The new black

The first beauty product I relied on was lip gloss. I wasn't allowed to wear make-up to school, so I'd get round this by wearing clear lip gloss, which for some reason I decided didn't count (neither did clear nail varnish, obviously). I wasn't stupid enough to test my teenage logic on my dad, so I'd apply the gloss as soon as I left the house. It was part of a daily ritual that included hitching up my skirt several inches and swapping my regulation small earrings for big, round hoops.

I haven't grown out of the hoop earrings - and, I'm proud to say, I haven't grown out of the lip gloss, either. So, even though matt lips may be one of this season's key looks, I, for one, am reluctant to give up the shine. But in the spirit of compromise, I am opting for glosses that aren't quite so glossy.

Naturel Botanical Lip Gloss, from Sisley, and Lip Lacquer in Crystal Rose, from YSL, are great clear glosses with a lovely, iridescent shimmer. Neither makes you look as if you've just eaten a greasy bag of chips, which can be one of the dangers of clear gloss. And stay away from anything too pearlescent, because it just doesn't work with dark skin. A hint of colour is a much safer bet. Bit My Cherry and Burst My Berries, both from Pout, are lovely, with a dash of red and purple, respectively. People with lighter lips should go for the cherry, those with darker lips for the berry.

If you're a fan of coloured glosses, stick to dark shades, namely reds, purples and browns. Lush Lips Colour Glazes from Molton Brown in Exotic and Ignite are fab, deep in colour (brown/red) and not too sticky. Sisley also has a good range of glosses: Café 3 is a lovely mocha shade, and Groseille 4 a stunning deep purple. But my favourite everyday shade has to be neutral - not the most exciting of colours, admittedly, but it does go with everything . Try Spite from MAC, The Body Shop's Satin Lips Gloss in Mauve, or Apricot Glaze from Calvin Klein. And for the earrings? It's got to be Topshop.

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