Sunday, March 28, 2010

"When Blue, Wear Red"... Rouge Coco ... The return of lipstick

Call it marketing, the economy or just plain wonderful. The return of lipstick! Not gloss. Lipstick.

One of my first memories as a young girl was sitting on the edge of the tub, watching my mother apply lipstick. A daily task she approached with absolute precision, stopping only to admire its application, before softly applying tissue to her lips, blotting, then gently turning the swivel base to apply more.

Wearing lipstick was something I could not wait to do. I remember the first Easter Sunday she applied the faintest tint of pink to my lips. Immediately, my WHOLE attitude changed. My walk, my head was higher, my shoulders were back. I was a woman. I was a mess! At that defining moment lipstick became my caviar, my luxury.

With the flick of color, I imagined myself to be one of the images in film, I begged to stay awake late to watch. I was Bette Davis! I was Blanche DuBois. I was Elizabeth Taylor in that beautiful silk slip in a 'Streetcar named Desire', even if I did'nt know (or care) what all of that meant. I was Cyd Cherisse dancing with my idol Fred Astaire. I was grown. At least, as long as that one brushstroke lasted. It was a long stretch between Easter and Christmas. When she promised I could wear more. Secretly, that Christmas, all I really wanted was another brushstoke of pink.

You can blame it on marketing but it really is true. Young girls truly have not experienced the application of lipstick, as a rite of passage the way a young man looks to shaving. Current practice dictates a few pumps of the 'gooby-lipgloss' from a plastic applicator and you're out the door. No mirror needed. Believe me, I am guilty of that too.

The best handbags were those with mirrors for the application of lipstick. I want more like, that I don't have to search for on Ebay! I always have no less that ten colors with me. With handbags costing way beyond thousands of dollars, they should all come with 'lady mirrors'.

When the ecomomy sours, and lord knows our has been beyond rancid lately, women typically purchase the one thing they can absolutely afford. Lipstick. She may have thrown the word 'darling' in there for good measure. Immortal words spoken by the original stylist Diana Vreeland, "When blue, wear red". So treat yourself to some. Bonifide, lip-staining, pouty-mouthed, (not potty-mouthed) lipstick. There are so many new long-lasting shades to try.

And no, I do not work for Chanel, Estee Lauder, L'Oreal or any of them. I just support the cause. Wear it proudly. Strike a pose!

(photograph courtesy of Chanel)

No comments: