Lipstick Queen Poppy King: “For Me, It’s About Lipstick Opening Up Possibilities”

Augusta Falletta
poppy king lipstick queen


Welcome to Lips Week on Beauty High! For an entire week, we’ll be serving up content about all things lips. From lipstick tricks and interviews with experts to lip color guides and more, enjoy everything Lips Week has to offer! 

If ever there were a woman who could be the authority on lipstick, Poppy King, the creator of the cosmetics brand Lipstick Queen, holds the title. For more than 20 years, the Australian native has been developing and re-developing lipsticks with incredible textures and shades. Ladies who’ve tried a tube of Lipstick Queen once rarely stray to any other brand, because they know what high quality lip color they’re getting. With the feel of a lip balm and the pigment of a lipstick, Poppy’s products have made quite a name for themselves.

In honor of Lips Week on Beauty High, we knew there was no one better to talk lips with than Poppy King. Below, she shares what goes into the making of her line, her favorite lip tricks, and — most exciting for us! — what’s next for Lipstick Queen.

How do you begin the process of creating a new lipstick color and/0r texture with each new collection?
I get inspired by recreating a mood, a feeling, or a finish. For example, Butterfly Ball — a formula of mine — was developed because I wanted to recreate the effect of a butterfly wing on the lips. And then Silver Screen, my latest creation, was inspired by the reflective quality of the actual silver screen that the movies were projected on that was so flattering on the women immortalized on the silver screen.

MORE: Lipstick Layering 101: How to Combine Lip Colors Like a Pro

Do you go based on trends, customer feedback, or both?
I go based on what I think will capture the customer’s imagination and increase her sense of possibility for herself. It’s not about trends for me; it’s about opening up possibilities.

What are some of the biggest lipstick trends (color, texture, etc.) for summer?
This summer it’s all about the papaya red. Red with more of an orange tinge is so fun and such a hit of that happy summer feeling. Whether it’s sheer, shiny or matte, papaya red — the fruity version of red — is so fun and suits everyone, which is why Jungle Queen the papaya red shade I designed has been such a great success.

For someone who wants to try lipstick but is nervous, what’s a good gateway lipstick?
Look for sheer but bright lipsticks, because then your natural lip color will show through but you get that satisfying pop of color without it being a full commitment. If you want to go with more a statement lipstick and haven’t before, then minimize your eye makeup and the lipstick will be less intimidating without too much other makeup. It won’t feel overdone.

MORE: The One Thing: Lipstick Queen’s New Velvet Rope Collection

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What’s your best advice for a girl who wants to try out a bold color like bright purple?
Very simple eye makeup, a little black liner, great mascara and a neutral eye shadow. Let the lipstick shade be the statement color and surround it with simple classics elsewhere in your makeup.

Any tips on getting the lipstick to stay put longer?
Apply one coat, blot with a tissue to set and then apply another lighter coat of the lipstick on top.

What’s your best guess as to how many lipsticks are in your personal collection?
Hmm…one could say thousands as I feel like every single lipstick that comes off the production line for LQ is my personal collection, as I have the wonderful job of creating them!

What’s the best compliment you ever received while wearing lipstick?
When a woman simply smiles at me on the street, I know she is smiling because she loves my red lipstick!

Can you give us any hints about what’s next for the Lipstick Queen brand in terms of products?
I have some shades and textures coming that are like nothing seen on the market before. Following the enormous success of Hello Sailor (my sheer blue that gives your lips a sexy berry look) I have continued now to design some amazing lipsticks that look unusual in the tube and have these magical effects on the lips!