8. Uncover the world of lipstick

Hello Lipstick!

I've always thought there's something about women who wear lipstick. They seem to exude confidence. They seem powerful, strong and somewhat influential. What is it about this colourful addition to the face which changes your perception of the wearer?

In my quest to experience all of the things I expected to have experienced before turning 30, I thought the time had come to give this mysterious phenomena a go...

My first attempt - No.7 Moisture Drench Lipstick in Deep Rust
  • It started with a Boots No.7 voucher - what better opportunity to give lipstick a go than with a voucher for £3 off?
  • And with a little help from their Match Made device, the otherwise tricky decision in this new world was made easy - my choice of colours was limited to a small selection which would suit my personal complexion.
  • I soon got to work applying my new lippy and, apart from being far from 'moisture drenching' and instead drying my lips to a shrivel, I enjoyed the excitement of this new experience!
  • My boyfriend, Chris, on the other hand, did not. Instead, my new look was met with moans that he could no longer kiss me, in fear of transmitting colour to his lips.

More moisture required - Max Factor Colour Elixir Lipstick in Bewitching Coral
  • Confident that Chris would get used to the change, I continued my hunt…this time opting for Max Factor's 'breakthrough Elixir Moisturising Complex' in the hope that it might be a little more nourishing than my first attempt.
  • And that it was. In fact, I got on very well with my ‘Bewitching Coral’ friend.
  • Only unfortunately, my second lipstick made its way into the washing machine - enduring a full 2 hour cycle (I smell sabotage...).

Stepping up a gear - M.A.C Viva Glam Miley Cyrus Lipstick
  • With a handful of euros left after my Amsterdam trip, I decided to treat myself - surely a M.A.C lipstick would have it all - luxurious moisture and the staying power to wipe away any fears of contagion?
  • But what colour did I go for? With the pressure of the added price and the fact that I'd already tried a couple of lipsticks and was keen for something different, I found the decision impossible.
  • The result - I purchased a Miley Cyrus special edition in 'Viva Glam'. Yes, tired after my trip I was far too easily swayed by the make-up artist's sales pitch and the promise that all proceeds go towards helping women, men and children affected by HIV/AIDS.
  • I realised my mistake immediately of course. Miley Cyrus is not only 6 years younger than myself - but she's also a pop star. A lipstick called 'Viva Glam' is never going to suit my non-popstar, verging-on-30 nature.
  • This only called for Chris to also step up a gear...
    "I really don't like your new obsession with lipstick, it makes you look like a high class prostitute"
  • At least he opted for 'high class', as my friend Katie pointed out (always seeing the bright side that one!).
M.A.C Viva Glam - best left to Miley Cyrus I think
My last attempt - Max Factor Colour Intensifying Balm in Luscious Red
  • So I needed something which wouldn't leave me with dry, shrivelled lips; something which didn't cause question over my industry of work and something which I could conceal its lipstick-esque qualities in order to fool my boyfriend.
  • Having enjoyed my first Max Factor lipstick I returned to their gold and black counter. This time for a balm-like lippy in a classic but subtle red:
"You can build up layers so that you can choose how distinctive it looks"
  • Said the make-up artist. Perfect I thought - one thin layer when I'm with the boyf, plaster it on when I'm not.
  • However, with all my lipstick-wearing escapades, the man in question seemed to have fine-tuned his lipstick-identifying radar.
  • This time it was a low blow. Having recently been both disturbed and angered by an incredible documentary about killer whales in captivity (Blackfish), Chris' final lipstick-related words hit me hard:
"You know they use whale blubber in lipstick - you really shouldn't wear it"
Just when I'd found the perfect lippy for me - Max Factor Colour Intensifying Balm
I've since researched this claim and, although whale oil was historically used in many cosmetics, most countries banned commercial whaling and international trade of whale products in the 80s. The lipsticks we find on our high streets in the UK, therefore, no longer contain whale blubber.

This comment has got me thinking though - what are my bag of cosmetics made from and are there more natural, ethical products I should be using?

This is one to explore another time. But I'll end with a note on my opening ponders... wearing lipstick certainly has not given me confidence, made me powerful or magically enabled me to influence others. At most, in embracing a bold new look it has only confirmed the confidence that I already had. Which reminded me of a quote, directed to a fellow lipstick-wearer in fact:

You've always had the power my dear, you just had to learn it for yourself
– Glinda the Good Witch to Dorothy, Wizard of Oz

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  1. An enjoyable and light hearted read ! You

  2. An enjoyable and light hearted read ! You

    1. Thanks Ruth! İ think some of your message is missing but hope you're enjoying the challenge!


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