One of my earliest memories from childhood is watching my mother get ready for the day. I remember standing on a stool next to her in the bathroom, staring in awe as she leaned into the mirror over the sink and gracefully applied a burgundy wine stain to her lips. Watching her put on lipstick was an event. Her quilted cosmetic bag held what seemed to be every shade of red in the color spectrum. It was a party that I could not wait to be invited to. So, as she painted her lips red, I attempted—with minimal grace—to apply my strawberry flavored Lip Smackers balm in the same fashion; it was sheer and offered a barely-there shimmer, but it made me feel grown up at the time. I think back to those days of standing on stools next to my mother in the mirror, and I realize that the contents of that lipstick kit were sacred not because they made me feel grown up, but because of the transformative power of lipstick to turn me into the woman I chose to be for the day. Now, at twenty-five, I too have an all-access pass to that once exclusive party that is the world of cosmetics, and I have since learned from first-hand experience that lipstick is about much more than just being pretty, it‘s about tapping into a well of confidence and being yourself fearlessly.
Few women will contest the notion that lipstick can enhance the power of a smile. Of course, if you’re wearing a gothic black lipstick and donning a smile, the effect just is not the same. The proper shade of lipstick, however, can be flirty, seductive, and powerful. Personally, my lipstick is always based on my mood. Very rarely, if ever, do I attempt to match my lip shade to what I’m wearing. My go-to shade of choice is Tom Ford “Black Dahlia,” a deep, blood red that allows me to tap into my inner vixen, and is best paired with stilettos. It’s sexy and sophisticated, and in my opinion, perfect for any time of day. Typically, I shade the corners of my lips with a lip liner that is one shade darker than my lip color to give dimension and a bit of a boost to my pout. On the days when I feel coy and flirty, my lipstick warrior of choice is always Dior Addict Extreme in shade 536, “Lucky.” This glossy pink hue is fun and feminine and offers a dewy shine without looking greasy. Lastly, for an “au natural” look, I love “Naked” by CK One, a moderately sheer nude color with pink undertones.
In the morning, as I trace my lips with my color-mood for the day, occasionally, I will catch my boyfriend staring at me with the same doe-eyed wonder I had years ago. When asked what he thinks about as he stares, he smirks and says, “You don’t want to know.” So, whether you’re feeling vampish, or coy, there is a head-turning, gaze-inducing shade for you. Have some fun and play up your features with a lipstick that speaks to how fabulous you are.