Sunday, November 13, 2011

Ladies Wear a Little Lipstick

I am a girl of very little make-up. Always have been, I don't imagine that will change. For the most part I think it's a construction of society aimed towards artificial impressions of expectation on females and surface beauty. I also think it causes a level of consumption that is both expensive and extremely harmful to the environment. Now that I've ranted that out I will admit that I have a tube of mascara and some make-up left behind by my favourite cousin when she was my room mate. I wear them sometimes when I want to feel particularly girly. Boys I've dated have always said (if I asked) that they prefer me without make-up, and I'm fairly confident they meant it. Works out well for me.

This weekend I went to visit my Grandma. She thinks it important, to this day, to put a little time into her looks. She looked at my face full of natural beauty and asked, "Do you ever wear any make-up?"

"Oh, once in a while. Not much. I'm not at the moment."

"I can tell." Gee, thanks Gram. "You should really wear some lipstick once in a while, you know. Do you ever wear lipstick?"

"No. I haven't got any."

With that my Grandma dragged my off to the washroom and opened her basket, the one that always fascinated me when I was but a child. She handed me a light pink shade. Once she'd admired that she told me I could wipe it off and try another. After trying five shades she decided I should have one, and narrowed it down to a deep shade, subtle if applied lightly.

"And now let's powder your nose."

She's from a different era, my Grandma. One that delights in lipstick and stockings. Girls that remember the rationing of the war, the hippis of the '60s, and the silly acid washed denim age that I was born into. They did the twist and they prayed in school. They were teachers, nurses, secretaries and housewives.

They faced it all with a tube of lipstick. Looking good, working hard, and caring for the men they loved.

I'm not a lipstick girl. I'm not even a mascara girl. I'm sure the woman from my decade will never give up on this messy, clumpy black paste. Maybe they'll demand that they're liberalized granddaughters paint their eyelashes black. (I speak for Canadians. If you're from too far south feel free to continue with your lip liner and non-matching colour)

Somehow I having a tube of lipstick in my pocket and a bit of colour on my lips made me feel like a lady. I don't think I'll ever signify glamour but maybe, once in a while, I'll tuck it in my bag for an evening out.

3 comments:

Allison said...

I'm sorta in-between. I'm fascinated by the glamour of an older era. Maybe that's why I was Joan from Mad Men for Halloween.

I will tell you a funny story from last night. I was getting ready to meet my boyfriend for dinner. I was putting on makeup - foundation and powder etc. Then I did my eyes. I had to re-do them twice because I was looking a little too drag queen hooker-ish. I ended up with a subtle gold. I'm not sure why I care so much, it's not like he even cares. I guess I just like to do a little more when I go out in the evening.

As for lipstick, I love it - but rarely wear it. For one, I don't want my boyfriend to end up wearing it. And it usually just ends up all over the glass I'm drinking from. I hate having to re-apply it constantly. I stick with a sheer lip balm.

Tabs A. Geek said...

I went through a phase where I felt my beauty was defined by the quality of my makeup -- where I couldn't even leave my dorm room or the house to pick up dinner or the groceries without having a full face of makeup and my hair done up.

And then I realized how foolish it was.

Now, I don't wear a lot -- I have to wear foundation daily to work only because I have a very bad complexion -- it's ridiculously oily without foundation on the best of days, and blotchy and red on the worst -- but I wear it simply to remain looking professional. A bit of mascara to open up my eyes, and once in a while I'll use some blush and eye shadow. Most days though, I go without.

I like putting on all the makeup once in a while, making myself feel stunning and beautiful, but most days, I find I'm kind of content without.

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