The power of the red lip

This morning, I was going to write a post about why Katy Perry’s Roar is the worst thing to happen to women’s empowerment music.  But then I caught wind of the American Music Awards (see the post from Hannah at Afternoon Snooze Button if you missed it or don’t understand)…and I’ll have to save the Katy Perry critique for a different day…because apparently Roar is not the worst thing to happen to Katy Perry as of late.

So instead, I will regale you with my lesson on the power of the red lip.

The Red Lip

The Red Lip, refreshed after 12 hours of wear.

The task was simple:  go to Sephora and exchange a foundation.  That is not as simple a task as it sounds…because Sephora is like an amusement park.  Go at the wrong time, and dodge the throngs of people having a screamingly good time.  But go in the morning, and it’s like having the amusement park all to yourself…

So, having quickly located what I needed, I thought to myself, why not take a look around?  And right in front of me was MUFE’s Aqua Rouge, which promised “a smudge-proof result that will not transfer or fade.”  Oooh!  Shiny!

I’m not sure why it didn’t occur to me that the product was equally “smudge-proof” if you do not apply it perfectly and need to make corrections.  I found myself in front of a magnifying mirror with smudge-proof lip color awkwardly stippled across my lips, clown-mouthed as if I never learned to color properly in elementary school.  I may or may not have looked something like this:


from the movie, Airplane, which most of my current co-workers have never even heard of.

So after trying to fix it (oh no now it’s on my fingers too), and then trying to blot it (pluh pluh tissues taste terrible) then trying some alcohol (ow! tastes like burning!) then hiding my face while I slinked towards the normally-fun Fresh Sugar Lip Polish and then combined with makeup remover, I finally looked more like I had enthusiastically devoured a cherry popsicle.

Fortunately, Alexandra at Sephora this morning was in a great and helpful mood, and didn’t look at me (too) sideways when I asked if she could show me how to do a red lip.  God (and everyone else) knows I needed the lesson, and besides, I needed to look like I could show up at work.  So one lesson, one lipstick and one lip liner later, I was able to leave Sephora and move on with my day.  (You win my wallet for today, Sephora.)

Once I got to work, one of my male coworkers said, completely serious, “hey, you look nice today.  Why are you dressed up?  What’s the occasion?”  I look at my outfit, and I had thrown on a long sleeve ratty tee underneath a short sleeve henley tee, with afterthought dirty jeans and a pair of sneakers.


All this money that I spend on clothing, and all I needed was a fantastic red lipstick and a lip liner?

Or is it because my standards of dress are so low that a smack of lipstick creates a whole new effect?

This reminds me of the time when my friend Jabali, who sometimes made ties out of paper when he forgot to bring his, described my work clothes as “chillin'”.  Yeah, I had to bump up the wardrobe budget after that insightful gem.

I’m going to blissfully assume that it’s the former and not the latter.

And quietly go back to stepping up my wardrobe game.