Last week, I decided to return to what I know. During last year’s Fashion Night Out, I went to Neiman Marcus as my original plans were waylaid by forgetfulness. The lovely lady at Bobbi Brown convinced me to purchase two gorgeous lipsticks: Hollywood and Orange to layer for a pop of color. I typically don’t do pops of colors and the champagne made me adventurous.
Here’s the truth. I actually don’t like lipstick. I only wear it to project maturity and authority. Lip gloss has a tendency to make women look frivolous in male-centric environments where I need to look commanding. However, I was running to an engagement and I couldn’t find my lipsticks (turns out they were in my going out purse). I grabbed an almost gone M.A.C. lipstick I found in the drawer and dashed out. Something weird happened by the end of the day. My lips stay supple and soft. I realized my parched lips required moisturizer not just from my lip balm, but from lip stick as well. Therefore, I really should return to an old standby.
I often try to leave M.A.C. without success. Lipstick and lip liners only! The company offers a good combination of staying power and unique colors. I hate the cliché of the Black woman in red or burgundy lipstick. My problem isn’t the company but its consultants. One year, I left M.A.C. for Clinique. There I learned the valuable tonal lesson of applying a lip liner about two shades darker than your lipstick for the simple, pretty look. They paired a lovely plum liner with a soft grape lipstick. I received so many compliments. If only that darn lipstick lasted longer than an hour. I went to the consultant begging for a solution, maybe a primer, to give it some endurance. She had nothing for me. Back I went
Last week, my return to M.A.C after six months wasn’t pleasant. I started to make my return easy. Purchase some colors I always wear and just head out. However, I thought maybe I should try something new. I knew it was going wrong when the consultant pulled out the infamous Chestnut lip liner. They have this weird theory that women should wear a lip liner that matches their skin tone. There’s one problem. I am not Chestnut. After a previous battle with a consultant in the former Georgetown location, I discovered that I am a Cork. Chestnut-wielding consultant first suggested a red lipstick (no!) and second, a raspberry colored one (what am I, 15?). I didn’t realize that the 90’s were back. Dozens of colors and every time, I get the same useless recommendations.
I’ve had these battles with consultants before and made no headway into some narrow thought of make-up application. To combat this, my best strategy is to wait until the store/counter is jam-packed. Once no one is looking, I try out multiple lipsticks until I find one I like. Then I ask the consultant to suggest a non-brown lip liner similar to the Clinique color tone theory. This plan works wonderfully. However, for this trip the store was empty and I was becoming increasingly annoyed. I shook off everything she said and ended up with two old standards: Strength, a gorgeous ginger snap color with flecks of gold, and Media, a dark plum that actually replaces the one I found in my drawer. Strength was obtained through a previous seek and test mission. I honestly don’t think I would have found it if left up to a consultant. It looks amazing against my skin and I always get compliments. So this time, I made no new discoveries. However, my lips are soft and I only need to reapply once a work day. You win some, you lose some.