Did You Put That Lipstick On In the Dark?


In my on-going effort to keep my face from totally falling apart (see previous post on eyebrows), my other feature that seems to be rebelling is my lips.

Until not too long ago, right before I walked out the door, I would just grab a lipstick, swipe it on, even if a mirror wasn’t available, and never give it another thought — and it always looked fine! 

Well, then I started noticing that my lips suddenly looked — I guess the best word is –undefined.  When I looked in a mirror the lipstick seemed — messy.  And I hadn’t changed anything about how I was putting it on, so what was going on?  Of course, what was going on was AGE!  Little tiny creases appear all around your lips so that there isn’t a smooth lip line any more.  But knowing what caused it, didn’t solve the problem! 

After trying some other brands of lipstick (I’m normally a L’Oreal and Revlon girl) without improving the look, I decided I would start using lipliner to define my lips.

The lipliner helped, but created another problem.  I would put the lipliner on and then the lipstick, and they looked great — until I ate or drank something.  Then, the lipstick would quickly disappear and I would be left with my mouth just, very obviously, outlined.  Swell.  I think I’ve actually see models in magazines with this look — but it’s definitely not for my 61-year old, Midwestern self.  For a while I then experimented with different drug store brands, and within the brands different “kinds” (feels like a “racket” sometimes!), but I never found a solution, except for frequent re-application, which is really not my style.

Finally, recently, I told myself, “Enough is enough!  It’s time to bring in the big guns!”  I went to Macey’s to the cosmetic section, which I have frequented only occasionally in the past, when someone would recommend something specific, like sunless tanning lotion.

The first counter I came to was that of a well-known cosmetics company, where two BEAUTIFULLY made up young women (same blonde hairstyle, same height — cloning comes to mind) with lips that were PERFECTLY glossed, asked if they could help me.  (This should have been a warning to me that they felt they needed the buddy system  to sell cosmetics!)  While they stood there smiling and looking genuinely sympathetic, I briefly explained my “lip situation,” including that I had recently started filling in the whole lip with the lipliner and then applying the lipstick over it, but that that still hadn’t made the lipstick stay on longer.

In defense of these two, I will say that I approached them by saying that I needed ADVICE for my problem, but wouldn’t you think that a person(s) who is SELLING SOMETHING would translate that to mean, “What product can you sell me that might solve my problem?”  Apparently, their training class left out that little sales technique.  Because, after I had told them my problem, and said again, “What do you think I should do?”, they just continued to smile, still looking sympathetic to the problems of my old self, and one said, “Well, it sounds like you’re doing everything that you can do!”  The other “SALES Associate” (and I use the term loosely) just nodded and continued to smile too.  As we stood looking at each other, I realized that they were DONE!  They had nothing more to say!  So, I thanked them, and walked away.

I walked to the Estee Lauder counter, and apparently, into another universe!  A young woman, probably in her mid-30’s (a little bit older and a million times wiser than the last two), immediately approached me and asked how I was.  She then said she remembered selling sunless tanning lotion to me a few years ago!  Wow!  She DID look familiar, but I was really impressed that she remembered a customer from that long ago.  I then told her the same story I’d told to the “twins” and she said there is a reason to buy more expensive lipstick because it DOES stay on better and showed me the samples so that I could pick a color (she tried each on her wrist to show the color more clearly, always a nice touch), and ended up selling me an automatic lipliner, that included one refill, a lipstick and a tube of lip gloss (I had not even thought of gloss, but she made it sound so — necessary — for the “finished look.”).  Total bill, over $60.  She also gave me her card and made me feel like she really cared whether I came back for her to wait on me.

I wondered as I walked back past the “twins” still standing prettily behind their counter, probably wondering why they don’t make any sales, if they noticed me walking past with an Estee Lauder bag, and might have thought, just for a minute, “Wait a minute, do you think she wanted to BUY something!”

I hope the “twins” are just doing this part-time, while they go to school to learning something else, because Sales is definitely not their calling.

3 Responses to Did You Put That Lipstick On In the Dark?

  1. You know, I think you are taking to this blogging business. It’s time to get some advertisers….Estee Lauder perhaps? That is a great commercial for them.

  2. […] July 9 –  In my on-going battle with age, I wrote this post about wandering lips, called Did You Put That Lipstick on in the […]

  3. lynn says:

    This is a crack-up! Thanks for reposting this link. It reminds me of the (very few) times I’ve been to the makeup counters at Macy’s or Nordstrom’s. I tell them I am extremely allergic to vitamin E in products, they swear up and down that what they’re showing me has none in it, I spend half an hour choosing a product or products, I buy them and get out to my car and look closely at all the heretofore unseen packaging, and lo and behold, all of it has vitamin E in it! Ugh! Do you think the salesgirls have gotten any more instructions other than smile and nod?

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