Lipstick as Political Statement
Yesterday as I was eating my lunch I stumbled across this AskMetaFilter thread about finding the perfect lipstick. A whole bunch of people said that Clinique’s “Black Honey” is the Best. Lipstick. Ever. (Other websites concur.) Of course, yours truly doesn’t normally wear any makeup. When I left work for the day though, I noticed that the cosmetics area at Myer was still lit up like a casino. I was drawn inside. After I fought my way to the Clinique counter, I asked a beautifully made-up girl (in a white lab coat, no less!) for help finding it. “I’m really clueless about makeup,” I said, “but I, uh, was reading about it on the Internet today and a bunch of people said this was the best lipstick ever.” (Thinking to myself: “I am the biggest dork ever.”) She didn’t bat an eye at my dorkitude though. “Is it expensive?” I asked nervously. “Oh, not at all,” she said. “It’s just thirty-four dollars.” THIRTY-FOUR DOLLARS. I have purchased maybe half a dozen lipsticks in my life, all from grocery stores, drug stores, or Wal-Marts. I’ve never paid in double digits for makeup before. I figured I might as well try it on though, since I was standing right there. She handed me the tester and I twisted it up… and it was black! Total plum-black, like something Naomi Campbell would wear. “There’s no way this is going to look good on me,” I said. I started dabbing it on with a Q-tip, only to have her quickly sense my ineptitude and take over. And you know what? The damn thirty-four dollar lipstick looked gooood. It didn’t go on black at all, but rather a nice purply-red stain that wasn’t fakey looking. I thought it would wash me out, but it actually warmed up my cheeks and brought out my freckles. I felt really sophisticated and more “adult” than I usually do. I was in awe, and so I frickin’ caved. I bought the damn lipstick. And then I booked in for a makeover next week.

And then, of course, once I got home I felt incredibly guilty and superficial. I have all these weird feminist issues with wearing makeup, mostly because I knew girls in college who’d never leave the dorm without it. The Snook doesn’t help matters, since he prefers me as au naturel as possible. (He doesn’t even like me to pluck my eyebrows. He thinks I’m “mutilating” myself.) But then again, I’ve been known to periodically sport a bright pink hairdo. What’s the difference, really? Nothing. Nothing! So I’ve been proudly wearing my new lippy all day and singing Ani Difranco in my head.

People talk about my image like I come in two dimensions / Like lipstick is a sign of my declining mind…


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  1. think of it as dress ups – that is all make up and clothes are anyway – have fun – it isn’t forever, it’s lots of fun – go girl, and fiona apple is as good and ani defranco

  2. I’m with Fee, it’s all about playing dress up. Sometimes I ‘theme’ or name my outfits, it’s just good fun.

    Oh, and I’m into MAC lippy. Viva Glam IV rocks. If you find a really good lippy and use it for a year or so, what’s $34 really?

  3. So it looks good, but how does it feel? I don’t wear lipstick because I don’t like the feeling. I prefer gloss! I am a sucker for Clinique though.

  4. That is so weird because all of my girl friends where Black Honey and have for years. Apparently they stopped making it so I suppose it must be back. Personally MAC is the best makeover you can buy. It costs money but you get it back in products. I’ve done it a lot, but I LOVE makeup. And I’m no Barbie doll. It’s like art on your face. Don’t get me started!

  5. i’m a MAC girl. but i’ve used Clinque and their products are nice, and best of all, hypoallergenic! the Black Honey sounds interesting.

  6. Interesting. I hadn’t heard all the Black Honey hype before. I’m not a lipstick girl at ALL (I do love my eye makeup, though). Maybe I will give this one a try.

  7. i’ve been wearing black honey since 11th grade. still got a tube somewhere. it’s great stuff!

  8. “girls in college who’d never leave the dorm without it.” you’re talking about me, right? Mwahaha. I now wear lipstick or lip gloss every day. I look too zombie-like without it. Enjoy your Black Honey!

  9. this brought a little tear to my eye! not that i am a major makeup wearer or anything (tho’ i do wear the same mascara, eyeshadow and a smidge of blush EVERY DAY, no matter what!) it really is about damn time, kris!

  10. I have always loved that lipstick but I had no idea it had such a following. I totally fell for the packaging — it’s so dainty and Hepburn-like.

  11. It’s actually called “Almost Lipstick”, which I should have mentioned before. It’s kind of a cross between lipstick and gloss. Not too thick, little bit of shine. It doesn’t last long though, I have to say. (Where does it go? Do my lips ABSORB it?)

    I have also read raves about Lancome Juicy Tubes, so that may be my next foray.

    Heh. No, not you RT. 🙂

    I just fear becoming the type of person who wears eyeliner every day. There’s dressing up, and there’s wearing a mask. And besides, if I started wearing makeup every day then I’d have to blowdry my hair and iron my clothes. Which I never do. Because I’m lazy.

  12. Also, you got robbed, I think. In the US, it’s only $14 a tube.

  13. Jeebus! I wonder if it’d be cheaper anywhere besides Myer. I mean, I pretty much about it at the equivalent of Macy’s, so that’s probably the most expensive place there is.

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