Some women buy a lot of lipsticks. Why? Is it necessary? Do we change our lip color every day? And what is up with that basket of lipsticks on the bathroom counter?
Une Femme D’Un Certain Age recently reviewed her lipstick collection. Which got me thinking. Here’s the thing. I buy my lipsticks because they are magic. Little red wizards with convenient pop tops. I imagine I’m not alone.
The Privileged[d] lipsticks of 2010.
Most days a pair of colored lip balms. I have a drugstore pink version purported to contain grapeseed oil. I have a reddish Burt’s Bees Balm, which I’m told is absolutely fully of pomegranate something or other. In any case, everyone ought to own a similar duo. The chief benefit being that when you put lip balm on without a mirror you don’t look even one tiniest bit like a clown.
For dress up, I continue to recommend Lipstick Queen’s Medieval red. Manages to show up both sheer and matte. The only red lipstick 99% of the population ought to wear. With black or brown eyeliner and mascara. If you are in the mood for adventurous eyes, green, purple, red, whatever, you’ll want a nude lipstick. I wear Nars Cruising, with YSL Golden Praline lipgloss on top if I feel a need for shine.
Or so you might think.
I also wear LipFusion lip plumper, on occasion. I swear either technology works or placebos are powerful. However, I made a mistake last time and bought a pink called Full Frontal. What was I thinking? I recommend clear, you can wear it with anything.
Nope. Now we enter the halls of what might be. What used to be. What should have been.
I used to wear the dusty taupe mauve below. To work. Every day. It was the color of my lips. Myself, but vice-presidential. In time, my lips faded, leaving me eclipsed by my lipstick. Never a good thing. Luckily I came to the end of the tube. It can be hard to relinquish the tools of our youth. Then Nars discontinued the color. Damage, it was called. Quite apt.
And then, of course, we have the lipsticks of all the women I imagined myself to be. Rarely worn. The Nars orange Giza gloss was the most risky, for the few days when I found the Versace gal in my soul. Not sturdy at all.
Then I collected various pinks. Because Charla Krupp told me that women over 40 should wear pale pink lipstick. Which perhaps they should. But I don’t. And won’t. Especially not one full of gold flecks. Nars Galaxy Girl. I’m no longer a girl contemplating galaxies. But I might have been. Once.
Oh, and who doesn’t own a tube of lip stain? Vincent Longo’s Cupid’s Breath. Purchased in a burst of baroque. Believing that pigment mimicking bitten lips would indicate, perhaps even provoke some deep inner, um, depth. An Artsy Cousin to Sylvia Plath. Only without the ending my own life part. Didn’t work. Turns out stains are no more romantic than anything else. But in the right light, the little bottle appears to hold blood against a vampire’s visit. So I keep it for my long-lashed, porcelain-skinned, tragic imaginary self.
And finally. One New Year’s Eve Shanghai required my presence. I scooped up a lipstick at the airport Sephora en route. Redder than anyone in their right mind would wear. The evening was spent at the Jin Mao Grand Hyatt, some 50 floors above the street. No one seemed to find my red mouth even one bit unexpected.
I haven’t worn it since.