Let’s call this Frivolous Friday. And also, heavy on the illustrated-with-pictures-of-your-own-face Friday. Until like six months ago, I never wore lip product, like, EVER, except for an incredible amount of Burt’s Bees Pomegranate chapstick*, because, hello, I eat and drink a lot and also have a terrible habit of making out with people in bars—which I’m really trying to move past—so it just seemed impractical. But I’ve converted recently and am now obsessed or at least mildly fixated, because I don’t dye my hair and get tired of my face and life can be so intensely dull sometimes if you don’t do something, anything. So these lipstains. Are the best. I have like five colors of them in my purse on any given day, so if I go out after work I can decide to which degree I want to look like I gave a crap and to what extent I’m willing to look like the college student I almost should be. Bonus: they survive making out fairly gracefully, in case I backslide.
First off, ‘Gothic’ is the BEST red—crimson, even, if you want to get poetic—for not wearing off, or looking sort of sexy and stain-y if it starts to wear off a little (but seriously, some days I’ve woken up and just had to apply lipstain again because I couldn’t get all of it off from the night before). I’m really into layering it with a gloss over the top. Oprah magazine says that adding the gloss makes the red cross the line from “Sexy” to “Seedy” but Oprah magazine can go fuck itself because glossy red looks awesome.
Secondly, ‘Passion’ is this wonderful Barbie-ish pink. To be deployed, at least for me, only on phenomenally good hair days, because with frizzy curly hair, it can look a little bit teeny-bopper-at-Claire’s. However, with the right outfit/hair/attitude it communicates a really great “I tried, but not too hard, I have a vibrant personality and the nerve to wear bright lipstain” vibe. Again, improved by a layer of gloss.
Thirdly, ‘Victorian’ is the absolute best for natural-but-better, “oh I just bit my lips in a sexy, not bloody kind of way” colored lips. It’s the one I feel ok about wearing at work (or even to a job interview). It’s very Kate Winslet in Titanic. It also wears off pretty unobstrusively and if you apply aforementioned Burt’s Bees over it, it will just sort of gradually fade over the day if you don’t feel like reapplying.
Finally, ‘Crave’ is not nearly as dark as it looks in the tube and is a little TOO subtle. As in, it makes me feel like I’m wasting 10 bucks on something that’s making my lips look basically the same. But if you’re new to the lipstain game, it’s a good starter and gives you the courage to work up to the others.
For putting it on: brush your teeth, then use the toothbrush to exfoliate your lips. Then apply the lipstain, without applying any balm or chapstick post-exfoliation. These ones come with a nifty balm on the other side that you put on after the color. Then apply gloss, or not, to taste.
As for reapplication, here’s the dealio. I’m not setting myself up as any kind of Makeup Expert, but I am an eating and drinking in excess Expert. I once texted Hannah, en route to a hangout, to say that I was wearing red lipstick and hanging out for an entire night with a Guy-capital-letter where there was drinking and eating and what was I thinking?! But know what? I drank multiple drinks and ate fries and laughed a bunch AND I got laid. SO. Key #1: Straws. They are your friend. Key #2: If you’re in a group, whenever you go to the bathroom, touch up real quick. If you’re on a date whenever HE (or she, whatever, I don’t know your life) goes to the bathroom, just dab a little on. Or, if you have more assurance than I, just be like, “Listen, I’m gonna put some makeup on my mouth now, hope that’s cool.” Key #3: Don’t give too much of a fuck. Seriously, don’t, like, vigorously scrub your lips with a napkin, but don’t let this ruin your night.
So yeah, I don’t know, go forth and develop a more high-maintenance makeup routine, or something. It’s just fun, if you have the free time and get bored with your regular face—there’s nothing wrong with your regular face, but anything’s going to get tedious 24/7. And this all seems terribly frivolous in the face of immense things and the fact of our own mortality, and it IS frivolous, but you can’t think all the time about how you’re going to die someday, and when you do, you had might as well think to yourself, “Better paint my lips colors today, then.”
*One time this guy kissed me and then laughed and said, “You taste like Burt’s Bees,” and we were sitting by the Egyptian Obelisk in Central Park and it was such a WB teen show moment and totally swoonworthy even though I wasn’t a teen anymore.