Five Stars for Shiseido Perfect Rouge Lipstick

Since we don’t work for AIG and haven’t received a seven-figure screw-up bonus, we’re cutting back on discretionary spending. No more Starbucks double skim lattes. We’ll pass on those Jimmy Choo gladiators. Our personal trainer will have to be put on hold. Why take a cab when a five-mile hike would do us good?

This mindset also applies to buying beauty products. We’re only allowing ourselves one makeup purchase for spring, and the winner is Shiseido Perfect Rouge lipstick in Rose Bronze. The 20-sku lipstick range is the full first color cosmetics line by Shiseido artistic director Dick Page, who honed his craft as a makeup artist for Calvin Klein, Alexander Wang, and Narciso Rodriguez, to name a few.

The collection delivers true intense color and all-day hydration in an ultra-smoothing formula. Shiseido’s proprietary Super Hydro-Wrap Vitalizing DE supplies and holds moisture in the lips, while its Dual Optimizing Powder works with available light and adjusts the color accordingly. The payoff is continuous comfort and a depth of color that appears on the lips exactly as it does in the tube.

We put that intriguing claim to the test with the Rose Bronze lippie. Sure enough, the color in the tube-a deep rose with subtle blue undertones and a bronze pearl finish-was true to the beautiful hue that appeared on our mouth. Without screaming “lipstick,” the color had just the right amount of presence and made our lips look and feel plump, smooth and luminous. Does it get any better than that? The 19 other lipstick shades range from Baby-a gentle, classic nude color-to blood-red Dragon. Forget what we said about making only one beauty purchase for spring. We’ll take one of each.

Seven coordinating lip pencils ($20), which we didn’t get to test but are said to be smooth-spreading and smudge-proof, round out the collection. Perfect Rouge Rose Bronze ($25) is a limited-edition offer only at Nordstorm’s or through June. The other 19 lipsticks (also $25) are available at Shiseido counters everywhere. Be on the lookout for Page’s second color cosmetics collection-this time eyeshadows-that Shiseido will launch in the fall.