Thursday, 26 May 2011

I really really do love lipstick

It has taken me 31 years, a bit of life laundering, soul searching and boyfriend lecturing (him to me), to recently come to the conclusion that I am Too Nice. This sounds like an egotistical credit to bestow upon myself, but actually, if it is a compliment, I take it as a back handed one. Thanks very much, me.

Nice is a credit, Too Nice is a pain in the bum, and in several instances has seen me fail spectacularly in arguments, apologise for complaining, which usually renders the complaint completely redundant, see the best in people I really shouldn't, and in one instance get so uncomfortable about telling off a thieving intern, that I set up a scenario where she could explain her behavior away as a misunderstanding. And she STILL quit without notice and wrote in to complain that she couldn't learn from me as I obviously didn't like her. The little criminal witch. (I reverted to Twitter advice to find the nicest mean name here btw).

It was about then I decided to adopt a Hilary Alexander approach to work and life in general. My prop was an imaginary T-shirt, invisibly printed with 'What Would Hilary Alexander Do?' Which I would refer to in times of too-niceness. For those who don't know, Hilary is a renowned, respected, revered and feared fashion journalist. No intern would dare steal from her cupboard in the first place let alone survive her wrath mentally unscathed enough to write a letter about it.

Turns out an imaginary T-shirt wasn't quite enough to cure my condition, so I find myself still weak in the face of confrontation and agonizing over upsetting someone who upsets me to this day. Sometimes someone has to intervene - I am lucky to have a slightly unhinged father and boyfriend back up team, so when I was worried about offending my doctors by asking for a second opinion (you see? Ludicrous...), they helped me see the light, and yes, they turn it on for me at times too.

Since starting this blog I've had people actually and funnily enough, asking me What Would Sophie Beresiner Do? This is an eye-opening turn up for the books. Who needs Hilary? (well, me still in certain situations), but I'm pretty sure she wouldn't know how to deal with a reader worrying about how she will carry off her decision to be bald and proud, or another one wanting advice on how to get her mum back to her old self.

I have a universally appropriate answer too, and yes, it might seem superficial, or convenient even for the purposes of a beauty (ish) blog, but nevertheless it is my life philosophy. And I have a 2:1 in Philosophy, so I am qualified to bestow my knowledge upon you. Ready?... Wear Bright Lipstick

That is What Sophie Would Do. It sounds like a superficial action, rather than an appropriate reaction, but bear with me.

On the Outside
It is the truth in the face of baldness. Even Caroline Barnes said so - if you've nothing else to do, do your lips. No eyelashes? Do bright lips instead. Some eyelashes? No brows? Wig? Synthetic hair? Shaved? All gone? Sill, do bright lips. Bald and Proud? Sounds like you don't really need too much advice, since this is a marvelous and admirable approach, but since you asked reader, I would say it again. Wear Bright Lipstick. For one it makes you stand out from the generic cancer s/s 2011 look. For another it makes you look confident and breezy and like you're still very much a girl in there, for another, it's just hot and happy-making (you know my stance on colourful things by now), and face-lifting. In a radiant rather than surgical way.

On The Inside
I'm sure there are studies on the uplifting or confidence boosting properties of lipstick. I am not nerd or inclined enough to go there, but life experience has taught me that I do feel different with it on. Like sh!t hot heels or a serious blowdry - I could pretty much stand up to Colonel Gaddafi with my hair voluminous and bouncy. I would even go so far as to prescribe it for cheering purposes, to mums needing to revert back to old selves. Or me needing something different to look at in the mirror while I'm stuck inside. Again. (Only 5 more days till my nutropenic worries are over!). Its just a stupidly easy way to make a big effort, and that will make you and anyone looking at you appreciative of that fact as well.

What I'm getting at is maybe 'Wear Bright Lipstick!' wouldn't have helped with the criminal intern, but if a power suit (or an imaginary printed tshirt) can make you do better business, I bet a power lipstick can too.
And the boys like it, lets not forget that...

My picks:

Dior Rouge Dior in 752 Red Premier
This is my trademark, iconic, one lipstick true love that I've trotted out countless times in Q&A's and recommendations since I discovered it about 5 years ago. So much so, that I just googled 'when was Dior Red Premier launched?  and my own beauty blog came up at no. 3.

Topshop Lipstick in Ooh La La
Matte is only the way to do this colour - if its shiny it'll look a bit 80's - so the Topshop velvety corally blush is perfect. And its bright enough to adhere to my philosophy, but not so much so that you have to keep checking your chin for lip imprints all day. Is it just me who does that?

YSL Rouge Pur Couture lipstick in 13
This is what your gran would have worn if she was the foxiest lady at the tea dance. I know it's not so glamorous linking Granny's and lippy, but lipstick was born and done best back then. Basically it's a classic but on Botox and Restylane and with hair extensions.

No. 7 Stay Perfect Lipstick in Gay Geranium
Universally flattering, tan enhancing, giggle inducing (I love the name) and very current - coral is the lipstick buzz of the summer you know.

Mac Lipstick in All Styled Up (I will start a petition to bring the Ltd Ed back, but in the meantime, Pink Nouveau is close)
The ultimate baby pink that isn't so baby it makes your lips disappear into 1963, nor is it too bubblegum for a 31 year old to pull off. And you can wear it every day without looking like a pariah. Red can do that to you sometimes. A perfect hybrid that goes very nicely with ginger hair too.

- Posted using BlogPress from my iPad


  1. Love your blog, I had to comment because I have been wearing Gay geranium lip colour now for 21 years. I have gone through loads but I did stop wearing it for a while, the funny thing is I started wearing it again recently after I was diagnosed with breast cancer. Got the new hair cut, got the new bright hair colour and got my trusted good old friend gay geranium out and I felt brilliant. Clarexx

  2. Hey there

    Just to say I loved this entry and always enjoy reading your blog. You tell everything in a funny and heart touching way and I particularly love when you talk about your dad making you laugh. I wish you better so much and will look forward to the next read!

    ps. I work at the DT and have dealt with HA before, she is truly a legend but I have also learnt not to piss her off!!!