An Ode to Lipstick
Throw your boyfriend or girlfriend out the nearest window and lock all the doors. Kissing is officially banned for the next 24 hours, as we’re about to embark on a journey down to lipstick town! I’ve recently been feeling a little disenchanted with my own makeup habits, perhaps due to a bizarre, perhaps hallucinated experience that I had the other day. I walked into my bedroom and found my makeup bag having a gossip.
“She’s got so complacent.” My nose powder sighed. “I’d much prefer to be part of a face which a little more vibrancy. Besides, I miss you, my darling berry lipstick.”
“I miss you too,” the lipstick replied. “This natural beauty trend is about as fun as a bad case of food poisoning. Maybe if she started wearing me again she’d get a little more attention, heh heh heh.”
As you can imagine, I was furious. Not only were my cosmetics secretly sentient, but they were also totally bitching about me! But once I’d calmed down, I realised that they did have a point. I had gotten lazy with my makeup routine. And it wasn’t just me. The other day I met my friend Anna for lunch. Upon greeting her, I was impressed to find her looking refreshingly barefaced.
“Wow!” I exclaimed. “You even look more gorgeous without makeup!” Her sunny demeanour instantly soured as she told me that she was in fact wearing natural nude foundation with a subtle sun powder with a hint of no-clump lash tint mascara and shading contour cream. Don’t get me wrong, I like natural makeup as much as the next spotty lady. But why must we stop at the boring nude stuff?
When I was little I liked nothing more than smearing my mother’s Lancôme all over my face. When she hid it, I used her raspberry jam as a substitute. Sadly, my glamorous stage peaked at six years old. Now I’m just a haggard student, afraid of experimenting with fun cosmetics in case it undermines my academic persona. But seeing as I manage to undermine my academic persona every time I open my mouth, perhaps I should just throw caution to the wind and welcome lipstick back into my life.
There are masses of choices out there, but I’m far too busy to guide you through each one. Let’s just be unoriginal and copy what the designers did at London Fashion Week. After all, Nietzsche did say that it is human nature to follow the crowd. Who am I to argue with him?
Photo by Marisa Tom
We’ll begin with a favourite of the fash-pack: the Vampish dark red. Seen on all of Burberry’s models a few weeks back, this look is not for the marshmallow hearted. The dark lipstick makes no pretence at being friendly, and warns anyone off kissing you. The likes of Marilyn Manson and Gene Simmons have established it as an anti-authority, gender-neutral makeup product. If you want to really intimidate someone, then talc up your eyelashes and give the impression that you’re nothing more than a floating pair of lips, rocky horror style! Of course, if you’re not keen on diving in at the (literal) deep end of lipstick shades, then there’s always the classic, pillar-box red. Vivienne Westwood can’t get enough of the shade, so it must be cool.
But perhaps you’re less interested in making vacuous statements and more interested in making yourself look conventionally gorgeous. You’re in luck, my vain little reader, for every one of Donna Karan’s models from LFW showed off a pretty pink pout. Pink lipstick is not as Barbie as it sounds, with shades varying from a gentle peach to a fierce metallic. Pick a shade that contrasts with your skin tone to prevent a bland conclusion.
If I’m sending you to sleep with these over-parroted suggestions, then perhaps you’re part of the tiny minority brave enough to do what Erdem did and go ombre. An ombre lip can be done with a dark outline that fades into oblivion at the centre. Or it can have a heavy middle that bleeds into a more mellow shade on the outskirts. The colour is entirely up to you: paint your lips green for all I care. If anyone runs from you in the street, remember that it’s only because you look insane.
Photo by MAC Cosmetics
In The Female Eunuch, Germaine Greer scorns a dependency on cosmetics and advices women to use makeup purely for their own enjoyment. She recommends the regular wearage of Kohl, due to it being ‘the best eye makeup, and the cheapest’. Unfortunately it is no longer the 70s and looking like a panda is a bit passé. So swap your kohl for lipstick, and do me proud.
What are your favorite lip trends and colors? Share with us in the comments below!
Written by Phoebe Eccles
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