I’m going through a lip gloss phase. It happens around this time each year, when it feels too hot to be sporting some heavy, matte lipstick, but I still want to look polished. So I’m really happy to discover a not-so-new but new to me option that’s so perfect for women on the go.

lipstick queen chinatown lip pencils | cool mom picks


The Chinatown lip pencils from Lipstick Queen are so genius for just dropping in your bag and runnning out the door. What surprised me is that they go on not like lip liners, which can get thick and crumbly and wear unevenly, but more like a sheer stick or lip gloss. Only without the slimy goop. And without the wand that always reminds me of Molly Ringwald in Breakfast Club.

(You know what I’m talking about, all ye 80’s John Hughes fans.)

It feels amazing on, and seems to strike the right balance of sheer coverage, without stickiness or the high gloss of other options. A little more sophisticated woman of the world; a little less beach bunny on the prowl.

I tried the Sheer Bluff which is a “sheer earthy nude pink” and honestly, it’s got more red in it than I was expecting–in a good way–and would look great with lots of skin tones.

But there are 8 colors total to try, and next I’m going to go for the scarlet Thriller, now that I know how subtle the formulation is. I just have to remember not to lose the giant sharpener that comes with it.

As for the names of the colors, they’re an homage to the classic movie Chinatown. Which is a little dark if you think about it (My sister! My daughter! My sister!). I’ll just stick with the the imagery of Faye Dunaway looking gorgeous. Besides, it beats a line based on her lips in Mommie Dearest. –Liz

The Chinatown lip pencils are $20 at Lipstick Queenor at ULTA stores.