Yesterday, I bit the bullet. I bought my first ever ‘proper’ red lipstick. This year, I’ll be 28 and I figured that it would be a crying shame that I got through my twenties without ever channelling Rita Hayworth. Yes, it’s a frivolous thing to want to do, but it’s something I’ve never been brave enough to do- I firmly believe that in order to do the bigger things, I need to make baby steps with smaller goals. Plus, Boots had a fiver off No7 make-up.
I’ve long admired Golden Age Hollywood starlets and wished that I could have their hair/faces/bodies, even though I know that Jean Harlow had soap powder applied to her hair, Joan Crawford had her back teeth removed in order to create cheekbones and Rita Hayworth used to be made to shave her hairline. I could at least try and achieve their make-up, right? Maybe it would even make me dress in a more upmarket way. Who knows.
I don’t think a lot of people who know me realise what extent my make-up obsession goes to. I love it. I was a tomboyish little girl who loved beating the boys at computer games and who never wanted a doll. Then, when I was sixteen, I saw the Sugababes video for ‘Overload’. I wanted that eyeliner at all costs. Eventually, I got so good at liquid eyeliner that I could put it on without a mirror at festivals. My mum used to complain I looked like a panda. But I looked pretty cool too..! Make-up is a real indicator of how I’m feeling and is probably more important to me then I would care to admit- and I’ve always wanted to wear lipstick. It’s always seemed grown-up and glamorous. Something which I don’t ever think or believe I’ve been.
Ever since I’d read Sali Hughes’ column on red lipstick in November (if you don’t already read Sali’s column, I urge you to. Even if you’re not a make up fan, she has excellent tips on moisturisers, men’s products and hair stuff. She’s like my distant guru.) I’d been mustering up the courage to wear lipstick at all. I eventually gave in and bought Clinique’s Black Honey Almost Lipstick, which I tend to wear to work and if I’m going somewhere important during the day. It really is brilliant stuff and suits everyone, which is what all the reviews say, but it’s honestly true- even though it’s scary dark in the tube. If I can’t be bothered with lippy, I wear Burt’s Bees’ Tinted Lip Balm in Hisbiscus, which is AMAZING.
So yeah, as you can see, I’ve slowly been working up towards proper lip colour. I’ve always been an admirer of Poppy King’s lipstick lines, so I’ve been eyeing up her range for No 7 for months now. After experimenting, I went with the ‘History’ shade of red, which the girl on the counter described as ‘1940’s recession red’. It felt weird having such a strong colour on my face (which was pitifully make-up free and I felt spotty and embarrassed, wandering round with bright red lips.) When I saw my husband, I asked him what he thought of the colour. “Er, it matches your coat?” he said helpfully. Brilliant. Paddington Bear Chic. Not quite what I was going for, but he didn’t instantly hurl or run away screaming.
Last night, we went to a party. I did my make-up and I wore the lipstick. And I felt really confident! Brilliant! Now I want more lipstick… what have I started?!