I enjoy watching hot women in action movies as much as the next American moviegoer, but every time I see a James Bond film I can’t help but be struck by how laughably helpless the titular “Bond girls” are. Also, they have absurd names like Dr. Christmas Jones and Holly Goodhead, which I cannot and will not ever get behind.
But! Before you go ahead and call me a killjoy, there’s something you should know. I am not above watching these decidedly anti-feminist movies—and liking them (even though I’d pick “Mad Max: Fury Road”‘s Furiosa any day). I am not above appreciating these boiled-down female characters, because I know that they give smart, talented women like Rosamund Pike, Eva Green, and Léa Seydoux the ideal opportunity with which to make themselves a household name.
And somehow, in some unspecified way, they also inspired Charlotte Tilbury to create her Charlotte Tilbury Matte Revolution Lipstick in Bond Girl ($32). For that alone, I am forever indebted to the Bond series, although this lip color could go by literally any name and I’d still like it. Love it, even.
Unlike your standard-issue Bond girl, Bond Girl has a lot of things going for it from the start. The formula is pretty delightful—though it is, as the name implies, a true soft matte with no creaminess or shine, you don’t get the chalky feel of most mattes. An insider secret, Martha Stewart-style: A lot of matte lipsticks claim to be moisturizing, but it is always, always a lie. This lipstick will not leave your lips markedly softer or more hydrated, but it will sit comfortably without drying, and the pigment seems to glide over flaky lips rather than enhance them.
Bond girls are always gone by the next film (where do they all go?), but this lipstick has lasting power. It’ll easily stay put for the duration of two movies, or maybe even three. Bond Girl is the ideal “my-lips-but-better” color, a natural wash of berry that goes on light and almost sheer at first but can easily be layered to total opacity. It leaves lips full and voluptuous, like some Bond girls but not all.
In fact, Bond Girl just makes lips look very nice all-around. Somehow, it’s inherently flattering, which is not a thing lipstick is usually known to be. It’s also working great for me as a long-lasting way to conceal my post-Juvederm lip bruises without piling on the darkest lipstick I own… but more on that later.