Sunday, December 30, 2018

Lipstick Love

The older I get…………the older I get.  What?  You were expecting maybe something witty and wise?  Well, how about something practical instead? 

The older I get, the more I realize the importance of never leaving the house without lipstick.  In fact, I wear it even when I don’t leave the house.  It makes me feel sooo much better when I catch a glimpse of myself in the mirror, and nothing lifts my spirits better when I’m getting ready for a night out on the town than putting on that perfect shade of red lipstick. 



“Pour yourself a drink, put on some lipstick, and pull yourself together.” – Elizabeth Taylor

And, so, I intend to kick start the New Year in a great black dress and a “kick-ass red lipstick,” to quote Gwyneth Paltrow, who is not someone I normally associate with red lipstick, but you never really know about us women and what catches our fancy, now do you?  They’ve yet to invent a reliable algorithm for that one. 






I think better with red lipstick.  Seriously, when I want to get down to serious business, I always wear red lipstick, even when I’m working alone.  It makes me feel powerful and in charge.  No doubt one of the many little quirks I inherited from Mme Mère who believed that life doesn’t trifle with a woman wearing red lipstick. 







Here I am working at my computer all alone and at night, which I often do, and wearing red lipstick.  I think it was Laura Mercier’s Sun Blaze Paint Wash lipstick, which has been discontinued.  Don’t you hate when they do that? 

I love the Color Red, which is said to project physical courage, strength, warmth and energy.  It is an aggressive, stimulating color.  With this Color, you can easily command the room. 

Audrey and I are clearly on the same page.  There is a shade of red for every woman, even for redheads, who were once warned against wearing red.  Stuff and nonsense!!  I am a redhead who wears red dresses and red lipstick, and don’t get me started about red shoes (Ooooh!).  Lucille Ball had it exactly right when she said… 







When I go clothes shopping, I have three rules, the second of which is “Never go shopping without lipstick.”  Sound silly?  Not really.  Store lighting is often unreliable in determining color, especially in dressing rooms; therefore, your perfect shade of lipstick (and it needn’t be red on this occasion) is an instant clue.  If your lipstick color looks “off,” the lighting in the dressing room may be heavy on cool or warm undertones.  Check the garment in natural light, if possible.  It can make all the difference. 

Oh, BTW, the first of my three rules is “Never go shopping without a list” (even Santa has one and checks it frequently) and my third is “Never go shopping with friends.”  This rule applies when I am on the hunt for something specific; for that I prefer to be a solitary, focused hunter -- much more efficient.  I’ll meet you afterwards for a drink.  Of course, retail therapy with friends is often just what the doctor ordered, but that’s recreational shopping – much more fun and relaxed. 





Currently, my favorite red lipstick is YSL’s Rouge Pur Couture.  It’s luscious, creamy and has pretty good staying power.  Still, I’m always on the hunt for the next “perfect” red lipstick for me, which was why I was excited to learn that 




Photo by David M. Benett
Superstar makeup artist to the Stars, Lisa Eldridge, she of the fabulous YouTube makeup tutorials, would be launching her own makeup line starting with three shades of red lipstick, her Velvet Lipstick Collection. 






Velvet Morning






Velvet Ribbon, and





Velvet Jazz.

Unfortunately, by the time I got the good news, I also got the bad news that they had ALL completely sold out within a matter of days and the restocked items within a matter of minutes.  Eldridge has said only that they were fairly difficult to produce, so she is being rather cagy about whether or not they will be restocked, but I suspect that if the demand is high enough, and it appears to be, they may be available again at some point.  In the meantime, I am still keeping an eye out for my “perfect” red lipstick. 




So, ladies, let’s add a Rule that has nothing to do with shopping and everything to do with feeling and looking your best:  “Never Leave Home without Lipstick.”  A great shade of lipstick is the quickest, easiest and best thing you can do for your face at any age, but particularly at our age when a quick swipe of lipstick is like an instant blush of youth and a big shot of confidence. 








As always, Mme Mère gets the final word on the subject of lipstick. 

My Mother spent the last six of her 97 years at St. Mary’s Catholic Home. 

One of the highlights of life at St. Mary’s was the monthly High Tea.  Jane Brown, the wonderful woman who supervised these teas, always went all out, and the ladies, in return, made a special effort to look their best.  I would arrive early to help my Mother with her make-up (eyebrow pencil, crème blush and bright rose lipstick).  A sparkly bobbi pin in her white hair added a discreet touch of glamour.  As I wheeled her down the hall, everyone she passed would say, “Isabelle, you look beautiful.”   


One day, a new lady was wheeled in.  “Ladies,” Jane said, “I’d like you to meet a new member of our High Tea group.”  She started introductions all around, and when she got to my Mother, Mme Mère took one look at the new member and said, “Would it kill you to put on a little lipstick?” 




36 comments:

  1. You have made my evening with this just perfect blog. Love it.

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    1. And you, in turn, Katie Isabella, have made mine w/your lovely comment.

      Wishing you a happy, healthy, fabulous 2019.

      M-T

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  2. Ahh the absolutely stunning Elizabeth Taylor and equally stunning Lucille Ball :) Like you M-T I love a red lip and red is my favourite colour. I saw the Velvet Collection from Lisa Eldridge when they launched and they are beautiful. I no longer wear red clothing but do love red accessories including shoes. Red also features throughout my home. I never tire of it and always receive compliments on my decor. Yes I agree - when something we love is discontinued it is very frustrating. Hope you had an enjoyable Christmas and have a wonderful New Year - Cheers from Australia. Erica

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    Replies
    1. You are so right, Erica. Not everyone can wear a red dress the way Liz did, but we can all use a dash of red in our accessories, especially shoes. Like you, I have a little something red in almost every room in my house. It makes me happy.

      Cheers to my Aussie friend. Wishing you a healthy, happy, fabulous New Year.

      M-T

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  3. Dearest Marie-Thérèse,
    Well, I'm not much a fan of red lipstick nor nail polish...
    Just yesterday I finally found some more of my favorite Aerin Beauty Rose Balm Lipstick in Whisper, at Pret-A-Porter.
    It is a must for getting a creamy lipstick. I've made the mistake for using a lipgloss but that ends up being messy when used a few times, it kind of spills over... So that stays at home, upright inside my French Bernardaud Votive Roses.
    Sending you hugs and enjoy your New Year's Eve and wishing you a Happy New Year in good health!
    Mariette

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    Replies
    1. Ma chère Mariette,

      While Audrey was quite correct that there is a great shade of red for every woman, not every woman likes red. You are very wise to stick w/what works for you.

      I love a creamy lipstick, as well. I sometimes put a more matt lip stain over a creamy lipstick to give it more staying power without looking too matt. I agree that lip gloss, especially those in a tube w/a brush can get messy. I've ruined more than one makeup bag because of it, so I avoid them.

      Je te souhaite une bonne et heureuse année 2019.

      Bisous, M-T

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  4. Thanks for sharing your info. I really appreciate your
    efforts and I am waiting for your further post thanks
    once again.

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  5. Comment sent to me by my friend Anna:

    "Love it. And love red. Lipstick, shoes, clothes. Wear red lipstick a lot, although not at home. Hate the smear on a glass. I am on the lookout for a new one too. Like the longer lasting ones. Sephora is frustrating because there are so many to choose from. Maybe I will try the one you mentioned.
    See you soon."

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    Replies
    1. Sephora can be a bit overwhelming, which is why I like to check out the product reviews on line first before I go.

      Next time you get the urge to try a new lipstick, give me a call and we'll hunt up your perfect shade together. There's a lot of trial and error in the process, and the store lighting often has an effect on how the lipstick looks.

      xoxo, M-T

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  6. Happy New Year - MT - I wear lipstick all the time - I'm not a bright red person, so I wear a rosé color. Can't imagine leaving the house without it or being dressed nicely - must be the old school European in me and my love for the French-everything....

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    Replies
    1. A rosy rose for a Rose sounds perfect! You and I are clearly "old school" and I make no apologies for it. Today's young girls often leave the house w/nothing but their keys and cell phones. I can't imagine not having my makeup bag w/me for a quick touchup during the day.

      There's something so quintessentially feminine about powdering your nose and applying your lipstick. Guess I'm still just a girly girl.

      Wishing you a healthy, happy, fabulous New Year.

      Cheers, M-T

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  7. Comment sent to me by Natalie B:

    "Marie Therese, I loved your piece on lipstick. I have been wearing it since the age of 14, when my late mother introduced me to "Tangee." There was no looking back. I have tried most of the products out there from MAC to Maybelline. Once, my ever patient and generous husband impulsively bought me six of the Chanel Rose Plum I loved, while we were shopping for my birthday. I used every bit of them. I agree that some lipstick is an instant mood pick up. If I live to be ninety, I plan on still wearing my most favorite accessory. I am looking forward to your posts in 2019."

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    Replies
    1. Dear Natalie,

      What a wonderful husband you have! He clearly knows what makes you happy. He may not understand the power a perfect lipstick can have on how a woman feels about herself, but it doesn't matter. What matters is that he knows it does and enjoys the results. It's a win/win in my book. He's a keeper.

      One of my New Year's resolutions is to be more attentive to my Blog, so I hope you will enjoy my little musings in 2019.

      Wishing you a healthy, happy, fabulous New Year.

      Cheers, M-T

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  8. I just did a post on my new favorite lipstick, the Maybelline 24 hour one. It really stays on and I love that. My question is -- I'm now wearing darker lipsticks because with this new lipstick I don't have to worry about getting it all over my coffee cup etc., but I'm worried the darker red will make my teeth look yellow. My teeth are fine, not yellow at all, but I'm afraid the dark lipstick will yellow them. I've seen some women where it does that. Does it have to do with choosing a warmer red? Are cool reds better? Thanks MT! And Happy New Year! xo Deborah

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    1. You've asked a great question, Deborah. I remember the days when the old ladies in my neighborhood had red lips and yellow teeth, but today we are much more aware of taking care of our teeth and have become overly obsessed (in my humble opinion) with ultra-bright, white teeth. Young people have become addicted to whitening which, according to my dentist, will eventually end up by wearing away the enamel leaving their teeth permanently yellow.

      Anyway, if your teeth are healthy and white, red lipstick will actually make them look whiter, provided it's the right shade of red and not too matt. The right shade of red depends on your skin tones. For example, I have warm (yellow) undertones to my skin so I wear tomato (orangey) reds. Without actually doing a color analysis on you, my best advice is to choose a shade that is not too matt and has some brightness to it. In other words, don't go too dark, which can be aging.

      As far as the whiteness of your teeth, the same holds true w/pearls. If your pearls are too white, your teeth will look slightly yellow by comparison. My pearls all have a slight yellowish cast to them, at least those I wear closest to my face. Long strands and bracelets can be bright white -- no problem.

      Hope this helps. If not, we'll talk....

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  9. I never wore red lipstick until I let my grey hair come through and stopped dying it. With my grey hair , red lipstick looked great and I started to buy more ... I have a nice collection now!
    When you go grey you have to chuck out some clothing and cosmetic colours .
    Just found your blog :) Happy New Year to you from another Aussie !

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    Replies
    1. Delighted you found me, Lady Jicky (love the name), and I adore my Aussie readers. Have quite a few and their comments are always among the best I receive.

      Yes, indeed, changing the color of your hair changes everything in terms of the colors we wear whether it be clothes or cosmetics. I am a BIG believer in red lipstick with grey hair. It's a stunning combination. Make the most of it!!

      Thanks for stopping by.

      Happy New Year to you and yours,

      Cheers, M-T

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    2. Guerlain's Jicky perfume is a favourite of mine :)

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    3. Ah, the question is do you believe the perfume was named after Aimé Guerlain's heart throb as a young student in England or Jacques Guerlain's nickname Jicky? I prefer the former, more romantic, story. What do you think?

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  10. I look for orange-reds, but I find so many that look good at first, but then turn more blue after a short time. Same with nail color, though that takes longer.

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    Replies
    1. I have two suggestions for you to try. First of all, I have had the same problem. It has a lot to do w/the natural color of your lips, which can cause the lipstick color to change color.

      Try putting your foundation over your lips, then powdering w/a translucent loose powder and then apply your lipstick.

      If that doesn't work, try the opposite color (blue/red) and see what happens.

      I've had to go through several colors to get it right. I have had great luck w/YSL lipsticks. They really seem to hold the color. Let me know how you make out.

      Cheers, M-T

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    2. Thanks, I'll give it a try.

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    3. Let me know if it works. If not, we'll try something else.

      Cheers, M-T

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  11. Hi Marie Therese,

    I am looking for a few new blogs to follow and came across yours. So many of the blogs that I followed for years have ended. Not sure how I came across yours...but here I am. I despite my age, (early seventies.).., I try to always look my best and I adore France. My motto is it is on the way to everywhere, My next trip to Paris is already planned for Sept.
    As for lipstick...I always line my lips first with a pencil lipstick to prevent bleeding into the lines around my mouth and then apply color. Sure wish I had thicker lips though! Janey

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    1. Hi Janey,

      So delighted to have you among my readers, and I will do my best to keep you amused and informed. As you may have noticed, my blog posts tend to be a bit of this and a bit of that. In fact, a reader once wrote that she never knows where the post will end up when she starts, but always enjoys the ride.

      My poor Paris is suffering a bit at the moment as a result of the "gilets jaunes" who are acting up and acting out. I do hope things will have calmed down by the time you are there in September. I also hope that the damage that has been inflicted on beloved monuments and historic sites will have been repaired.

      On a lighter note, liner is the best way to avoid color bleeding, particularly if it is a creamy lipstick, which tends to wander. As to thicker lips, it's true that they do tend to thin out as we get older and those nasty, little lines around your mouth start to become more noticeable, too. Best remedy for that is a smile.

      I will be popping over to visit your Blog very soon.

      Thanks for stopping by and taking the time to comment.

      Cheers, M-T

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  12. I so love the stories about your Mother!! Am chuckling. Whenever I go to get a new lipstick, I am always given a shade of fuschia by the salespeople, whether or not I ask for it. Unless I am anaemic, which I frequently can be, and then I am pale (I have olive skin normally), then I am given apricot colours. Which tells me that I am so very low on iron!!!
    But, I do agree with you. Lipstick is great.

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    1. Mme Mère was indeed an amazing woman -- a true force of nature. She would be 103 this August. I fully expected her to live that long.

      Lipstick colors for olive skin tones can be a bit tricky. I definitely would NOT recommend fuschia. The contrast would give your skin a yellow cast. Not sure what shade of apricot they wanted to give you, but I do think you should try warmer shades which would compliment your skin tones rather than fight it. Finding the right lipstick color is even harder than finding the right foundation color, but well worth the hunt.

      Like many woman, myself included, you may be "between" shades, which means you have to mix foundations and layer shades of lipstick. I often do to get the right color. Marilyn Monroe always layered different shades of lipstick to get exactly the right color. It's rare that something is perfect right out of the bottle or the tube.

      Keep trying and let me know how you make out.

      Cheers and Happy New Year,

      M-T

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  13. Memoirs of a Geisha red would be my "killer" red. It's just stunning (and so is the actress!), I wish I knew the brand and color name!

    Also, I have very pale lips so I always wear lipstick if I'm heading out of the house, otherwise I look ill.
    I was taught that the best lipstick color is the one closest to your own lips when you bite them. I try to stick with that color : a deep peachy-rose.

    D.

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    1. What a great tip -- the color closest to your own lips is the way you should go, but stepped up a few color notches for ultimate impact on those special nights. A deep peachy-rose sounds wonderful -- contains a bit of cool and warm tones -- perfect!

      I loved that movie "Memoirs of a Geisha" and do remember that beautiful red. That would be my "killer" red, too, but have no idea of the brand name and color either. Ah well, you and I will just have to continue our hunt for the perfect red.

      Thanks for taking the time to comment.

      Cheers and Happy New Year,

      M-T

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  14. Comment sent to me by my dear friend Pat:

    "Ok.. You convinced me. I just put on lipstick.
    You are correct. A bit also works for blush.
    Happy New Year!
    Love P"

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    1. Hah!! As if you need any convincing. You have always looked fabulous whether on TV or in your kitchen, not to mention the little hottie you were in college.

      You could write a book on makeup, and, yes, lipstick makes the best cream blush – more staying power. I use it frequently. Also, the color doesn’t fight w/your lipstick shade. Pulls everything together nicely.

      Happy New Year to you and David.

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    2. Reply sent to me by Pat:

      "Love you!! Frenchie! You always inspire"

      Delete
  15. I am always on the search for the perfect shade of lipstick, would love to find "my" red, but I'm also the one who thinks she's picking something entirely new and ends up with the same shade as in her makeup bag at home :~).

    I've become a big fan of NARS velvet matte lip pencils, find them easy to apply and they have relatively good staying power. They are also easy to layer for custom color according to one's mood. I have found that darker shades look dreadful on me, and that brighter shades (which use to scare me) really make my whole face instantly brighter.

    Now if I could only find the perfect smudgeproof eyeliner pencil...........

    Warm wishes for the New Year!

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    1. Ah, yes, the Holy Grail!! The perfect shade of red lipstick. You may just have to do what I do from time to time -- I mix and layer to get the right shade. Lip pencils are a great way to add staying power. I have been using Laura Mercier's Chestnut shade for daytime and Redwood for evening. I can use the same color lipstick on top, but it looks different depending on the lip pencil underneath. I'll have to check out Nars on your recommendation.

      As to wearing brighter shades, they are absolutely the way to go as we get older. They add a youthful brightness to the face, which we all want, n'est-ce pas?

      As for smudgeproof eyeliner pencil, well, I think that's just the nature of the beast. They don't have the same stay put power as a gel liner. I use Bobbi Brown's gel liner in Graphite. I dot it on at the lash line w/a pointed brush, then go over it in one stroke and then take a Q-tip and smudge it into the lash line. It really does stay put. For a more dramatic effect for evening, you swipe up slightly at the outer edge. If you do it lightly, it will still look very natural.

      Warmest wishes to you, too for a healthy, happy and prosperous New Year.

      Cheers, M-T

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