It used to be only teenagers that brandished lip gloss wands. The heart-shaped tip, candyfloss colours and gooey texture were reminiscent of leaning against your locker, sharing a vanilla-scented tube with friends. But super-shiny lips have been reincarnated this year, taking centre stage in deep, dark shades that belie their high school heritage.
At Louis Vuitton the models' lustrous scowls were painted Byzantium shades of purple, while at Damir Doma only gloss could have held its own against the exaggerated orange eyes. On Vogue's March cover Rosie Huntington-Whiteley pouted with scarlet lacquered lips, the very image of vampy, grown-up gorgeousness.
Makeup artist Lucy Pearson is more than happy to pick up her lip gloss wand again. "This isn't boho lip balm, it's much more about polish and putting a modern spin on Hollywood glamour" she explains, attributing gloss' return to the success of bold lip colours over the last few years. This is its latest twist, the same intense shades imbued with a new lustre.
A roll-call of the most sartorially successful at Cannes this year proves the power of lip lacquer. Far from girlish, they proved that gloss has shed its Lip Smacker image and is able to straddle that difficult line between pleasing the paparazzi and impressing their peers. Uma Thurman, in electric blue Armani Prive, looked impeccably polished as a juror, while Cheryl Cole used glossy lips to look more sophisticated, dimples and all, in her plunging Stephane Rolland dress. If those rumours about her leaving with three offers of a film role are true, she owes her makeup artist a favour.
These are the lips of a pulled-together girl, no doubt about that. The obvious maintenance involved - no chance of perfecting them in a blurry-eyed scramble before work - instantly suggests a seductively extravagant routine. Like blinking with the heaviest false lashes, I find that on my first foray into gloss (courtesy of Lancome's Laque Fever, in Woody Rose Satin), even ordering a coffee proves trickier. Nothing projects confidence like a bold lip, but I've never felt more fragile. Every sentence is a potential smudge of my lacquered mouth.
But in the course of a week, I'm converted. Such indulgence suddenly appearing in my morning routine becomes a daily luxury - replacing the coffees I now skip to avoid wasting any gloss on paper cups. Whether in mulberry or candy apple red, such dramatic lip-shaped stains surely deserve crystal.