Hi, I’m Mary, and this is my column no one asked for about things I like!
I would like to make a very important announcement: I have recently become a woman who wears lipstick. I know! Who could have ever imagined little old me with her lips painted some crazy ass color? Not me, that’s for sure.
It took me a long time to get comfortable wearing lipstick, but I finally have and it honestly feels like an accomplishment. I think part of my aversion to lipstick stems from the fact that I was raised during the lip gloss era, when you weren’t sexy unless your lips looked fuckin’ wet. In high school, I had various candy-colored drugstore brand lip glosses that I would glob on at school, then spend the next hour licking off (I was always on a diet so lipgloss was usually the closest I got to dessert).
Until recently, every time I put on lipstick, I felt like I was playing with my mom’s makeup kit, which felt especially strange because my mom didn’t have a makeup kit. She had one neutral-colored lipstick that she wore maybe twice a year on special occasions. I inherited her ideas about lipstick as this wild, bold, attention-getting statement.
But a few years ago I realized: um, I like attention. So one day, when I needed a break from work, I went downstairs to the Sephora in the mall on the second floor of my building (I used to have a fancy job but now I’m broke lol) and started to put shit on my lips. I settled on a Benefit raspberry-tinted lipstick, a slightly more dramatic version of my actual lip color. Though I was excited when I bought it because it felt like a very adult purchase, I could never find an actual time to wear it, so I rarely did.
Not long after that first purchase, however, I must have had a psychotic break or some shit because I decided I wanted RED lipstick. I went back to Sephora (I must have been having a bad day) and boldly told a saleswoman I was looking for red lipstick. She told me Makeup Forever was the way to go, so I found a loud, bright red and I fucking bought it. And I never, ever wore it. What was I supposed to do — walk into the office looking (even more) like Gwen Stefani (jk)?
Then I started doing comedy, and everything changed (in terms of lipstick). Onstage, I’m not quite in character, but I’m certainly an exaggerated version of myself, so I like to wear lipstick. It makes me feel like a performer instead of just some short lady, you know? Performing made me so comfortable with lipstick that, while at the MAC store with a dear friend (and VIP MAC employee — thanks for the discount, Gregory!), I bought a fucking PURPLE lipstick. And I actually WEAR it!
I also have a neon pink, which is great with a summer tan, a dark berry shade (which I sometimes use a liner to darken even more, if you can believe that) and a couple of different reds, both of which are MAC Retro Matte Liquid Lip Color. That stuff is CRAZY and looks especially amazing on camera. It does dry out your lips though, so you better use a primer underneath.
I still rarely wear lipstick in my everyday life because it feels like a lot, but also because it tends to dry out my lips. If I want a little color during the day, I’ll put on my Bite Beauty Agave Lip Mask in Smashed, which is very moisturizing and has a nice, subtle tint. Before bed, I always put on Smith’s Rosebud Salve, which is bad because it has petroleum in it, but until I find something else that comes close to replenishing my moisture levels overnight, I’m going to continue to selfishly destroy the environment for the sake of my smackers.
Friends tell me all the time they’re afraid of wearing lipstick and I say, “If I can do it, you can do it!” Wow you have no idea how often I say that lol (like once every three months, at least). So go ahead and put on some lipstick — or don’t! Just do what you want!
The best advice I ever got about lipstick was from former editor of the seminal and very sadly soon to be defunct site TheHairpin and all-around goddess Jane Marie, who says in that video to make sure you always do the rest of your makeup before trying on lipstick, because if you’re trying on a bold shade with a bare face after leaving the gym, you will look ridiculous. Thank you Jane Marie and the Hairpin for teaching me how to be a girl, I’ll be forever grateful.
As always, I’d like to clarify that this is NOT a sponsored post. I received nothing for it and honestly no one gives a shit whether or not I’m wearing lipstick. Still, if anyone is reading and ever wants to give me literally anything for free, lip-related or not, I WILL TAKE IT!!!!!!
Anyway, I hope this was helpful. I’ll be back with more unsolicited recommendations soon!