used to, or even make it to the mall for that matter, I have enlisted the expertise of industry insiders and Canadian cosmetic founders to help us navigate online beauty shopping. Highlighting their favourite holiday lipsticks from some new and notable brands (and a couple established players) with female founders and a commitment to a more sustainable beauty space. Whether that be clean, cruelty free, transparent, mission driven, diverse or age inclusive beauty products.

To get us started on selecting the perfect holiday lip, Joanna Montesano the founder of Saint Cosmetics, a Canadian clean cosmetics brand that creates non-toxic high performance products shares her tips on choosing the best option for your complexion.

“The best way to choose the right red lipstick is to determine your skins’ undertone. For fair complexions with cooler undertone’s, blue-based reds are best for warming up the skins’ appearance. If your skin is fair with warm or neutral undertones, it’s best to stick with a bright orange-red.”

“For medium to tan complexions with cooler undertones, both a dark and a lighter shade of red with blue undertones would be a good option. If your skin is medium to tan with neutral or warm undertones, you can get away with most shades of red.”

Here is a round up of lipsticks to get your pucker ready for the holiday season taking you from Zoom cocktails, to under the mistletoe, and marching boldly into 2021.

19/99 Lip Precision Pencil in Vorsos $26

“There’s nothing like a well crafted pencil. The product glides on like a dream and the brand images and tutorials are made to showcase all ages and races. Not the typically 20 something Instagram beauty influencer. Canadian brand 19/99 is narrowing the generational beauty gap and offering high performance products for those ages 19-99. The pencil can be used all over the lip or you can use a small blending brush and blend the product around the lip for a beautiful light lip stain or hint of colour. Also to note, the pencil can be also used on the eyes and cheeks.” 

— Brittany Sinclair, Make Up Artist

Saint Cosmetics Velvet Lip Creme $28

Plant based, clean and Canadian the founder of Saint Cosmetics has merged skincare with high performance make- up. Their collection of reds and berries  is as dreamy as it looks with a conscious commitment to quality and long wearing formulas. Their desire to support women extends to their support of Interval House, with 2% of their proceeds going to support women and children in need.


Victoria Beckham Beauty Pop Duo $56

Spice Girls fans rejoice! Earlier this year Victoria Beckham brought back her alter ego Posh in the form of a new series of lipsticks- the latest offering from her clean luxury beauty brand. Pop is a cherry red that will do just that over the holidays.


Cheekbone Beauty X Christi Belcourt Limited Edition Gift Box $125

Cheekbone Beauty is an Indigenous-owned and founded cruelty free cosmetics company founded by Jennifer Harper. SUSTAIN, the recently launched line of less waste lipsticks are poured by hand with sustainable ingredients and biodegradable packaging. Giving back to the community is part of the Cheekbone mission, where they are helping to a create a space in the beauty industry where Indigenous youth feel represented and seen.


BITE Power Move Crayon in Cognac $24

Leaders in lip colour, BITE Beauty has an array of colours and textures to suit many moods and preferences. The Power Move crayon is matte, creamy and easy to apply, supercharged with super foods pomegranate oil and African mango.


Danessa Myricks Beauty  Colorfix in Primary Red, $18

“A red lip can be done many ways, but I love Danessa Myricks Beauty Colorfix in Primary Red because it’s the most perfect and versatile red for any skin tone and will not budge once it sets. You only need a pin point amount of product and it can be applied with a brush or even less product can be applied with a finger or brush as a stain, and then you can top it up with lip balm or a clear gloss like color fix glaze.”

— Lottie,  Make Up Artist


Da Lish Cosmetics Canada 150 Lipstick $26

Want to feel festive in less than 1 minute? Add some lipstick. It sounds so simple but yet makes a world of difference in not only how you feel but look too!

The reality is Zoom & FaceTime are going to be the way most of us communicate with our loved ones for the up coming holiday season. Why not feel and look your best? I won’t be caught dead on a Zoom or FaceTime without some lipstick. It instantly makes me feel better no matter what I’m wearing and is a great way to feel festive and get into the holiday spirit. This is a new way for celebrating for most of us so why not look & feel fabulous while doing it? Try our Canada Matte and Florence long wearing lipsticks!

—Melanie Cruickshank, Founder Da Lish Cosmetics


Burt’s Bees Satin Lipstick in Orchid Ocean $9.99

Going way beyond the lip balm it is known for, Burt’s Bees now has a vast array of lip products. Including 18 shades of their line of hydrating Satin lipsticks, all 100% natural and an extension of the ec0-friendly mission Roxanne and her husband Burt began decades ago.


Kjaer Weis Lipstick in Glorious $32  

 Certified clean and organic, Kjaer Weis is a pioneer in the luxury clean beauty space. Created by New York based make-up artist Kirsten Kjaer Weis, who grew up on a farm in Denmark, saw a disconnect between natural products and the luxury experience.  Setting off in uncharted territory Kirsten created a line that is organic and sustainable (packaging too) and is as luxurious to use as it is to hold.


Glossier Generation G Lipstick in Zip $20

“I have  a few specific times I reach for the many shades of red in my lipstick arsenal. My favourite is on rainy and overcast days (which is a lot  here in London) because it makes the red even more vibrant and vivid, and of course, at Christmas time. Now more than ever we need a pick me up and what makes a better statement than red lips during a Covid Christmas, anything to lift the mood. In all seriousness, who doesn’t crave the perfect shade of red? Right now have a crush on Glossier’s Zip, surprisingly rich in colour for a sheer finish option. I go through phases but regardless of the trend red always makes an appearance. Sexy, classic, edgy it can do it all so what’s not to love, it can elevate a look in an instant, and as a stylist that is a win win. Especially on those days I’m just in the mood for a grey sweatshirt and faded jeans.

—Pascal Alhani, Fashion Stylist & Art Director 


Paba Cosmetics McIntosh Lipstick $12

Paba Cosmetics is a makeup line that is 100% cruelty free created for women of diverse skin tones. The line’s diverse shades are formulated to truly and seamlessly match their unique undertones. I love their lipstick colour, Mcintosh, which is great for the holiday season and any special occasion! I love this company because it is a Black owned company (mother and two daughters) and I love to support these companies… especially now!

—Janet Jackson, Hair Stylist 

Written on: December 11, 2020