I don’t just WEAR lipstick. It’s a defining part of my personality, something I’m legitimately passionate about. I don’t care if that’s weird. I’m often described as “the girl with the red lips.” If you’ve been wearing lipstick as devotedly as I have (since age 14!), chances are you’ve learned many, many things in all your lacquered years.
Here are some of the things I’ve observed since the first day I slicked Clinique’s Deep Lacquer on my teenage lips:
- Eating a burger is hard, but it CAN be done. I have yet to master corn on the cob.
- No matter how “long-wearing” it claims to be, lipstick WILL rub off on your pillowcases when you pass out drunk.
- Bartenders will be either amused or annoyed when you leave a lipstick print on a wineglass.
- Your purse may tend to look like this:
- People will often ask, “Why are you so dressed up?” and look confused when you reply, “I’m not, I’m just wearing lipstick.” (My dad did this to me today.)
- Men will catcall you for your lips alone. It’s inevitable. It’s like a bright color is a target. But for real, wearing lipstick commands attention. It’s funny how many people will say, “Wow, I wish I could wear lipstick like you!” Um, you can. If you’re intimidated, do it in baby steps: a little bit blotted like a stain around the house, then keep building until you feel confident. “Every time I try a new color, I’m convinced that every stranger know I’ve never worn it before, and not in a good way,” said my friend Nora, who only wears hot pink/bright red. Lipstick chicks get nervous too!
- You might find yourself saying, “Don’t kiss me, you’ll ruin my lipstick.”
- You'll need to find a dude who’s cool with your lipstick habit. Here’s my cute former boyfriend on dating me: “I like that there’s a stereotype of lipstick stains on shirt collars, but I only ever managed to get them on the lapels of my jackets.” Yeah, that smudge of red on his khaki suit was definitely
me. And the shirt he wore under it, if I remember right. And I didn’t offer to get them dry-cleaned because I’m a jerk. Sorry, Sam.
- Another gem from aforementioned ex-dude: “Much like wearing a bow tie, the possibility for failure with red lipstick is quite high. At a certain point, red lipstick isn’t so much trying to look like a grown-up as it is being a woman.” You guys can totally “Aww!” I did.
- One day out of the blue, people (even your mom!) will start asking you for lipstick advice. When you help them connect with the right shade, you feel totally satisfied. NARS’ Funny Face is a universally flattering pink, especially for chicks with green eyes, and MAC’s Russian Red really does look good on everyone. Believe the hype.
- Finding a good lip balm is key. Nobody likes the matte lipstick-wearing chick with flaky lips, ew. My standby is Malin & Goetz, but I also like the Lip Slip by Sara Happ and good ol’ strawberry Chapstick. (I’ve melted more than one tube in my car.)
- Going out without your trademark lip, or perhaps in (gasp!) just gloss will startle people who see you regularly. “Did you do something new with your hair?” is what my bank teller asked the first time I came in without red lips on.
- You’ll embrace the transformative quality of lipstick. Sometimes, on a really shitty day, a swipe of Lady Danger on your haggard/tired/hungover/depressed/whatever face will give you a welcome confidence boost.
- The possibilities are endless. Feeling punk? Go black. Feelin’ like Dolly Parton? Frosty pink.
- When it’s 100+ degrees, you have a tough time wiping off your “sweat mustache” without smearing your lipstick.
- Friends will send you photos of their two-year-old emulating you and your lipstick habit.
- When you find The One, don’t be surprised if you find yourself buying it in triples, just in case it’s ever discontinued. It’s HORRIBLE when things you love get discontinued!
- Losing a favorite lipstick will feel like losing a loved one. I lost my Ruby Woo at a boat wedding and grieved, then immediately drove to the nearest MAC counter to replace it.
- A great new lipstick discovery can make you giddy. I am crushing hardcore on Urban Decay’s new Revolution line. They’re perfect because they actually do everything they say, from smoothing to plumping. I call them a Wonderbra for my lips. My favorite shades are F-Bomb (classic red) and Shame (dark, goth-y wine). They’ve impressed me so much that I’m even considering buying nude shades, and I never wear nude.
- You’ll lose yourself for chunks of time in the lipstick aisles of your favorite drugstore. When you separate from friends on a Target run, that’s where they'll find you.
- You can argue as to why CoverGirl’s Lip Perfection lipsticks, at $8, are comparable Tom Ford’s at $45. The shade range is awesome, they last forever and you can get them at Target. The packaging isn’t near as pretty, but they do their job. I have a lot of feelings about Tom Ford lipstick.
- When people ask why you need so many lipsticks in the same shade range, you get all bent out of shape. “They’re NOT the same! This one is way bluer! This one pulls brown!”
- New launches from lines like MAC and NARS can work you up into an excited, impatient frenzy. When MAC released the Marilyn collection, I had a makeup artist friend stockpile all the lipsticks for me and I treat them like they’re precious rubies. If you like reds, the new NARS Velvet Matte lip crayon in Mysterious Red is fantastic; it falls in between the bright red of Dragon Girl and the deep red of Cruella.
- Lipstick is your mistress, and you'll mindlessly spend a lot of money on her. I’m a hopeless romantic; true love always wins, even in Lipstick Land.
- You'll fantasize over a Signature Shade, but as it turns out, you're just never satisfied and will always be on the lookout for the next big thing. (I have 80+ lipsticks stored in an antique hatbox.)
- If you
did have to choose, it would probably be Ruby Woo. You can’t mess with perfection.
- When you leave Sephora, your hands look like you’ve got some crazy skin virus because they’re covered in lipstick swatches.
OK, fellow lipstick queens, I wanna know what truths you have to share. Spill it. Or tweet me @myfakeyelashes.