I remember using makeup for the first time… It was my grandmother’s lipstick. The packaging was quite an atrocity – neon green plastic, adorned with golden roses that would disintegrate after a week of use.
But, inside this bizarre casing was a miracle worker. The lipstick itself was clear with a slight pistachio undertone. But, once applied, it would turn bright red in seconds! And just like that, I, an ugly-5-year-old-duckling, would turn into a soon-to-be-femme-fatale.
I’m kidding here, surely I was cute!
But, the thrill of said transformation left me wistful with questions. What kind of chemicals did they use to make the lipstick turn red? How did the lipstick recognize that it was applied on the lips and ready to be re-colored?? Were chameleons unknown ancestors of makeup??? And most importantly, why did I feel so womanly, so pretty, when I caught this silly, little, red-lipped face of mine in the mirror?
Ever since getting over my panda-eye, cat-eye, mega-brow stages of yore, I don’t use makeup much anymore. And, I always encourage our models to strip their faces naked for our shoots, taking inspiration from women who never put a touch of mascara on, even for special occasions. Nothing screams confidence more than zero makeup.
Except for maybe a red lip, for which I will always have a special place in my heart. It’s simultaneously ultra-feminine and takes balls to wear.
Reminiscing on all things sex this month, I wanted to take a moment to pay tribute to this iconic sexy style, and play around with a few variations, all while keeping the face as bare as possible…