Elizabeth Taylor, goddess of glamour, once said, “Pour yourself a drink, put on some lipstick and pull yourself together.” I’m not sure about the drink or the pulling one’s self together, but putting on lipstick does seem to convey to the world an I’m here and I’m ready kind of attitude.
Lipstick in some form or another has been around for a long, long time. The ancient Egyptians used red dyes, Mesopotamians used crushed jewels, and a cosmetologist in ancient Arabia is thought to have been the first to create lipstick pressed in molds. Popular in England in the 16th century with upper class ladies, and manufactured in France by cosmetics companies. Different shades and types have become popular throughout the centuries. Pink lipstick is everywhere these days, and the brighter, apparently, the better. One of my many resolutions this year was to learn how to wear pink lipstick. As a porcelain-toned, redhead, the color pink causes me no small amount of trepidation. Still, I am confident that I can find a shade that will allow me to follow this adorable trend. Lipstick is one of those things that when done badly is truly bad, but when done well is elegant, eye-catching and glamorous. My goal is the latter.
My lipstick endeavors began in highschool when I experiment with a tube of burnt orange NYC brand ‘lipstick’. I’m pretty sure it cost less than $2, and I thought it was very grown up. Since then, I have gone through various stages of lipwear including gloss (Neutragena with spf 20 is unbeatable) and balm (Burt’s Bees, of course). However, I have not been completely satisfied with any one lip regimen or product. But no more, this is the year I conquer the lipstick!
I purchased two tubes; one, Smashbox in “matte red”, and the other, Sephora brand in “shimmer.” I intend to use the deep red for parties and the bright pink for any other day events. I tried both colors out in my bathroom mirror, and they looked very pretty but something was missing – liner. Lip liner is another one of those things … the things that can look lovely or horrid. So use it, but tread lightly with the liner. After
trying and failing to make myself look like a 1940ies movie star some very scientific testing, here is what I would tell my 17 year old self about how to pull off intense lips:
- Exfoliate lips – I like Sugar Lip Polish, but you can make your own at home with coarse brown sugar, or just rub a wet cloth towel across your lips
- Put on a small amount of waxy lip balm
- Line lips with a color a little lighter than the lipstick you intend to use, and then rub the liner off so just a little remains (always rub/blot toward the inside of your lips to avoid a pink smear around your mouth, because that looks like you just ate a raspberry popsicle and not like you are going to a gala)
- Then blot by kissing a napkin/back of your hand/boyfriend