Tuesday, November 25, 2014

can we talk about lipstick?

My appearance has altered quite a bit this past year. 

My "you're-too-young-for-gray hair" transformed to a nice, auburn brown with golden warm highlights. Man-short, pixie growing (shockingly) out into a head of natural curls. Embracing bolder, richer color in my wardrobe choices. 

It all feels so right, comfortable, and true for me. And to be totally honest, I feel more confident and beautiful than I ever have before in my life.

I'm wearing lipstick now, too. Like every day. Even when I go out (unshowered) in the morning on my walk (boy, does it put some "pep to my step") or am staying home all day.

It's not like I've never worn lipstick before. But I just felt hesitant to go bolder; sticking with soft, neutral shades and lightly tinted lip gloss. As I've gained more confidence in my appearance, I've happily implemented the use of deeper colors (attracted to shades of plum) on my lips. 

And do you know what? I've noticed an interesting phenomena about this lipstick thing. Marveling how something as simple as wearing a little lipstick can have a powerful effect on my emotional well-being.

It's almost magical.

lipstick selfie.

As a little girl, I noticed this phenomena in my mother. When she would come downstairs in the morning to wake me up, I could sense a feeling of pep, energy, and happiness in her those days when she put lipstick on.

Mom + lipstick magic = good mood. 

And as I now think about it, this little ritual she gave herself really became something powerful for her. Not only bringing a little color to her beautiful face, but a feeling of self-confidence and a positive mood.

Just looking at the above photograph that was taken on Christmas Day in my kitchen four years ago, I look at myself and acknowledge that, yes, I do look fine, but a little washed out, flat, and tired. (and yes, I know I was tired, as every mother is on Christmas Day.)  

How much more "pop" (like my mom!) I'd have if there was just a little bit of color to my face. I think that this simple addition would have really pulled my energy up.

So to be clear, this much I do know. 

My mother was and is beautiful with or without lipstick, or any ounce of make-up for that matter. Her beauty and my own beauty come from within and radiate without. A woman's happiness and self-confidence isn't the result of whether she chooses to wear or not to wear lipstick and make-up or fancy designer clothing.

But for me, right now and today, a bit of lipstick seems to be working wonders. 


  1. it is working wonders - I LOVE this post and you finding this out about yourself. The color choice perfect - it looks really good on you!

  2. Yes. Cherries in the Snow---Revlon. I've worn it since the sixties, I think, and it suits me---a bit more for special occasions, or dress-up times; a bit less, dabbed on gently and patted with a finger til it's distributed nice and rosy, and then a slick of Mary Kay lip balm---DDIL has been giving me a couple of those for ten years or so.

    I own but one lipstick at a time, I think---Chris says I buy one every year "whether I need it or not."

    You always looked charming and chic before---how I'd LOVE that hairstyle vs. the gray pouf I've been sporting since the nineties.


  3. This was a wonderful post :-) I love your new look and those deep rich colors suit you. I know I love my Burt's Bees...in shades of of raisin and wild cherry.

  4. Emily, it's all you and it' s all good. I have a favorite poem by Maya Angelou called Phenomenal Woman. It is so affirmative and uplifting . It's your poem now. Happy Thanksgiving.

    Phenomenal Woman (the first and second verses)

    Pretty women wonder where my secret lies.
    I'm not cute or built to suit a fashion model's size
    But when I start to tell them,
    They think I'm telling lies.
    I say,
    It's in the reach of my arms
    The span of my hips,
    The stride of my step,
    The curl of my lips.
    I'm a woman
    Phenomenal woman,
    That's me.

    I walk into a room
    Just as cool as you please,
    And to a man,
    The fellows stand or
    Fall down on their knees.
    Then they swarm around me,
    A hive of honey bees.
    I say,
    It's the fire in my eyes,
    And the flash of my teeth,
    The swing in my waist,
    And the joy in my feet.
    I'm a woman
    Phenomenal woman,
    That's me.

  5. You have a way with colors Emily. I think you know how to choose suitable colors and accessories that are just right for you. I lack that skill, and the ambition to shop! So nice to hear when you say you feel so put together and beautiful....because you are!

  6. I love red lipstick! Seriously, I adore it. My favorite is 'Redvelation' by Ecco Bella.

    I've always thought you were lovely, but I am blessed to know you well. You are my gorgeous, stunning, talented friend, and nothing you wear, do, or say will change that. And now that we can chat about lipstick just shows that it gets better with age! Woohoo!