About a week ago, I received a sample of a 5 Night Lip Fix for review, and the BITE publicist threw a few lipstick colors into the bag as well. One of the shades was a bright, bright fuchsia — something I would never have even considered buying had I come across it in the beauty department. I'm a lightly tinted lip balm or nothing kind of gal. Still, I'm also a believer in signs, so I figured this was the universe's way of telling me to conquer my bold lipstick fear. As a little test, I put some on before bed — and loved it — then washed it off before I climbed under the covers. As much as I dug the look in the mirror, I couldn't imagine leaving the house wearing it.
I had a friend in college who was known for rocking unbrushed hair and lipstick. I was always jealous of her. She made the bold look work, and made me want a signature look too. My jealousy finally hit its peak when she came into class one morning wearing fuchsia lipstick — the same fuchsia lipstick I had been eyeing every time I went to Sephora but could work up the nerve to buy.
I originally pitched the idea of "Outfits You Can Wear with Fuchsia Lipstick" because I knew I didn't necessarily have to leave my house wearing the lipstick if I just put together outfits, but my editor wasn't having any scaredy cat nonsense. I knew I had to do it. I had to wear the fuchsia lipstick outside. I am from a small, rural-town in Indiana. Fashion extremes are not our speciality and you are likely to end up the talk of the town if you so much as touch the color of your hair.
Nonetheless, I spent a whole day in public wearing the bold, bright and fun color. And, guess what? It went better than I expected.
It took me a half hour longer to get ready that morning because I had NOTHING to wear with the fuchsia color. Ironic, right? I sent this selfie to that aforementioned messy-haired friend, who also knows my closet forward and backward, asking what on earth to wear with this bright color. Before she gave any helpful advice, her first text was "WHO EVEN ARE YOU!" It was honestly the encouragement I needed after trying on six different outfits and still in my pajamas.
After I finally landed on a black shirt (it was easy, OK?), boyfriend jeans, and black booties. My first stop was Starbucks to research and apply for jobs. When I was ordering my coffee, the barista and I had a mutual eye-to-lip conversation. He could not stop looking at my lips and I could not stop looking at his mustache, which he had curled. A couple of hours later, a pack of moms walked in and, showing my true Indiana hospitality, I smiled at them. A couple of minutes later, I look up from my computer to find a couple of them straining their necks to look at me. They were still smiling, so I took it as encouragement. A few of them asked to take a couple of chairs that were at my table and did not break eye contact with my lips.
Also, you know that thing people do where they catch someone staring at you, then you have to keep looking at them and they have to keep looking at you, but you won't hold eye contact? Another barista dude at Starbucks and I have been doing that for about a month now. Yesterday, I caught him looking more than normal. But he looked confused.
After I got my dose of coffee and job hunting, I met my mom at Target to help her pick out new boots. Keeping in mind my small town, before I even put the car in park a family friend opened my car door and screamed "YOU LOOK AWESOME!" I thanked her and had to tell her all about the experiment, because insecurities. When I finally found my mom in the store, she laughed and said, "I wasn't even aware that color was in your palette." My mom always makes fun of me for only wearing neutrals. She later add she liked the color and hopes I wear it more.
Right when we were walking out of the store, we ran into one of her co-workers. At first, she could only look at my lips, but then just made eye contact with my mom for the rest of the conversation. My mom finally let out the pink elephant (literally) and asked her friend what she thought. She said, "You know, I was a little caught off guard at first because I know that's not your typical look, but I really like it. I wouldn't put you in it for an everyday look, but it's really professional."
Instead of retreating back to Starbucks, I decided to meet a friend for lunch. It wasn't until we were sitting down with our food I asked if he was going to ask about my lipstick. He laughed and said, "I wasn't sure if I was supposed to! It took me longer than usual to see you on this block. I really like it, but it's bold for you!" Turns out, my signature style to everyone is "safe."
This is the part I was most nervous for. My brother-in-law and I are acting as interim youth leaders at our church and I had to go into our office at the church that day for a little bit. I had to meet with our office assistant, by brother-in-law, my boss, and my boss' boss. I was secretly hoping no one was there but the office assistant.
My brother-in-law didn't say anything about the lipstick, and I didn't ask either. But I caught him glancing at my lips a few times and he took the picture above from our meeting and sent it to my sister. I didn't catch anyone else looking, but before she left, the assistant told me she really liked the color.
I apologize for the sweaty picture, but I had to share. Later in the evening, I went to the gym. After I ran a few miles, I starting lifting weights and looked in the mirror for the first time. I totally forgot I was still wearing the lipstick! And it stayed strong through dinner and a not-so-careful change of clothes! The girl running next to me had blue hair, so, TBH, I'm still not sure if people were looking at me or her.