When I was growing up, no object contained as much high-powered feminine mystique as a tube of lipstick. Seeing a woman whip one of those things out was like watching a cowboy with a pistol. It was danger, in a two inch tube. And even before I knew what sexy meant, I knew it involved uncapping one of these babies.
Once my allowance caught up to my teenaged beauty dreams, lipstick and I were finally free to see one another. I would go to the drugstore every other day to try on shades and make puckered lips in the tiny mirrors, until it was clear that the cashiers were onto me and I’d have to buy something or get yelled at. Lesson #1: if you sample the equivalent of half a tube of lipstick, you’re gonna have to fork over the cash for it.
Here are some other lessons I’ve learned from these itty-bitty lip boosters.
I am not a supermodel. Early on in my relationship with lipstick, I thought the only way to wear lipstick was in bright red (or orange, or *gasp* BURGUNDY) and frosted on like a cake. At some point I realized I did not have Cindy Crawford’s face, coloring, or wonderfully supple lips. Tenth grade become much better once I figured this out.
Extra effort always wins. I wear lipstick most days/nights with the exception of Sundays. But most of the time, it’s the last thing I do before hopping out my front door, one shoe dangling in my hand and the other, dangling off my heel. On a recent trip to Sephora, I was re-introduced to lip-liner. If an extra minute is what it takes to have a mouth like a French film star, then the train will have to wait. Why did I ever stop using liner? Oh yeah. This is why.
Sometimes, guys won’t care…and that’s ok. Every woman spends a good portion of her formative years primping and styling and grooming because it’s what guys want. And then, after dropping a couple hundred on lingerie that barely earns an appreciative grunt before getting thrown on the floor, she learns that certain things are performed solely for her satisfaction. And somehow, that makes them even more valuable.
Once you find something that works, it’s ok to do it all the time. Variety is the spice of life! Why settle for one when you can have five? Wouldn’t you like to try the new upgraded version? There are certain nights when nothing sounds more fun than painting myself a completely new face (or as close to new as makeup can do). But I’ve learned to appreciate a little thing known as a signature look.
It’s really easy to look put together. Certain women will always intimidate me with their prestigious credentials, fancy briefcases, and power updo’s. But I know that underneath their well-matched lipstick, they’ve got their own unpolished surfaces to deal with. On the reverse, a swipe of red lipstick is a pretty perfect antidote to anytime I’m feeling less-than pretty and perfect.
When in doubt, seal it with a kiss. Lipstick makes you feel like a Woman. A Capital W, Romantic Movie Character, but Still Empowered Enough to Make the First Move sort of Woman. Smudge-proof or not, no man is going to complain about that. Plus, after it comes off, you get to put it back on. And it’s a well-documented fact that applying lipstick is a potent form of dude-mystification.