Monday, 22 April 2019

How I became a Lipstick Person

Lifestyle blogger lipstick challenge how to become a lipstick person

I'd always loved the idea of being a Lipstick Person. You know, the kind of person who wouldn't be seen dead without a splash of red lipstick. Who always looks put together and glamorous. It always seemed like people who wear lipstick every day had their life together.

As unlikely as that is to be true, I still aspired to it. But the problem was that lipstick just didn't seem to suit me. Every time I put on red lipstick, I felt like I was wearing fancy dress. I've even visited MAC and Sephora and asked them to help me find my perfect red. Whenever I had my makeup done professionally, they always gave me a strong lip - but I wasn't convinced. Every time I went out with red lips, I'd caught my reflection in the mirror and felt a little startled. I just didn't look like ME.

A little while ago, I made a concerted effort to fulfil this entirely manageable goal to be a Lipstick Person, and I actually cracked it. I've got to the point now where I feel bare without lipstick on. I mean, were my lips ALWAYS this pale? I even did a challenge on Instagram recently where I tried to wear a different lipstick every day for a month (which is what the photos above are from). Not only have I become a Lipstick Person, I've become the kind of Lipstick Person that has enough shades to wear a different one every day for 31 days.

Lifestyle blogger lipstick challenge how to become a lipstick person

Here's where I went wrong. I thought being a Lipstick Person was about finding my perfect red lipstick. But once I decided that red lipstick just didn't suit me and focused on all the other shades out there, it became a hell of a lot easier. I'm not convinced that the perfect red exists - at least, not in the sense that you'll put it on and just feel RIGHT. And if you feel the same, it's okay - there are hundreds of other shades out there. Might I suggest pink?

So here's how I did it. It didn't happen overnight - changing a major part of your face is something you have to get used to. But now lipstick isn't a special occasion thing for me any more. The thing is, anyone can suit lippy, you just have to believe it suits you. And if you believe it, then it will.

1. Find your gateway shade
For the longest time, I never felt like me in a bright red - it always seemed too much with my rather large mouth against my pale skin and red hair. But pink was a different story. I focused on finding a few shades slightly brighter than my natural colour, and got used to how I looked like that. Then gradually, they got brighter and brighter. And brighter.

2. Start with long lasting shades
One of the trickiest things about wearing lipstick regularly when you haven't before is that it can get bloody everywhere. On your glass, teeth, hands, food, husband... you've been there, right? I started with the kind that set and stain (I love Sephora's lip creams and Maybelline's Ink Matte range, and the Nars velvet lip pencils stay on surprisingly well), so they stay all day and I can forget I'm wearing them. Super low maintenance. Wearing the long lasting shades also means that you're committing to keeping them all on day, which is a good way of pushing you out of your no-lipstick comfort zone. I still prefer the long lasting ones as they're low effort.

Lifestyle blogger lipstick challenge how to become a lipstick person

3. Learn to match your shades
I've found that brighter lipsticks look best when they match something you're wearing - a coral shade with a coral dress, a hot pink to complement the watermelons on your new frock - and it's not crucial to match exactly, either. Making a small effort instantly completes an outfit. But I've found that the season and the weather affects the lippy shades that work, too. A darker, plummy shade sometimes looks a bit odd on a bright, sunny day and a hot pink sometimes looks too summery for a glum winter's afternoon. It gets easier the more you do it, and getting it wrong isn't a disaster. Just go with it.

4. Ease your way in
Start out wearing lipstick to every special occasion - that wedding or that party - then progress to that dinner out, that pub trip. From there, it'll feel more natural to wear it to lunch, or to an interview... and from there, it's a pretty easy step to wear it to work. I used starting a new role as an excuse to wear lipstick to work, and now it's just a thing that I do, the same as I wear dresses every day. Easy peasy.

5. Wearing a stronger face
It was only a few years ago that I started wearing blusher along with my usual makeup face. I NEVER used to wear blusher - I always felt it didn't work with my pale skin, but in truth it makes me look healthier and a bit more alive. And I also now always define my eyebrows with a pencil or powder - I never used to as I always figured red hair and dark brows looked weird, but it really doesn't. My eyebrows are dark naturally, but they need a little push to define them, or they look half invisible in photos. However, I think that having more defined brows and cheeks means that in comparison, my natural lips look washed out - and that pushed me towards lipstick.

Are you a Lipstick Person or is it a foreign, terrifying world as it was for me? Are you tempted to try again?

Lifestyle blogger lipstick challenge how to become a lipstick person
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1 comment

  1. I have totally felt like this, Sarah. One of my fears is that with eye make-up, blusher and eyebrows (I too am a fairly new convert to the latter two) that lipstick might just look a bit too much. This post has made me want to experiment again though so thanks x

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