I have recently entered a new beauty monomania phase: lipstick.
It became an obsession because a good lipstick can actually make you look very cool with a tiny effort, but I just can’t find the “right colour”. It pisses me off like crazy.
Somehow I never feel 100% comfortable when I wear lipstick. Either I feel too slutty, or too flashy, or one day my mouth is too big, one day my lips are too thin…
What would I like? Well, basically a lipstick that actually does make me feel comfortable.
Something bright but not too flashy that I can wear during the day but can also make me look glamorous at night… Isn’t that easy??.
So I kinda went on a mission to find The Perfect Lipstick Colour.
I read all the blogs and all the magazines and they all say the same thing:
1) If your skin undertone is yellow (the veins on your wrist look green-ish) choose warm colours (orange, warm red, coral, brown…)
2) If your skin undertone is pink (the veins on your wrist look blue) choose cold colours (pink, cold red, purple…)
3) If your skin undertone is neutral (the veins on your wrist look, surprise, both blue and green) you can basically wear what you want.
Easier said than done.
Like, what if I have a GREY undertone. Grey like I look sick and anaemic if I don’t use three layers of blush.
The way I see it, warm colours make me look icteric and cold colours make look like a vampire.
What should I do, eh?
So since nobody could answer my questions I just said OK, I’ll give it a bit of hands-on research.
My plan was:
A) Go to the shop and test EVERYTHING
Spoiler: it didn’t work.
I went there, tried 30 colours and came home with the usual light pink gloss.
Plan A failed, I passed to plan:
B) Go to MAC and ask the make-up artist to help me
Ah, this is a good one… I need to open a big expat-in-Singapore digression here.
You know how all the MAC make-up artists in Europe and the USA are trying to sell you half shop help you find the perfect shades while giving you those amazing free make-up lessons so you can buy even more stuff?
Well in Singapore FORGET IT.
This is what happened in my first MAC Singapore experience:
I enter the shop full of expectations, hopes sky-high, sure that very soon I’d look like Emma Stone… I am greeted by a glacial silence and no make-up artist (MUA for the friends) in sight.
So I timidly go towards the counter, where two girls are hiding, totally focused on furiously tapping on their phones.
Me: “Excuse me I was looking for a lipstick…”
MUA 1 looks at me with totally annoyed face, like I asked her for a kilo of apples or something, then sends a glaze at the lipstick stand. MUA 2 keeps the focus on her iPhone.
MUA 1: “Yeah… so…”
Me:”Well, I actually don’t know what colour I should buy, I was hoping you could help me find the right one?”
(alright I’ve got to admit I was a little vague here)
MUA 1 stands up (now she’s VERY annoyed) and goes to the lipstick stand. I follow, tail between my legs, feeling guilty for asking her to actually do her damn job.
MUA 1: “Lipsticks are here, what do you want”
She starts grabbing every single colour without any logic criteria, smudging each on my hand.
I’m so confused and uncomfortable that I just stop her at the 15th random swatch “OK, this one, can I try it on my lips?”
I try it.
It’s a purple-ish, dark pink-ish, brown-ish creamy shade (OK sorry, I’m good at using colours but totally crappy at describing them), quite gorgeous but much darker than what I had in mind.
It totally isn’t what I am looking for.
But MUA 1 is looking at me with such impatience, MUA 2 is giggling behind her fortress counter and I feel like I have a whole firing squad pointing at me.
So I buy it.
And I rush out of the store, very sure I’ve learned two very important lessons:
1) Never go to MAC at Robinsons JEM again. EVER.
2) FUCK IT. Seriously.
I realised I was applying my usual hyper-critic approach even to such a shallow thing like lipstick. Once again I was using something trivial as a pretext to create one of my you’re-not-good-enough mantras: “no lipstick will ever suit me because I’m ugly anyway” or “I can’t find a lipstick colour because I have a grey skin undertone (seriously…)”. CAN YOU BE MORE STUPID.
It’s a serious alarm bell when your self-confidence hits rock bottom so hard you can’t even play with frivolousness anymore (and you let a rude shop assistant treat you like s**t like you deserved it…).
So today I went to the drugstore (no MAC for me for a while I think, just to be safe) and I just decided I’d buy a colour that I like. Simple as that. Something that would make me experiment with my make-up and my look. And have fun with it.Without thinking how I should look like, without always stressing about some kind of perfection that I think I should reach to be accepted, by others and by myself. And without hoping to look like Emma Stone.
There, small step for humanity, big step for Al and her quest to self-confidence.
No perfection, just fun.
PS: in case you’re wondering, the lipstick I bought is Maybelline n. 665 “Lust for blush”. A very nice purple-ish pink (there we go again…). Months ago I would have never bought it (ewww vampire!) but now guess what: fuck it. 😉
PPS: I’m wearing the lipstick at work and a colleague just told me “wow you look so pretty today! Are you meeting someone important?”. See?? That vampire thing, all in my head. Pffff
PPPS: One day I’ll become a lipstick pro and I’ll write a post about aaaaall my favourite lipsticks (yeh I know what an interesting topic…)