February 23rd, 2000

Don’t Believe the Hype: Dyvinyls

by Ellyn Kerr • in Beauty


First off, straight up: I don’t much buy into the beauty hype. “Beauty” magazines I read only when suffering from the restlessness of serious illness; I’ve never purchased an alpha-hydroxy acid product; I can’t seem to prioritize my spending to include the “newest shades” of cosmetics in ranges even Pantone couldn’t keep coming up with each fashion season; and my idea of a regular good skin care regime is to wash your face with water only, exercise and cut down on sugar.

My definition of genuine beauty is the spontaneous laughter of a sassy woman or man at something just a bit crazy. Fifth Avenue chic — striking though it may often be — is not the pinnacle of beauty.

That said, please accept these humble offerings towards the construction of a universal aesthetic that gets to the roots of what the multi-billion dollar beauty conglomerates only wish they could sell you: real human beauty, chaos and imperfections included.

this week: dyvinyls

ellyn kerr


To date, in this Real Aesthetic series, I’ve made a concerted effort both to include items that were gender nonspecific and to avoid particularly fussy items, like makeup. Without intending to slight to the profession of makeup artistry, I think that natural skin colours and textures and hair styles generally look better and more interesting than do trumped up, overdone styles. I have been known, after all (as when offered the free salon makeover and Aveda shoulder massage so generously included in hair-cutting sessions at Montreal’s Tonic on St. Laurent), to engage in an exchange similar to the following:

Makeup artist: How would you like your makeup? Natural?

I (after glancing at a friend whose makeover was just completed, and who had, too, requested “natural”, only to be rendered conspicuously pink and shimmery): Invisible, please.

(Makeup wearer or not, having someone gently run soft brush bristles over your face is tantamount to a facial massage, and highly recommended as a stress reliever.)

That said, as I wondered what items to review this week, one makeup product kept offering itself as a justifiable inclusion in this review series. My main criteria, you may recall, are high quality and minimal fussing. So I depart from the gender-neutral products (that is, for all but the coolest of men; think of the hypercoloured Bowie), and introduce Sebastian International’s Divinyls lip gloss, from their Trucco cosmetics line.

It would seem that different lip glosses could not vary much in quality, being as they are simply viscous, lustrous fluids applied to the lips. Before the introduction of glitter makeups, the most notable innovation in lip gloss was likely the flavouring in Bonne Belle’s Kissing Potion. (Oh, to live in the early 80s once again.)

Hailing a new era in lip accessories, Divinyls earns kudos for more than just its funk-ay name. It’s not annoyingly flavoured, as is Kissing Potion, and it’s viscous as resin, conferring longevity. Not to say that it wouldn’t be kissed off during a particularly amorous moment, or munched off during a hearty meal. But it does last an impressively long time — it was my makeup of choice for two different weddings I attended and their subsequent receptions, and left me with little need for touching up (which, without doubt, ranks among the undesirably fussy habits).

Usage: Apply lip LINER, to provide a lasting colour base for the gloss. And for the sake of all who would lay eyes upon you, keep the liner within your natural lip outlines. Really, has anyone ever been fooled by those lip-enlarging extra-peripheral traces of lip-liner applied for that pouty Hustler style?

Apply Divinyls in colour of choice. Best done sparingly: because of the product’s thickness, too heavy an application will leave your lips feeling gooey.

Enjoy the aesthetic of colourful, truly glossy lips for hours.

This is, bar none, the best lip gloss I’ve ever tried. And, lest this recommendation perhaps be diminished by the fact that I haven’t tried many glosses since leaving adolescence behind, it bears mention that four urbane, stylish, intelligent friends of mine were immediately impressed by the product when they first saw me use it, citing its durability and the way it made my lips shine.

If you, as do I, own few makeup products and prefer to maintain but a small, reliable supply, this product should be included in your inventory. Choose the Slick (clear), as it can be used with any colour lipliner; would look good, too, on bare lips.

Jazzier sorts prone to continually updating their makeup wardrobes should experiment with the whole line of Divinyls palette: Outshine Girl is a muted, brownish orange (according to Sebastian’s online colour palette); Black Dahlia, plum; Virgin Spice, an urban pink; Slayer, a russety brown; Ice Queen, a neutral pinkish beige; and Gold Digger, a brighter orange.

Only a lip gloss? Well, to each her or his own frivolity. But if you’re at all in the market for the singular one-tube makeup product that can appropriately dress your face from day to evening, and that will even last through a Valentine’s Day smooch or two, Divinyls is da bomb.

Divinyls lip gloss.
$12.50 USD, beautyofasite.com;
$12.50 CDN, Giardino’s salon, Quebec Street, Guelph, Ontario;
and at salons selling Trucco products


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