Because you can't have depths without surfaces.
Linda Grant, thinking about clothes, books and other matters.

Saturday, 28 June 2008

Mao and make-up

Was it only Monday evening, when, after an overnight flight (in economy) from Toronto, and three hours sleep at home, I met Tina Craig of the Bag Snobs on her last night in London and we got through two bottles of Veuve Cliquot and four ginger martinis at Momo? And possibly a bit to eat.

So much information was transmitted during the four or five hours that some of it is still sinking in (what she told me about her grandmother's experience of Mao's Cultural Revolution remains in sharp focus, reminding me that I really must get round to reading Jung Chang's Wild Swans, about fifteen years after it first came out - the author, I can attest from spending a weekend with her and her husband, a lover of Issey Miyake's flawless dresses.)

What I noticed about Tina was that despite the largest number of make-up brushes I have ever seen outside the professional collection of the make-up artist, the impression of wearing no make-up at all was accomplished by the finishing touch being just lip-gloss.

And I have come to the conclusion the lipstick can be ageing,* at least in the summer. A little lipgloss in a colour close to your lips' own natural shade, as Tina was wearing, is fresh, natural and takes years off you. I'm currently using Chanel's Aqualumiere, in Bubble Plum for evening and Freeze for day.

* Unless you are one of those women whose skin tone allows you to get away with a slash of deepest red. Which I am unfortunately not.


Anonymous said...

I went to the Bobbi Brown stall in my local JL where a lovely assistant chose a lipstick for me from a palette of colours that took as its starting point the shade that was as near to the shade of my lips as she could fine -(brown, apparently). They suggest using that colour for day and for night one of two or three brighter ones.

It makes sense really, and that may be the mistake, that we often wear a shade that clashes with our own lip colour that contributes to the Baby Jane look we're all running away from. The colour I'm wearing for evening now is Lip Sheer Peony.


greying pixie said...

Yes, I realised whilst still in my 20s that my lipstick had to be near my lip colour. But I find a constrast to my warm olive skin works well, so I go for cool lilac pinks, as this makes my teeth look whiter. If I go for nude beige my teeth seem to take on a very unattractive shade of yellow!

Going through art school I saw so many of my tutors clinging to the postbox red of their youth in a bid to look avant garde and looking rather drained and older than necessary. I think it has a lot to do with the thinness of your lips. If you have a full lips you can get away with darker colours but I just look like someone's maiden great aunt!

phyllis said...

Lip color took me the longest to get right (or at least get comfortable with.) First I brush on Stila Dual Lip and Cheek color creme as a base (it's my blush too) then use a navy eye pencil to dot on a tiny amount of color at the outer edges of my upper and dlower lips. The blue color is then feathered with a lip brush. This trick really gives great defintion to your lips. It really works and it's not at all obvious.

Then the color goes on: I really like a matte look, and two great products for that are Lip Envy by Urban Decay (a liquid lip stain) and Nars Velvet Matte lip pencils.

I find that using a base really keeps the top licolor bright and long lasting.

Arabella said...

I was about to try lip gloss once, then I saw a woman on a subway platform in NYC get blasted by the wind; she spent her train ride trying to un-glue her hair from her mouth.
Are there light glosses with a reputation for non-stickiness?

Deja Pseu said...

Linda, you really must read "Wild Swans." While the writing is a bit jumpy at times, the story of her family is just amazing and the level of cultural upheaval in so short a time is absolutely mind-boggling.

Trish McEvoy and Nars both make lip glosses that are less sticky, though I've never found a tube gloss that is totally non-sticky. Bobbi Brown is the worst for adhesive qualities, Chanel a close second. Another good option are Laura Mercier's "Gloss sticks" lipsticks. They go on very sheer with no stickiness.

Rosaria said...

I've long had an uneasy relationship with lippy, and found lipglosses filled the void effortlessly. I have about six different tinted ones on the go at one time, including a lip plumping one which works a treat. Even though I don't need plumping up - no trout pout thanks - it's great for evenings, for a little accentuation. Some Body Shop glosses are just fine. I'm more comfortable wearing lippy, topped with a gloss, at night, when colour really is demanded. I think matt lippy is ageing on anyone over 40, and only people such as Pat Field can get away with fire engine red after a certain age. On the other hand, when one really hits the twlight years, one should wear whatever one bloody well likes, bright red included!

Duchesse said...

The problem with gloss, for me, is staying power... gloss's seems measured in minutes.

When I work I can't continually fish into a bag and reapply gloss.

So I one of the semi-permanaent products (Cover Girl Outlast is especially lasting), finished with a top coat of gloss. Semis can dry out the lips, so remove and condition at end of day (I like Cinique's All About Lips).

Almay makes a sightly less long lasting but much gentler on the lips semi-permanent.

Arabella said...

Thanks, Deja, for the glue tips.

Rollergirl said...

I find that the time of day and year make a big difference to how lipstick looks. Red lipstick looks great on me in the summer but on a cold day it makes me look practically blue! I'm sure this is probably the case with clothing too and it's kind of obvious when you think about it, hence why photographers use lighting for shoots...duh! I might say the lipstick I hate is that gothy browny-plum that gets regurgitated every autumn as 'this season's shade'. Ugh, not flattering on anyone!

rb said...

I keep hearing this "lipstick is aging" thing, since what's her name wrote that book on how not to look old.

I wear lipstick, red lipstick and I love it. I'm 43 and if I look 53 I don't care. I'm a fair-skinned blue-eyed brunette and without lipstick my whole face just disappears.