Wednesday, May 25, 2005

when in doubt, wear red - bill blass

i read an article today on about the power of red in competitive sports. seems folks donning red win more frequently than those who don less rubicund shades.

so i did. wore red. red lipstick, that is. being that i have 4 weeks of laundry piled upon my bed, lipstick was really the only option. every bit of crimson clothing i own will be buried there until i am able to summon the energy to fold it. (at this rate, could be years.)

vermillion rarely graces these lips. i'm a pretty natural kinda girl. a little lipgloss, a little shimmer, a little rosy-nude-i-just-woke-up-this-way-hue. but today, just for the hell of it, or because it was raining, or because i wanted to test the theory of those crazy british anthropologists, i dug my MAC Viva Glam (buy it! 100% of the proceeds benefit AIDS victims) out of the bottom of my clear plastic shoe holder (hey, there' s a tip! if you collect cosmetics like i do, buy one of those clear plastic shoe holders, hang it on the back of your bathroom door, toss in all of your goodies, and tada! you can see all of your loot, not covered in schmootz and buried at the bottom of the lavender Caboodle you've had since you were 13) and slapped it on me lips.

would i be more triumphant in my daily life?

hard to tell.

at first, it was shocking. hard to get used to the contrast of carmine lips against pale white girl skin - like a cardinal against the backdrop of freshly fallen snow. like the strawberries embroidered upon the ill-fated Desdemona's handkerchief. i wasn't sure if i'd have the cojones to wear it out of the house. what if people looked at me?

wearing red lipstick takes practice. not only in the application, but in the follow through as well. you gotta wear it with absolutely no apologies b/c red lips shout and you do not want them to shout i'm sorry, you want them to shout

HOTCHA! i know what i'm doing, i know what i got, and don't you want sooooome?

so, i practiced. i stood in front of the mirror and smiled at myself, smirked, giggled, frowned (oh, like you never do that), and slowly fell in love with the rosebud blossoming on my face. i grew cojones.

rumour has it kate hepburn wore only red lipstick and no other make up on her freckled face, and ohhhhh was she a whippersnapper. i'd like to be a whippersnapper when i grow up, therefore, i thought this could be my first step towards whippersnapper-dom.

so, i left the house for work, red lips blazing and confidence, well...not so much blazing as simmering. i felt a little self-conscious, truth me told, my lips shoutin' all over the place, but i carried on to work, my mouth a veritable matador's cape daring others to look.

as to whether i was more triumphant or not, 'tis hard to tell. i haven't played competitive sports since i dropped that fly ball in the 4th grade (probably wasn't wearing red, dammit), so i couldn't measure my success that way, but i did garner more looks than usual on the subway and my co-worker told me i looked very "painted." hm. perhaps the folks on the subway just fancied me a poorly dressed tart. no triumph there.

i dunno. at the end of the day, i'm still not a big fan of red lipstick. i'm sure i'll return to my clear gloss tomorrow. red lipstick is very high maintenance. you have to reapply a lot. it gets all crusty and builds up in the corners of your mouth (yum!). it leaves marks on everything. you can't eat much, and you certainly can't kiss anyone. but it is sort of fun to play the vamp for a day, fun to carry around harlot-in-a-tube for those moments when you just need attention, not for anything in particular, just because.

i do feel a little sense of triumph because i tried something a little different, took a little baby risk, and that's kinda like winning because with each risk i take, i find they're less scary. so the pink tinsel fake eyelashes i'm wearing tomorrow should be a breeze. it all takes practice - wearing red lipstick, taking risks, winning.

so, are the british anthropologists right? je ne sais pas. i didn't win any soccer matches, but for a day i channeled katharine hepburn - oh dex, i'm an unholy mess of a girl - , and though it's not a competitive sport, i totally kicked ass in yoga.

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