An Ode to lipstick

When I was a teenager, lipstick wasn’t really the thing – in fact, lipgloss reigned supreme right into my Uni years. So I spent a long time with my lips somewhere between shiny and dry-as-hell, spitting wisps of hair out of my mouth before kissing boys. I once burnt my foot quite badly because my lips were so slippery with gloss that a cigarette shot out of my mouth and fell onto my peep-toes.

But by the time I was officially a Grown Up,  lipstick was back. And I’ve been obsessed with the transformative effects ever since. Chalky pink, satin scarlet, poster paint poppy, glowy rose blush, silky nudes, punchy coral, matte fuchsia – they can suit EVERY skin colour, and are so easy to apply (more on that below), but they imbue your face with a sense of gutsy stylishness that’s all your own. When I see someone wearing lipstick I automatically assume they’re nailing it – work, motherhood, whatever.Even though I know how easy it is to purchase and apply, lipstick is just one of those things that makes you look pulled-together and a bit sassy. You’ve got chutzpah. Balls. You’re laughing.

It also does wondrous things for a tired person, detracting from dull skin and dark circles with a wide-awake pop of colour. It’s the fashion statement you can make regardless of shape, size or budget. OK, you do need cash, but as little as £4.49 for this Barry M lipstick I have on repeat purchase, and only £1 for MUA at Superdrug, another from my own makeup bag.

I don’t go in for the bullshit spun about it being a sexual fishing rod used to catch a mate. When I like a girl’s lipstick I don’t find my brain immediately swimming in the big red/fuchsia vaginas it’s supposed to summon by association. It’s just a bit of fun, something to make you feel good with a single swipe, if like me you apply direct from the bullet. Yes you can make it last longer with primer, you can create a fuller lip with a liner, and you can buff and blot your way to a totally flawless, Insta-ready pout. But if you have 10 seconds between wrestling your toddler into his or her buggy and pulling a beanie down over a head of 3-day old dry shampoo, you can also look pretty fucking amazing by just slicking it on. The dream accessory for a time-poor mother.

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