Lipstick Diary: What Keira Knightley Wore That Day + 8 Luscious-Lips Gifts

by Janine on 4 December 2012 · 17 comments

Beautygeeks love statement makeup that sets trends and pushes boundaries, but we’re also very much about makeup that looks like Mother Nature did all the hard work. She did with Keira Knightley in Pride in Prejudice, and she did it again in Anna Karenina, albeit with a little help from the film’s makeup designer Ivana Primorac.

When I saw Anna Karenina, I scrutinized every Keira close-up, trying to spot a tell-tale gleam of lip balm on the star’s ultra-healthy, rosy lips. But it was as if she wore nothing at all. How did her lips not get dry? I wondered. So when I spoke with Ivana (she also designed the hair and makeup for Hanna and Atonement), I asked for details.

I kept trying to figure out what you used on Keira’s lips — they looked so pretty, but there was no evidence of lipstick or even lip balm. What did you use?
“I used two or three different shades of a raspberry pink colour of lipstick and then I used La Mer The Lip Balm, which is very matte. I wanted her to have a little bit of a kind of a plumpness and juiciness to the lips without the shine. La Mer lip balm is very that — it’s very matte, you can use it on men. You’ll get a little bit of a kind of a thickness… it’s not Vaseline, it’s unlike any other. It’s a texture that is particularly soft, but it’s not shiny and gloopy.”

We have a little weakness for lip balms at Beautygeeks. A fancy formula makes a great present. So…

Eight kiss-worthy, lip-conditioning gifts:

La Mer The Lip BalmLa Mer The Lip Balm ($58, Holt Renfrew) contains La Mer’s famed miracle broth (click here to find out how it works), as well as petrolatum, and sesame, sunflower and castor oils, and won’t transfer glossy shine under the misletoe. Paraben-free.

Rodin Olio Lusso Lip Balm ($28, Gee Beauty) has a sprinkling of shimmering mica in its sheer, nourishing blend of natural oils including castor seed, jasmine, orange flower and argan, plus beeswax, and shea butter. Paraben-free.

Diptyque Soothing Lip Balm ($42, Holt Renfrew) is a new obsession (I blame our Liza Herz), with a beautifully, subtly fragranced (hello, it’s Diptyque) blend of mango seed butter, castor seed, cotton seed and sunflower oils, and calming red poppy extract. Paraben-free.

Chanel Hydramax + Active Nutrition Lip Care ($45, Chanel counters) is a light, slightly scented balm that includes shea butter, coconut, jojoba and cottonseed oils, and rosa damascena flower wax as conditioning ingredients.

Rodial Glam Balm Lip ($25, seduces with the scent of rose and softens with castor seed oil, petrolatum, shea butter, rosa damascena flower and pomegranate extracts, and sunflower and carrot seed oil. Paraben-free.

La Prairie Cellular Lip Renewal Concentrate ($120, Holt Renfrew) isn’t a balm, per se. Rather it’s a serum-like super conditioner, packed with hydration boosters and hoarders such as hyaluronic acid, glycerin and ceramides, smoothing aids such as retinyl palmitate and salicylic acid, and plumping agents such as collagen-encouraging oligopeptides and blood-flow boosting niacin. As well, it contains shea butter and seed oils such as castor, sesame and raspberry, plus weightless beeswax, dimethicone and polymers to help it stay put.

Fresh Sugar Soirée Mini Lip Collection ($75, Sephora, a $105 value) with eight mini balms is out of reach for Canadians — sold out at, I’m sorry. But you can still pick up the Fresh Sugar Addiction Mini Lip Collection ($58,, an $81 value), which has these six delightfully conditioning minis: Rose, Honey, Coral, Berry, Passion and Sugar Lip Treatment. Ingredients include castor, jojoba, grape and sunflower seed oils, as well as Vitamin E and slough-assisting retinyl palmitate. Paraben-free. And no, don’t share. At least not via giving any balms away.

The Body Shop Limited-Edition Lip Balm in Cranberry Joy ($6, is too cute to ignore, all shimmery sheer red with a hit of cranberry sweet. There are two others — Ginger Sparkle and Vanilla Bliss — not shown on the website; you’ll find them in most of the boutiques. Because three of these is better than one (even if one is vanilla).

Which of these balms is on your holiday wish list? Or is there one you love that we should know about?

For more behind-the-scenes makeup details from Anna Karenina, click here (brows) and here (cheeks). Photo courtesy of Alliance Films.

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{ 8 comments… read them below or add one }

Dani 4 December 2012 at 8:44 pm

LOVE that you wrote a piece on this. I had recognized the very same lip phenomenon you describe here so well back when I first saw Pride and Prejudice. I felt so silly for trying to mimic it. My attempts at replicating the look had been thwarted though. So many lip products seemed too glossy, sparkly or drying. I really look forward to trying the LaMer Lip Balm. Also, I know in your article you mentioned that Ivana used “shades of a raspberry pink colour of lipstick “. Any suggestions of lipsticks and colors that might give a similar effect? Thanks!


Janine 4 December 2012 at 10:00 pm

Hi Dani –

I LOVE that you tried to replicate Keira’s Pride & Prejudice lips! (I loved her cheeks in that; did a how-to on getting the look, even. In fact, that how-to included a matte gloss from Lipstick Queen!)

Apparently Ivana used Chanel Le Crayon Lèvres Precision Lip Definer in Rose Corail and Pretty Pink, plus Chanel Rouge Coco Hydrating Creme Lip Colour in Venise. I’m double-checking though; stay tuned!

If you want a less pricey matte balm to compare, Kiehl’s Facial Fuel No-Shine Moisturizing Lip Balm comes in at about $12.

AND guess what? Lipstick Queen’s Oxymoron matte gloss is still available via her website,!


Dani 5 December 2012 at 8:55 am

Hi Janine,

LOVE the price on the Kiehls lip balm alternative! Much easier on the pocket. I will be sure to stay tuned for the confirmation of lip colors used. I don’t know about everybody else, but I find lip color to be by far the most tricky thing to get just right. It eludes me. Finally, I just have to say thank you for sharing your expertise! I just recently stumbled upon your blog and am pretty excited about the discovery. Beauty geek heaven :)


Janine 6 December 2012 at 11:44 pm

Hi Dani,

Thanks so much re: beauty geek heaven :-)

Consider the Chanel lip definers in Rose Corail and Pretty Pink and the Chanel Rouge Coco lipstick in Venise confirmed — Ivana shared that information with an industry magazine. Cheers!


Dani 7 December 2012 at 10:29 pm


Thanks so much for taking the time to confirm the above! How exciting that there is an industry magazine with such details!

I look forward to trying some new products.


Sharan 26 January 2013 at 12:38 am

Which one do you think is the absolute most moisturising out of these? I am currently using accutane and even carmex is not enough. Any input is so very much appreciated!


Janine 27 January 2013 at 10:27 pm

Hi Sharan,

I’ve heard about how drying Accutane can be — you have my sympathies! Before you put balm on your lips, you’ll want to dab them with a bit of hydrating serum for an extra moisture boost. If you’re using a hydrating serum for your face, use that on your lips too, then put on lip balm.

If you aren’t using a hydrating serum you should — it’ll help temper Accutane-related dryness. Really good serums to consider: Consonant Hydrextreme is wonderful and all natural; Vichy Aqualia Thermal is really good and available at drugstores; Dermalogica Hydrating Booster is also good; Tata Harper Rejuvenating Serum is another all-natural option; and Guerlain Super Aqua Serum is divine.

I think maybe you want to avoid Carmex while you’re on Accutane. It contains salicylic acid, which helps exfoliate. But in combination with Accutane, it could be a bit much for you. I think you need something highly conditioning that helps keep moisture in while it attracts moisture from your surroundings (you need a humidifier!) Out of this group of balms, I’d suggest La Mer The Balm or Rodial Glam Balm Lip. If you’d like something at a lower price point, you might want to consider Live Clean Baby Non-Petroleum Jelly, or Burt’s Bees Baby Bees Multipurpose Ointment, both of which are natural versions of Vaseline. They’re made of natural oils and beeswax, that will help condition your lips as well as keep moisture in.

(You might also like to try a hydrating mist to dampen your skin and lips before you apply serum so the serum sinks in better. While skin and lips are still a bit damp from serum, apply face cream and lip balm to seal that moisture in.)

Good luck! Winter is the worst season for Accutane.


Janine 29 January 2013 at 6:39 pm

Hi again, Sharan! Based on your question, I decided to do a whole post about skin-and-lip care for anyone on Accutane. When I tweeted the link, a couple of people tweeted back that Aquaphor and La Roche-Posay Ceralip saved their lips when they’d used Accutane, too. Hope that helps!


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