This is it.
Really. This is it.
I’m going to seize the goddamned day and finally wear red lipstick. Wallflowers be damned, I am woman, you’re going to hear me roar. Today, I wear red lipstick as if it’s any other day and it’s going to be great and people are going to think I am fierce and flawless and a capital-W Woman.
I mean, I bought that tube last weekend and haven’t even worn it since. It’s just sitting there now, in my fridge like the girl at MAC told me, and it’s not going anywhere, and I really should make use of it since I spent so much money. And I mean, there was all that time involved in finding the perfect shade. God, she was helpful. But also kind of pushy. Like, I know she’s right and I should have gotten the lip pencil too but that was also a full $23 more than I had anticipated spending and I think I got distracted by her perfect contouring. I wonder if she teaches that at a master class somewhere. I’d sign up for that. I need somebody to teach me how to do that — I mean, how does it work without the base colors smudging?! — but it seems like so much work and really, I can barely make it out of bed on time, let alone shower, so maybe I should just call that one a day.
But okay. I’m putting this on. I’m going to plan my outfit around it, I’m going to look classy, it’s going to be great.
Oh my god. People are staring at my mouth.
I probably don’t look classy at all, I probably just look like some sad excuse at an attempt to look “edgy.” That’s what they’re all looking at. Stop looking at my lips. My eyes are up here. Not the mouth, not the mouth. Back at my eyes. I mean, it could be worse if they were looking at my boobs; at least this is still my face, but it just. I mean. Is there lipstick on my teeth?
Holy crap. There’s food stuck in my teeth, isn’t there? I didn’t realize I was going to have to be checking my teeth every 15 minutes for lipstick residue, especially now that everyone’s totally only looking at my mouth. God. I didn’t realize there was so much work that went along with this.
Oh, wait. Now anything I drink is going to have a lipstick stain. Crap. Can I get a straw? Can you drink hot coffee through a straw? I’m going to scald my mouth. I’m going to blister my tongue and the roof of my mouth and it’s going to hurt and it’s all because of the lipstick. Ugh, this was the worst idea ever.
Was that cute boy just looking at me?
This was the best idea ever.
I mean, not that I’m wearing it for him. No, that’s ridiculous. He’s a stranger. I am a woman. My makeup is an extension of myself. It’s empowering. It’s bold. It’s strong. It’s vivacious and feisty and fiery and a natural form of self-expression. It gives my words power. It adds that much more punch to whatever it is I’m saying. I look put together. I look luxurious. I demand respect.
MAC Cosmetics lip pencil in Redd and an old seasonal shade (Red She Said) of their lipstick are my go-to combo, but Russian Red is a pretty close match.
Crap, did I pick the wrong color? Is this too blue for my skin? Too orange? Is this not true red? What the hell is true red anyway? Like a fire truck? Should I go over to a station and compare? Should I have painted my nails red to match? I should have painted my nails red to match.
Actually, it looks kind of cool to leave my lipstick mark everywhere. Like X marks the spot. I have been here, I am staking my claim. No wonder the whole lipstick stain on a man’s collar thing is kind of sexy. And on my coffee cup rim. And on a cigarette.
Wait. I don’t smoke. Should I? Just the once? Just to leave that little calling card in an ashtray somewhere?
No, smoking is gross. Why am I even thinking this?
Ugh. I have to reapply it again. God, this is high-maintenance. That’s it. Chapstick from here on out. Nothing but lip balm. Au natural for me, baby.
Maybe I should try Lorde’s lip color.
I mean, this is what being a woman is all about, right? Not just the lipstick thing, but just self-expression. It’s one thing to watch your mom put on her lipstick when you’re little, and it’s another to sneak behind her back when you’re 7 years old and smear it everywhere, but this is precise. I mean, the pencil! The lipstick! The lip brush! (If I had a lip brush. I should buy that next.) And it’s not to say that a woman who doesn’t wear lipstick isn’t a woman, or that men can’t wear lipstick if they want, and more power to everyone every which way. But there’s something about the ritual, you know? Of swiping that color on, of amping it up, of really just committing to something that’s already iconic. Now I’m just making it my own.
Peggy Olson was right, right? I mean, my red’s different from the red another woman might wear. My sister wears a different red. It’s like perfume. It’s a signature kind of thing, not that I could wear this every day. Could I? Maybe? I’d have to work my whole wardrobe around it. Maybe I could do that.
I wonder what color Marilyn Monroe wore. That’s like, a red red. I should Google that.
I bet it’d work on me.