I Smudge For No One: Lip Color Options For Varying Levels Of Make-Out Potential

Get your calculator ready. There's math.
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Ranu
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Get your calculator ready. There's math.

This is my recurring, self-actualizing nightmare.

It's the end of a great date full of intelligent conversation and flirtatious looks, and we're getting ready to part ways and most likely overanalyze the conversation and looks. (At least I will.) I look confidently into his eyes and say, ”I had a really great time tonight.”

He smiles genuinely and replies, “Me too. We should do this again.”

I bite my lip and lean forward, adding, “We should.”

He leans in for the kiss. I grab his shoulders, swerve around his mouth to plant a polite kiss on each cheek. He steps back, stunned. I pause to survey the look on his face.

“What? I’m wearing lipstick!

I smudge for no one.

For each date I go on, how I do my makeup is always the trickiest decision. With hair, clothing and accessories, I’ll factor in the activity, the weather and my aversion to carrying things. For makeup, however, I have to determine where the scenario falls on my Makeoutablity Index (MI).

Yes, math is involved.

Makeoutability Index = setting I feel comfortable kissing in, rated from 1 (not comfortable) to 5 (very comfortable) + opportunity for kissing, also rated from 1 (few opportunities) to 5 (numerous opportunities)

A rating of 1 through 3 means I can definitely wear lipstick; 4 through 6, I should proceed with caution. A 7 through 10 rating means absolutely no lipstick allowed.

Here's how I've applied this theory.

Setting:: A night in at my place (5)

Opportunity for kissing: High (5)

MI rating: 10

Since I’m not into PDA, there are very few places in which I feel comfortable going at it. This one was a no-brainer for me. We were alone. There wasn't much to do but look at each other, eat or talk, so something was going to go down. (Perhaps me or him--a lady doesn't "kiss" and tell.)

Since this was a no-lipstick situation, I wore Maybelline Baby Lips lip balm. I swear by this stuff. It has a little bit of a shine and keeps lips soft and… well… ready. It also comes in a number of tints if I don’t want to entirely abandon color.

POP QUIZ: What's the MI rating of this situation?

POP QUIZ: What's the MI rating of this situation?

Setting: An afternoon brunch date, followed by a stroll in a nearby outdoor market (3)

Opportunity for kissing: Medium (3)

MI rating: 6

Oh, food. Another villain on my righteous quest against lipstick smudgery. I hate leaving a bright “my lips were here” sign on everything, but a girl has to eat, especially brunch, since it provides an excuse to indulge in breakfast foods at nontraditional hours.

While we were on our lover’s stroll through the market, we happened upon a ferris wheel. Ferris wheels are notorious for makeoutablity, so it automatically upped the MI rating to 7.

I had just eaten, though, and I could’ve gotten away with a little balm, but where’s the fun in that? Since I Google and Yelp every place I go before I go, I knew to expect the ferris wheel and applied my trusty CoverGirl Outlast Lipstain that can stand up to breakfast pastries, coffee, and "surprise" ferris wheel makeout sessions.

Setting: Party-hopping with friends (2)

Opportunity for kissing: Low (1)

MI rating: 3

There’s nothing I love more than party-hopping, mainly because of the opportunity to dance. I’m a dance-dance-dance-dance-dancing machine, so there were very few opportunities to steal a kiss. (Slow songs are for resting between the fast ones.)

In case you’re involved with one of those clever types one who will seize the moment (my date held up the wall while also holding my drink), applying a highly-pigmented lipstick like Revlon Super Lustrous Creme Lipstick with a brush and blotting between layers can help it last with minimal smudging.

I suppose another solution would be finding someone with whom I can let down my smudge walls, but that’s a whole different issue.

Do you have different lip products for different levels of makeout expectations? Do tell.