Lip Service

I have a little obsession…it’s lip color. It doesn’t matter how many I have, I’m always looking for the next shade to top my latest favorite. Pink, pinkish brown, nude, it’s always the same. I have tried reds but have only ever found one or two that remotely work for my skin tone. (I have not given up the quest, but it is waning.)
I have Hourglass lip liner in "Eden," Bobbi Brown lip color in "Baby Pink," and Hourglass gloss in "Child" in my makeup bag that I carry in my purse.

I love the look of lipstick so much, I apply it right after my foundation (we called it “base” back in the 80’s). I use a little setting powder and then go straight for the lips. I know lots of gals like to do the lips last, but I like to do them first, here’s why.

When I was a makeup artist for Clinique, Lauder and Lancôme I had great fun applying makeup for women of all walks of life. My favorite women to do makeovers on were women around my age now. This was back when I was in my 20’s. I remember grabbing them as they shyly walked past my counter and would ask them to have a look at an upcoming “gwp” or some other promotion we were having. I tried to make it fun, because makeup is fun! Once I got someone in my chair and started chatting with her, I tried to figure out what they needed, and I’m not just talking about makeup. I came to realize that maybe I would be the only person to ever tell these women how beautiful they are, what great eyes they have, or what pretty skin. Everybody needs to hear that they are pretty, everybody. Some people are so beautiful on the inside it shines right through even if they can’t see it. I wanted them to see it and my best tool was lipstick. Put on a lip and see your face transform. Try it! My great Aunt Rosie, who I named my oldest after, never wore anything but a little cover girl powder from a compact and lipstick. I can picture that tortoiseshell compact with the "C" on top and the light scent of that powder to this day. And, her lipstick! She would not leave the house without it. How precious is that?

So, I started my makeovers with lipstick and had my ladies take a peek right away. I would line the lips, put on a little lipstick and a dab of gloss and turn the hand mirror right over. Every single time the beautiful woman in my chair would smile. She would look happy and a little surprised almost as if she were thinking, “wow, I am pretty; this is going to be good.” Then, I would take the mirror back knowing I had her trust and we would continue our makeover and conversations. In the end, I wanted her to know she was pretty and the makeup application was just a tool to get her to hear the things she needed to hear that perhaps she wasn’t hearing somewhere else. I knew when she applied her lipstick she would FEEL pretty and that was more important to me than selling lipstick I was giving away confidence for free. That’s what I loved the most.

So, yes, I am obsessed with lip color and makeup in general although it goes much deeper then my quest for the perfect shades of pink.

Try a little makeover on yourself today. Put on your lips like my great aunt Rosie and walk out the door feeling pretty. And when you meet someone or see a friend and think a nice thought, say it out loud! If I meet someone who has on a blouse I like, I tell her, even if she is a perfect stranger. If someone has a pretty smile or a great shade of nail color, tell her. Go ahead, spread a little Southernshine.

Till next time,
Mama Karen