Wearing a bold lip is like maintaining long nails or long hair: it is sexy because it emphasizes a body part and because it's luxurious; and also because it communicates a sense of languid repose (you can’t do manual labor with long nails or waist-length hair, but you can definitely arrange yourself in silky fabrics on a bed).
But if lipstick looks sexy, it also looks like discipline. Because wearing perfect lipstick is hard. Unlike eye makeup—which looks 'effortless' when smudged—lipstick looks insane when smeared and must be applied carefully. Then it must be maintained throughout the day, which means reapplying each time you rub some off when blowing your nose or drinking coffee. We think of expertly-applied lipstick as a professional woman’s secret weapon, but how many times can a professional woman go to the bathroom in the course of a single day without it seeming weird? Even if she conspicuously holds a tube of lipstick on her way?
There’s also the problem of snacking, which brings me to this diagram:
Some people sit down to three balanced meals per day, and some people do not. Some people snack throughout the day. I enjoy a snacking lifestyle, and I’ve never been able to endure lipstick because of the hassles involved, as well as the problem of getting lipstick on food. (How do you eat a banana without leaving a rim of lipstick around the periphery of the fruit? And then eating it?)
Well, here is your solution: Hourglass Rouge Liquid Lipstick. This stuff is like an old cast-iron pot or a pair of Keds—it gets the job done with minimal fuss. You put it on in the morning and then snack all day, bite your nails, chew your pencil, eat your dinner, drink your beer, floss your teeth, forget about your makeup, and then make a startled expression in the mirror when you find that your lipstick is still perfectly applied, 13 hours after you dabbed it on.
I have a tube in Raven, which is a bright geranium-red, and it is the only makeup product I’ve ever gotten compliments on. It is far too expensive for a lipstick ($28), but it might just be the only lipstick you need. Bonus: the wand applicator facilitates extra-precise application.
A few notes:
1. This is workhorse lipstick—no rose scent, no satin finish, no gilt-edged mahogany tube. If you have a ritualistic relationship with lipstick, this is not your product.
2. Don’t put lip balm on top of this lipstick. It denatures the magical staying power. Does it make your lips dry? Yes, but nothing a coat of lip balm won’t cure at the end of the day. And it doesn’t cause flakes.
3. Related to above: doesn’t work on chapped lips. In fact, it accentuates the chapped texture.
4. Looks glossy when first applied, but turns matte after setting.
5. Try it on before ordering. Getting the right color is important when you’re dealing with stamina lipstick.
Photos by Annie Kreighbaum.