If you haven't already heard, July 29 is National Lipstick Day. And given that there's already a specific "day" dedicated to most other important things — donuts, pancakes, pirates — it only makes sense that lipstick should have a proper holiday celebrating its existence. I don't know when my own obsession with lipstick began, but when I realized its power, I was suddenly that person who went in a drugstore for deodorant and somehow ended up spending $60. Once you acknowledge how life-changing a bright lipstick is, the cosmetics section of the store becomes like a gold mine of mildly-affordable goodness. And who doesn't like the chance to buy 12 different lipsticks, a Diet Coke, some ibuprofen, and a bag of pretzels all in one place? Exactly. Don't even ask me what happens when I shop at Target.
If you're a dedicated lipstick-wearer like myself, then you too probably know of the inevitable stages of bold lipstick-wearing. And you also probably know that it's more complicated than people think. For example, here's what I'm wondering: How do you kiss people? How does that happen in movies? Because it just doesn't work in real life. I've tried. It's messy. Ideally, lipstick is perfect for people who simply don't kiss others. For example, it would probably be ideal for nuns... or me, up until the age of 18. No matter what your favorite shade, my point is that there are always a list of stages that you go through. From the "I can conquer the world" beginning to the "how did it end up all over my hands?" stage at the end.
Is it worth it? Yes.
1. The "Where The Heck Is My Natural Lip Line?" Stage
Ah, the myth of the natural lip line. Does it exist? Is it important? Is it bad to go beyond it? I don't know. I never know. It's a problem. Also, lip liner? What does that do exactly? This stage of applying lipstick usually takes a lot of "Oh, let me carefully use a tissue to remove any extra lipstick" and then inevitably ending up with only 25 percent of my lips covered in lipstick. It's a process that takes a while to master, and nothing ever turns out perfectly — but I've made it work.
2. The "I Am The Queen Of The Universe" Stage
This is the best and most important stage of wearing bright lipstick. Ideally, you will have your lipstick applied (if not perfectly, at least well enough for a good Instagram selfie), Beyoncé will be blaring and you will be walking around in high heels for no real reason. You'll probably end up wearing flats to class that day, but that doesn't matter. Right now, all that matters is you and the fact that you are probably the hottest person in the whole world. And look at how the bright color makes your eyes pop! Man, you're gorgeous.
3. The "Why Didn't I Put It On Last?" Stage
This is always what kills my initial "queen of the universe" buzz. I'll usually have my outfit on and remember at the last second that I have to blow dry my hair. So, naturally, I flip my head over and start slowly drying my mane... only to have my shirt or dress billow up just a bit to meet my lips. And then bam. There's a bright pink stain on my outfit that I felt like Beyoncé in two minutes ago. It's the worst.
4. The "Touching Your Face In A Place With No Mirrors" Stage
It's hot. Or you have an itch. Or perhaps you just are trying to orchestrate the perfect hair flip to gain a certain someone's attention (I neither admit nor deny that I have done this). Whatever the case, your hand or wrist brushes past your lips and suddenly, you just know, deep down in your soul, that there is now lipstick on your face anywhere from your forehead to your neck. But you have no mirror. No reflective surface. No kind friend around to instruct you how to fix your face. So what do you do? Ah, the old iPhone camera trick. That Steve Jobs knew what he was doing.
5. The "Is My Lipstick Still On/Do I Have Lipstick On My Face" Stage
This stage can happen at any point during your day of lipstick-wearing, and usually occurs where you are with people you feel confident and comfortable around. These are the people that tell you when the back of your dress is tucked into your tights. You will ask "is there lipstick on my face/teeth/hair?" 11 to 13 times probably.
6. The "Sandwich" Stage
I thought I would have learned my lesson by now, but I can never resist the appeal of a nice sandwich, apparently. I am simple, and I am weak. Do you know what happens when you eat a sandwich with lipstick on? You inevitably eat a lot of lipstick. The lipstick gets on the sandwich and then what are you supposed to do? Eat around the make up? Not a chance. It's goin' in your mouth. Is this healthy? Probably not. But you live with it.
7. The "Other People Making Comments" Stage
There's always that one person that is going to say "wow, that's a bright color" or "whoa...purple..." in reference to whatever shade you're wearing on your lips. Especially if you live in somewhere that's a little less than a major city (like me), people are usually taken off guard that you chose to put a Crayola-inspired color on your lips. Never mind the fact that they're wearing sandals with socks and running shoes with slacks — they're shocked by the color, and they will let you know.
8. The "Why Does It Never Stay Put?" Stage
Have you ever ended a lipstick-wearing day and found lipstick in places that you have no idea how it got there? For example, my forearms and elbows inevitably always end up with smudge or two on them. Why? How? I have no idea. It just always happens, and I try not to question it.
9. The "I Wonder If This Shirt Is Ruined" Stage
Another place your lipstick always ends up? Your shirt. Whether it's while you're blow-drying your hair or when you simply look down to wonder if you should eat that chocolate-covered cherry you just dropped on the sidewalk (Am I speaking from personal experience? You'll never know.), lipstick is going to end up there at some point. And it is heart breaking.
10. The "Do Not Fall Asleep" Stage
This is definitely a hard part of wearing lipstick. You're home from a long day of work or class, and all you really want to do is lie down on your bed, face-down, dreaming of better days, filled with tacos and shopping sprees and hang-out sessions with Anderson Cooper (is that just me? OK, cool). But you can't. Because as soon as you do that, your sheets are ruined. And you'll have to wash them — another task, along with showering and moving, that you really don't feel like doing. It's a struggle.
11. The "Oh Well, I'm Still Fierce" Stage
You finally beat the intense urge to nap and you are still wearing your lipstick. Whether or not it's on your teeth, face, arms, elbows or bed sheets, you are feeling fierce AF. You have lasted the entire day wearing bright lipstick. You laugh at the people who were shocked by the boldness of your choice and you are proud of yourself for re-applying every few hours, eating that sandwich, and looking pretty darn great the entire time. You are fabulous. And that's all that matters.
Images: Giphy (11)