essvee

Lip Service

In Uncategorized on 9 May, 2009 at 8:24 am

I’m fascinated by perception.  At the moment, particularly so by appearance, and how what we choose to adorn ourselves with – our facades – says to everyone who dares, or not, to look.

According to my mother, I’m a Very Girly Girl.  A few friends here and there echo her observations; some others are naturally stylish and as such, blow me out of the water where the, let’s call them….Womanly Arts are concerned.  I consider myself middle of the road, if only because growing up in a small, isolated midwestern town didn’t offer the kind of exposure to the unreal standards for beauty I’ve experienced in city life.  There is certainly a big difference between maintaining one’s looks and being “high-maintenance” about them, but there’s no reason that the former should lack……polish.  And no matter which degree of the spectrum you fall into, making yourself up should be – if nothing else – Fun.

Today’s flavor of fun, for me, came in a tube of red lipstick.

My summer and fall are about to become chock-full of special occasions and accompanying special memories, so I decided I’d turn my appearance up a notch or five.  In the last few years, I’ve always stuck to The Natural Look.  And then came along a little show called Mad Men. How clever that a show based on advertising managed to pitch an era of suave, easy, utterly cool-tempered men and their knockout counterparts – women with a plethora of fire behind precisely painted liner and lips.  Faces that made a statement.  And oh, how I bought it.

The first veritable toe in the water came by way of a deep red dress.  I not only managed to look like a woman rather than a giant tomato, and I immediately loved the way I felt, loved my reflection.  It makes perfect sense – red is, after all, the color that sends pulses racing.  And then came my face. How on earth to achieve a face to complement that dress.  I’ve inherited my grandmother’s incredibly deep-set eyes, so anything more complicated than a single swipe of shadow, liner and mascara would be pointless. Said eyes are green tinged with blue, so a red lip was a logical option that hadn’t really crossed my mind. Yet.

As I was meandering about the cosmetics counters in Macy’s I came across one counter girl after another,  too busy re-powdering their noses to actually – gasp! – make a sale.  I resigned myself to get on with getting home, and started thinking of modern style icons with a throwback look – Scarlett Johansson, Dita VonTeese, Salma Hayek, Liv Tyler. Interest? Piqued. At the last counter I passed, a salesgirl happened to capitalize on the curiosity written across my face.  I noticed the counter was Dior, a go-to brand for me when finances allow.  As soon as I uttered the words “red dress” and “wedding”, the salesgirl was off to the races. Some liner, lipstick and gloss later, I found myself wearing a Very Red pout.  A statement.  Appropriately, the shade of lipstick chosen for me is named “Scarlet Siren”.  Though I have yet to go back and buy that cosmetic trifecta, that statement was a very loud, very clear Yes.

From the time I walked out of Macy’s and all the way through my front door, I had a swagger in my step.  The adrenaline of stepping outside a comfort zone, with the added bonus of the look-at-me, you-want-this-but-can’t-have-it factor.

The secret, or rather, the beauty of it all – pun very much intended -, was I had It. I can’t wait to see where this leads me to next.

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  1. Loved reading this. 🙂 And while I’ve never watched Mad Men, I could talk about makeup for days!

    Your comment about Jersey Shore and the “punchline that keeps on giving” was AWESOME–that is exactly what it is! There is no end to the ridiculousness; I suspect you could peel back layer after layer and find new things to marvel at. Unfortunately, I think I’m going to be watching this show again . . . it may be bad for my character, but it makes for a damn good laugh!

    Can’t figure out how to follow your blog 😦

    xoxo

  2. Claire, I just added a RSS widget under the recent posts tab 🙂 And funnily enough, I just picked up a new lippie this afternoon!

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