All For The Love of Lipstick

I had morphed from a tomboy who played outside with cousins to a teenager who wouldn’t leave home without makeup. But I found out you can do both.

My first lipstick disaster occurred when I left a tube of Lasting Kiss in the pocket of my white pants. After churning through the wash and tumbling through the dryer, Lasting Kiss was a shadow of its former self, but my load of whites was forever splotched and ruined.

The first time lipstick struck terror into my heart, I was reading and drinking coffee while my 18-month-old napped. Only she wasn’t napping. She emerged, Frankenstein-like, from the upstairs bedroom. Covered in blood.

I screamed. She grinned.

It was horrifying until I realized she wasn’t covered in blood. She had been in my lipstick. Her face and head were smeared with Red Revival.

Photo from The Ellen Show

The first time lipstick embarrassed me, I was dancing. I hid a tube in my bra. My sister, who is 46DD, suggested it. “You won’t have to worry about a purse when you go dancing if you stow what you need between your boobs.”

But I am not 46DD, and without enough cleavage to trap a tube of lipstick, it flew out, skittering wildly across the dance floor.

“What was that? Did you drop something?” My partner asked as my lipstick disappeared beneath a hundred shuffling feet.

photo from Bra Doctor’s Blog

“Evening bags should be just big enough for my phone, lipstick, house key and credit card.” Laura Wasser

I Love Lipstick Anyway

Despite these calamities, my love affair with lipstick continues. I first tried it, along with a little eye liner and blush, when I was 13. During a family reunion, I slipped into the bathroom and put on makeup. When I emerged, transformed, my aunts told me how pretty I looked. As suddenly as you can say lipstick, I had morphed from a tomboy who plays outside with cousins to a teenager who wouldn’t leave home without makeup.

Fortunately, I discovered you can do both. Wearing lipstick doesn’t mean you can’t still play outside, or anywhere else you want to play. Even when you’re a grownup.

For a long time, I wore something almost translucent; a shade called Snowcone Pink. Then my sister, who is a beauty pageant winner in the South, where such things carry weight, gave me a tube of Cherry Red. “Wear it and notice the difference,” she said.

She was right. I noticed the difference.

“Ah, lipstick. It has the power to dress up your face so wonderfully and draw attention to your sultry pout or you dazzling smile.” Lady Bird Johnson

The use of cosmetics goes back at least 7,000 years, according to Wikipedia. “Cosmetic body art is argued to have been the earliest form of a ritual in human culture.”

Did you know cosmetics were mentioned in the Old Testament? Around 840 BC, Jezebel painted her eyelids.

I’ve worn lipstick for a lot of decades now and I still won’t leave home without it. They say older women grow invisible, but I say throw back your shoulders, put on some lipstick and wear it with a smile. You won’t be invisible for long.

“Well, my smile’s pretty hard to miss, considering I’m a gal who likes her lipstick…the darker the better.” Dolly Parton

If you want to read more about my fondness for makeup, you can read about it here:

Although this was written too late for The Lipstick Chronicles, thanks to Kat Kou for the idea, and the encouragement to go ahead and publish it anyway.

Writer, editor, publisher, journalist, author, columnist, believer in enjoying my journey and helping other people enjoy theirs.

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