The lipstick manufacturer’s conspiracy
I’m the daughter of a 3 lipstick woman with a floundering 4 lipstick philosophy. In my youth, I decided that only 4 lipsticks were necessary. 1 that was pinkish. 1 that was brownish. 1 that was reddish and 1 that was dark reddish (think red wine). With 4 lipsticks, a girl couldn’t go wrong. It was an advance on my mother’s lipstick collection, which I’m not sure even totalled 3. Mum is the kind of woman like the kind of men who wear one pair of shoes until they wear out. Mum had lipsticks that ran out… or at least I recall that she did. My lipsticks have gone ‘off’ because they have run out. I think this is because I am not a lipstick everyday girl. I choose make-up when I feel like it and the rest of time I go without.
But back to the floundering 4 lipstick policy. It seemed a good strategy. Nice and logical. Except for 2 things. The first, I cannot blame on any cosmetic company. It is quite simply my lack of organisation. A while ago we had a function at the Australian Club. It’s a gentleman’s club – and not that sort where they stuff dollar bills into girls knickers. It’s an old style polished establishment. A great venue for a charity to have an intimate evening with its best supporters. I made myself a dress. I knew exactly what I had in mind. Something conservative while being a little elegant. The afternoon of the function arrived. It was time to get changed in preparation for the dusk event. Wrong lipstick. I had to go to the chemist and buy one. I just couldn’t bring myself to wear a brown-ish red lipstick with an eggplant coloured dress. It was just plain wrong. (And this after I’d forgotten my shoes and my mother had diligently ferried them from my house to my workplace.)
Fast forward several months and picture me in Los Angeles. Complete fish out of water – a non-clinical person at a clinical conference. The only database person in a hotel full of Audiologists and Auditory Verbal Therapists (aka Listening and Spoken Language Specialists). What have I done wrong? Brought the wrong lipstick of course! I already had to visit a chemist since the airport confiscated by toothpaste for being 10ml over the allowable amount. I could have argued with the woman that the tube was a quarter used and as it was a 110ml tube that there was less than 100ml left in it and I hadn’t broken any of their liquid rules… but she didn’t seem the type to argue with. Easier to go buy new toothpaste… and a new lipstick.
But that only accounts for having 6 lipsticks on a 4 lipstick policy. How is it that I’ve come to have more than that. In fact, I think I’ve hit double digits. This is where the cosmetic companies come in. Should you find a lipstick you like… one that will serve you perfectly well in a 4 lipstick philosophy, if you aren’t in the habit of wearing lipstick every day of the year, there will come a time when your lipstick has gone manky. It’s hard to describe this unless you’ve experienced it. The lipstick acquires a strange taste and smell and while it’s not likely to turn into an unexploded bomb, you know that the time has come to part with the lipstick.
The logical, albeit sometimes forgetful, person that I am says I just need a replacement. Of course the cosmetic’s companies have considered this scenario. Some marketer has decided that ‘Starlight indigo’ was so last season… and ‘Rum n Raisin’ is far too predictable. And if it’s not annoying enough that you can’t buy the colour you want, you have to cope with all the ridiculous names while hunting for an approximate. Who decided that ‘bitch pink?’ was an appropriate name for a lipstick? Or ‘Berry Alluring?’ Oh, my ribs ache at that pun. ‘Rose Serenity’ sounds more at home in a funeral chapel than adorning my lips… as does ‘Enduring Iris’ and ‘Faithfully Tan.’ But best of all is ‘Raven’s Pout’. I ask you, when was the last time you saw a pouty Raven and thought, oh yes, I’ll have my some of that as part of my daily make-up routine?
I’m sure, dear blogging friends, it will come as no surprise to you that I still have my manky brown lipstick. I hold on to it – this rare beast with a logical name of cocoa – in the (probably vain) hope that I shall one day find something that approximates it. In the meantime, I have acquired myself several ‘imitations’ with ridiculous names.
And that is how the daughter of a 3 lipstick woman, came to have a floundering 4 lipstick philosophy.
How many lipsticks do you own? Leave me a note!