17.1.08

Cherry Lips?

This post is dedicated to WendyB, who is the blogverse Goddess of Red Lipstick (ETA: and whose brilliant blog has been marked as spam by the GoogleTwits a.k.a. so-called 'spam busters'. May the Force be with her as they take four business days to sort it out...in the meantime, we can visit her here ). Also, the picture that should have accompanied this can't be put up, so I'll have to settle for just words to tell it how it was..

I've always been more of a lip gloss girl than a lipstick one. Lip gloss might have been declared uncool years ago, but given its history as the only cosmetic one could get away with wearing at school and the fact that I'm a sucker for owning it in every conceivable flavour*, my liking for it might be a little less inexplicable.
Lipstick just felt far too grown-up for me to ever be truly comfortable with it on. I know that sounds like a ridiculous thing for a twentysomething to say, but I really did believe that there wasn't a single shade of lipstick invented that could suit me. I really hate brown lipstick (which is what conventional wisdom- i.e. the makeup counter ladies- seems to say people with my skin tone should wear) and things with shades of brown because they have the unfortunate effect of highlighting every skin flaw I ever had, and quite a few that I don't. Which is deeply annoying, because my skin is actually pretty decent**- but it did leave me feeling rather grumpy about the world of makeup at large, with my options limited to a slick of clear or lightly tinted lip gloss and a kohl pencil (which may be de rigeur for a lot of Indian girls, but tends to leave me looking sleep-deprived and a little scary. Smoky eyes are one thing, panda eyes...completely different kettle of fish).
Therefore, last week- specifically, last Thursday- came as a bit of a surprise to me. Wandering around a local mall*** with an hour to kill before heading to the multiplex to see The Golden Compass, I stopped at a makeup counter and, just on a whim, asked the woman behind it to test some red lipstick on me- a look I've actually never tried before, probably scared off by one too many images of perfectly dressed 1940s women, adding the rider that it shouldn't be brownish. Five minutes later, I walked out of the shop with the purest shade of red they'd had in stock on my lips...and strangely enough, it suited me very well indeed. It did get me a lot of stares (not too many people my age wear red lipstick- most stick to pink and brown), and I don't mean to sound snotty or anything, but it looked good, and it was more than slightly refreshing to walk around messy-haired in my sneakers, jeans and big hooded jacket, with lipstick- specifically, that lipstick- on. I have a rather full mouth so potential clown resemblance (or worse, streetwalker resemblance) might have been an issue, but that didn't happen. And my skin actually looked pretty good, if I may say so myself. It turns out the whole 'red lipstick won't suit you' BS was just that- BS. And maybe the whole point of this rather long and rambly post was that something happened that I didn't think possible- namely, I actually learned that I could wear red lipstick in a way that seemed like me, without having to subject myself to a makeover for it.
The only thing that left me a bit iffy about the red lipstick way of life (and stopped me from buying the tube then and there) was the fact that the stuff is just so bloody messy. It rubbed off on everything possible- from the popcorn I was eating, to the fingernail I'd been chewing on while waiting for the movie to start, to the peppermints that took over from the fingernail a short while later- it took a lot of self-control for me to keep my fingers away from my mouth. And I don't even want to imagine what kissing somebody with that on would be like. Unless I want to pretend I'm a smudgy-mouthed-on-purpose Sabyasachi model...and it's possible that the non-transfer/long-stay/whatever Elizabeth Arden calls it version of the same wouldn't be as satisfyingly creamy. Oh, well. I can't have it all, I guess..

*
including peppermint, raspberry, chocolate, vanilla, banana, green apple, lemon, grape, strawberry, watermelon, and...tiramisu.
**People who've seen me up close for long enough or first thing in the morning are free to disagree, of course.
***a place I'd detest on principle if it wasn't the only place I could get my random sweets fix (wine gums, toffee whirls, mint fudge...)

Image from annie-thejourney.com.

20 comments:

susie_bubble said...

That sounds to me like the the purest shade of red for you and save for the messiness, I reckon you should buy it just to feel those few moments of special-ness. You'd have to wipe it all off wiht a babywipe afterwards but hey.... a few moments is a few moments!

WendyB said...

I'm hypnotized by the illustration you chose for this. Try MAC's long-lasting Lust...it's like a matte gloss and it doesn't budge. Also practice makes perfect as far as keeping it on. As for kissing? Screw that! When you wear red lipstick, men kneel at your feet and kiss your toes until you deign to take your lipstick off and honor them with lip access. And that's how it's supposed to be.

indi said...

i swear by my reds. though my mum thinks i look forty, i feel so smugly sexy even if the after effects look like i had the rasberry popsicle for all my meals. and contrary to popular belief i think red lippy works really well on indian skin.
and by the by i nominated you for the FBAs in the content category. your posts make me think and often strike a chord with me(and not just because we share a certain amount of geographical space). keep it coming!

Suzanna Mars said...

Red doesn't work for me (blonde, light eyes, light skin), but it looks wonderful on so many other people (LIKE WENDY B!!). And there is such a wide selection of products available--know your undertones first and finding the perfect shade should be easy!

I do wear brick red, but I always find the application irritating. You kinda need to be a technician with red or bear a wavy lip line. Or maybe I'm just unable to follow a simple outline.

Blue Floppy Hat said...

Susie: I'm in the process of talking myself into waiting till the end of the month - it was just a few moments (more like hours), but it's still specialness- something that I don't get very often!
Wendy: Thanks for the gloss recco, I shall keep an eye out when I run out of my current tube (vanilla, very shiny, yummy). As for the kissing part, I really do like the image you just put in my head...hee hee. Though in the interests of fairness, lip gloss- depending on how long ago it was applied- can be tremendously messy, too.
Indi: My mum is also of the school that believes red looks strange on me. But it feels so good, and the not working on Indian skin myth is just that- a myth. Maybe a lot of people just aren't comfortable with something that's so attention-grabbing?
Thanks for the nomination, and the compliment too :)
Suzanna: I've never been good at figuring out makeup, but this did teach me that there's something for everyone even if we aren't Wendy. :)
I didn't mention it in the post, but there was extensive usage of a lip brush involved. I think it looks a bit more polished that way, than applied straight from the tube..

Cee-Cee said...

i want cherry lips!!

The Clothes Horse said...

That's really cool that you dared to wear it around. I have a cherry red lipstick and I never wear it, despite my love of the color, because it seems like a neon red light on my face screaming "look at me, look at me." But if I like something--that shouldn't matter, right?
And organizing bloglists are a nuisance!

atelier said...

hihi, banana gloss sounds good, I've never tried it! I was also a gloss girl, but now, 22-year-old, I am starting to use lipstick more and more, the red one is so cool!

Romeika said...

I believe red lipstick can be very suitable to all women out there, and the satisfaction you expressed on this post after trying red is a proof of it:-) It's just about finding out the right shade. For more that I love a dramatic red lipstick(I discovered I did a year ago), I stick to some nude or cherry shade of lipgloss in my every day life.

Ah, the picture you chose is just beautiful.

Teresa said...

I myself like a berry lip stain of sorts; it's subtle and it doesn't rub off as easy as lipstick.
I also have an uncontrollable penchant for pinky-nude lipgloss. It's so bad that my friend called me Barbie the other day.

amanda said...

I have yet to find a red lipstick that looks good, not garish. I have medium olive toned skin, which I think makes most true reds look absolutely ridiculous on me. But! Your post has inspired me to actually actively seek out a flattering red lipstick, if only to have one without fear of looking like Bozo.

Blue Floppy Hat said...

Cee-Cee: I think cherry lips are fab- and you should ceratinly have them if you want them.
The Clothes Horse: That was exactly how I felt! But if it looks good on you, go for it- what's life without a little daring? And cut-pasting links without forgetting the "Paste" part is harder than one would think!
Atelier: To be truthful, I never liked my banana gloss very much. But I think a lot of my new comfort with red lipstick has come with age- my 16 or 18-year-old self would probably have scrubbed it right off her mouth. Twenty-three is much more comfortable.
Romeika: The red lipstick will be something I save for when I feel I need the specialness, as Susie puts it- which won't be every day. I'm happy enough with my glosses for daywear, just like you.
Teresa: I suspect a lip stain will be the next step for me, a transition between gloss and lipstick seems in order when I go to work.
I personally thought Barbie was a pink lipstick girl and not a gloss girl- not that that should put us off gloss..
Amanda: Like Suzanna says, I'm sure there's something for everyone (even me- the post was motivated partly by surprise). And thank you for finding my ramblings inspiring and not nonsensical! I hope you find your perfect shade too..

Perakath said...

hee hee! lip gloss is uncool? but everyone wears it...

did you take a photo with the lipstick on?

and did you like TGC? I didn't particularly, but my mom did.

Wendy Brandes said...

Thank you for your support during my time of blog crisis, Floppy. *sniffle*

Jen (MahaloFashion) said...

wish I could get my lip stick to look like the picture!

Libertygirl said...

I can't wear red (rosacea) but I wear bright pink with glee. Everyone needs some cheering up, & lipstick is a gd place to start LLG xx

Blue Floppy Hat said...

Perakath: I did take pics, but can't get them to upload.
Wendy: I hope you get your blog back soon !*hugs*
Jen: It's quite a picture, I'd envy the wearer rotten if it was a real-life woman.
LLG: Pink sounds good on your colouring, but my skin just doesn't suit most shades of it...and I agree, lipstick is such a great upper!

enc said...

I'm happy for you! At least you can wear it, albeit with caution.

I don't have the guts to wear red lipstick. For awhile, I tried to find a stain, but that didn't work, and I went back to my trusty lipgloss.

Maddy said...

I feel silly in red lipstick, but I could certainly see it on you. (at least on your personality- I don't think I have ever seen a whole picture of your face!)

Blue Floppy Hat said...

ENC: It does take guts to wear red..it took me a while to get used to it. But I still like gloss.
Maddy: You're right, I've never posted a full-face pic of myself here. And it's the first time anyone's told me my personality (as seen on the blog) suits red lipstick :)

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Fondest of upbeat music and brightly coloured sweets.