Tuesday, May 01, 2012

The Joys of Lipstick

Lipstick is my tool of choice. Yes, the word "tool" is used deliberately. I don't wear any make-up on a daily basis, but lipstick. I love the way it adds a small dash of color to my face, enlivening my entire look. It is also my armor and my shield. I feel less vulnerable with lipstick on, because if I think I look better, I feel better.

It wasn't always this way. I was one of the really late adopters of make-up/lipstick. In fact, I started using lipstick after I turned 21! That was the defining year, the year that my love affair with lipstick started. Before that, I had no clue about the wonders and power of make-up or looking good.

I was doing an internship at the time, in Surat, Gujarat. A fellow intern was an Avon representative, and she was the one who introduced me to lipstick. Of course, she did it for her business, but I was hooked. I learned about the gazillion different shades, what to use, how to use, skin tone matching, etc. Most importantly, I learned that a little bit of lipstick looked good- and not girly or primping, as my pseudo-intellectual snobbery was wont to believe.
Indeed, I was- and to a large extent, still am- the kind of person who believes that sheer brain power and intelligence will overpower and outlast looks any time. But I've learnt that good looks plays a huge role in the process as well. Even though I still don't wear make-up, I guess this lipstick thing is my brief nod to the realities of life.

Over time, I have understood exactly what looks good on me (I chose some horrendous stuff when I started this journey). I have learnt to color match with my outfits. I now understand what shades and colors make me look young/old/haggard/cute/pretty. Now, I agonize over exact shades, I mix and match 2-3 shades to get the exact look I want, I dab and powder and paint. Lipstick application is an art, and I am still but a novice in the same. What I have learnt, however, is that appying it heavy handedly (potoing it on, in Indian parlance) never works.
To this day, though, I have not learnt not to eat it. I don't know how it stays on on some people, even after they eat and drink. Mine fades away very quickly, even if I don't eat or anything. Wish I knew how to keep it on- I've tried many many brands, and so much for long-lasting! Mine always goes away in a couple of hours.

So lipstick is my choice of tool. It makes me feel better about myself. It adds a dash of color to my life, quite literally.

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