Death and Lipstick, Part I


My obsessions tend to wax and wane, but for the last few years, two have remained constant: lipstick and death. First, I would like to dwell on lipstick.

I only buy red lipstick, but the Red Era didn’t start until I was 33 and got divorced. I was upset to find myself a “divorcée“, a term that always brought to mind a desperate woman wearing tight pants and holding a martini glass. The Divorcee also wore red lipstick, the better to signify her availability (i.e., desperation.)

In order to confront this image head on, I began wearing vivid red lipstick. If anyone remarked on it, I’d explain brightly “I’m a Divorcee!”

All that shit is water under the bridge, of course. I am happily married and I’ve never even tasted a martini. But my lust for red lipstick has evolved into what I believe is a true mania. A few days ago, I purchased my billionth red lipstick: a shade called Exces de Rouge, by Guerlain. It’s a little too blue-red but I still like it. I wore it the other day to Neiman Marcus, where I noticed a sales-lady wearing a flaming red lipstick and paid her a sincere compliment. I was actually able to identify the brand and color! If that’s not frightening, I don’t know what is. As we parted, after she praised my own lipstick, she called out in her foreign accent: “Red is my signature color!”

Well, Foreign Sales-lady, it’s my signature color too. Even though I will never be able to match the perfection of my all-time favorite red lipstick, which was naturally discontinued right after I discovered it, I will continue to buy red lipstick until my dying day. In fact, I wore red lipstick the last time I had surgery, and as I passed out, a nurse told me how pretty it was.

Here is my shortlist of Red Lipsticks:

Best Ever, RIP:   Rouge Velvet by Chanel
Second Best, RIP: Red #22 by Chanel
Most Pigmented But Drying: Ruby Woo by M.A.C.
Most Intense Blue Red: Glam by M.A.C.
Most Too Pink: Ignition by Nars
Most Fun to Paint on: Rouge Lip Crème by Stilla
Most Indelible: Rouge Ultime by Bourjois
The Once I Bought Twice By Mistake: Roulette Rouge by Dior
Most Rich and Creamy: Aphrodite by Napoleon
Most Depressing Smell and Case: Estee Lauder

Next time, we’ll talk about death.

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2 Responses to Death and Lipstick, Part I

  1. jennifer says:

    i’m a lipstick retard. i don’t know how to wear it. it ends up on my teeth and my clothes.

  2. Elena says:

    i have been wearing clinique different grape for an astonishing two decades. i wasn’t aware there were other colors.

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