lady in red

I lost my favourite lipstick three weeks ago and it surprised me how upset I was. It is an unusual, warm brown, like cinnamon. My mother, always complimentary, says it makes me look like a South American beauty when I wear it. When I finally found it yesterday – in my glasses case for which reason, I have no idea –I was euphoric. I swiped it on immediately, and spent the afternoon happily smacking my lips together and smiling at random at different objects around the room.

I love the gleeful brazenness of lipstick. A bold slash of red shining through a sea of pretty pinks and beiges. The perfect brown lusciously swiped across smooth lips, making velvety tanned skin all the more confident. Shocking Barbie pink worn with a short white skirt and doe like eyes.

I even love the stamp it leaves on everything it touches, hated by some but happily accepted by lipstick wearers. An affectionate kiss on a postcard, an accidental smear on a man’s crisp white shirt collar, the perfect curve of colour left on the lip of a coffee mug. As Napoleon Perdis said in his Forever Flawless (a beautiful book full of amazing make up tips and even more amazing inspiration and reasons to love your age) – a lipstick mark is the make up equivalent of shouting ‘I am woman’.

Maybe you are a lipstick veteran like my aunty Jenni, who has all kinds of purples, corals, browns and even a few frosty white ones in her arsenal (I think the frosty ones might be left over from the early nineties), or maybe you’ve never strayed further than salmon pink or slightly lavender hued lip glosses. It might be time to rethink your abilities, along with your self-created boundaries on how far you can go, how much you can change. Who cares?

Be someone else for a day, you may just find that someone else is just the you who has been waiting to shine. When I wear lipstick I stand a little straighter, walk a little taller. I become the lady in red – and I never wear red. It may feel like your lips are a beacon, attracting attention from all directions. That’s because they are. But it’s not just the jaw-dropping colour. It’s you. It’s the way you wear it, the fact that you chose to stand out, and what that says about your badass sense of self.

You are fabulous – don’t you ever forget it, not for one second.


4 Comments Add yours

  1. Jenni Russell says:

    Thank you Lady in Red.
    I never go out without my lipstick – both on and in my pocket for top ups, it is my protection from the world. Whether a neutral brown, for the dog walk in the wind or black for a fancy dress or purple/pinks/reds/oranges for summer or something a little more subdued for work.
    I can be anyone and anything I choose.
    Always a lipstick kiss on the postcard home/ birthday cards to nieces/ the glass wall division at the airport/ a new babies head/ your lovers cheek/ your favourite glass or teacup.
    The Mowat ability to put lipstick on without a mirror has stood me in good stead for 40 odd years, thanks Mum.
    From the Lady of Many Colours.

    1. Thanks Lady of Many Colours, you are an inspiration to us all! I think I may need to practice my Mowat talent. xx

  2. Holly says:

    Reblogged this on Holly Belle Beauty and commented:

    I wrote this post a few years ago on my other blog thoughtsandrainstorms, happily that favourite lipstick is still going strong! I still love this piece and every now and then if I’m feeling down I’ll go back and read over it for a bit of a pep talk before swiping on something shamelessly bright. I hope you enjoy it!

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