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Lucious: Hemp Colors glide on naturally.

Pucker Up

With this selection of lipsticks, you can put your money where your mouth is

By Dara Colwell

Bee-stung, flaming, stiff-upper, full and waxy, expressive. Whether they're drooping at a friend's offhand comment or puckered up in pleasure, lips always bear watching. And what outlines that boldly emotional pout, leaves a lasting mark, is regularly worn by 92 percent of American women and is the most frequently shoplifted? Why, lipstick, of course. From Cleopatra to Max Factor (who introduced lip gloss in 1928), from crayon-shaped combos to sleek, slant-topped liners, lipstick always leaves an impression. Try these on for size:

Want the lips of a winner?

Jeanine Lobell, Los Angeles makeup artist and Stila cosmetics' founder, is not only worth $15 million in international sales, she's also married to ER's Anthony Edwards. While there's no guarantee that swiping Stila colors on your smoocher will lure, say, Noah Wyle in your direction, the shades in Stila's pocket palettes look damn good. The palettes contain four complementary colors in autumnal browns or spring-inspired pinks, a brush, and a mirror for admiring your artwork. Stila also carries lip shines, liners and denim-clad sticks, all with the objective of making you look good in less than one minute. Choose from colors like Anabella (warm melon peach), Cynthia (sheer bubble-gum pink), Fiona (carnation) and Denise (pale lavender). They come when you call them, unless they're having a powwow in the ladies room.

Pocket palettes cost $36 and lipsticks $16. Try the Stila counter at Nordstrom.

Hope Not Dope

Long gone are the days when lipstick contained ingredients like arsenic, but FDC coal- and tar-derived dyes are still the norm for most brands. Enter local chemist-cum-entrepreneur Ryan Holliday and his Hemp Colors lipsticks, which are about as hip as a hippie can get. With funky colors like Scarlet Fire, Purple Haze, Sepia, Brown Sugar and Pink Satin, Hemp Colors will not only help you save the planet, they'll have you looking good as you do it. Holliday mixes natural ingredients like vegetable wax, organic coconut and olive oils with crushed iron oxides to produce a beautiful selection of lipsticks enriched with moisturizing hemp oil. Choose from matte and semimatte, as well as sheer, shimmering and glossy lipshines that run the color spectrum from neutral and honeyed brown shades to cooler ruby-red and mahogany. Take my word for it, Hemp Colors give Mac a run for the money!

Lipstick costs $11.99. To order, call 1-800-JAH-HEMP.

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From the April 17, 2000 issue of the Metropolitan.

Copyright © Metro Publishing Inc.