Musings of a self-confessed beauty addict from the heart of London!

Monday, 13 February 2012

Lipstick Memories

After writing about the Clarins Lip Perfectors, I got to thinking about all the lip products I currently own, and subsequently, those I used to own once upon a time.

I thought it would really fun to open a discussion with you all about your own 'once upon a time' products, so to begin with, I would love to know what your first ever lipstick was, or at least, the first lipstick you can remember owning?

I'll start us off, shall I?

As far as I can remember my first lipstick was called Paradise Pink and it was by Max Factor.....

It's the early nineties (yes, I'm showing my age now...) and I'm trawling the local department store with my gran because I want to buy a lipstick, or rather, she wants to buy it for me. Neither of us know what I'm looking for. All I know is that lipstick will make me beautiful, it will make me thin, it will make my hair grow long and luscious, it will make me irresistible to boys. My poor gran did not have a clue about make-up, but knowing that my mother would never indulge me enough to have the patience to take me lipstick shopping, and knowing that two heads were better than one, I figured my gran would have to do. 

We linger around the Max Factor stand picking up random colours and then putting them back, each time feeling more and more clueless. My gran keeps repeating to me that 'Max Factor is the best!' but I'm not really feeling 'the vibe'. A shop assistant sees us and asks if she can help.

"I'm looking for a lipstick"

"What colour?"

"I don't know"

"Is it for you?"

"Um, yes"

"And you don't know what colour you want?"

I'm dying from embarrassment, somehow I never thought that buying a lipstick would make me feel so vulnerable. How could I, the awkward, frizzy-haired, puffy teen explain to this gorgeous, slim and confident sales assistant that she didn't care what colour the lipstick was so long as it made her look beautiful.

"Um, maybe pink?"

"Well, how about Estee Lauder?"

Estee Lauder! Untouchable, unreachable, unaffordable but oh-so desirable. I'd seen it only in the expensive magazines, like Elle and Vogue,  which I didn't really read yet as I was still at the age of  pulling out the posters in Smash Hits... funny really, as I didn't even listen to Bros....

Estee Lauder.... All I knew is that as drawn to the counter as I was, I couldn't ask my gran to buy me such an expensive lipstick. The guilt would kill me. Or my mum would.

So it was back to Max Factor. The assistant began to show me some colours and told me to use my nail to scrape some off the bullet to try on my lips. I began to try to scrape some away and she took one look at my chewed nails and said sarcastically, "that's if, you actually have any nails left!"

I was mortified. I felt so ashamed of myself. No clue, no boyfriend.

Pressured by my gran who continued to repeat (read, yell) her mantra at me; "Max Factor is the BEST!", I hastily agreed on a pale, pink shimmery colour, Paradise Pink. I remember it costing around the £3 mark, and my gran of course refused to let me pay for it out of my pocket money.

I took home my precious bullet of hope and ran up to my room to put it on....

I remember the waxy, perfumed smell. I remember the dryish texture. But most of all I remember the utter hideousness of the colour. Pale, cool-toned baby pink with a shimmery pearl finish. Everything that could be wrong with it, was wrong. My little heart sunk, and I felt sick. Sick at the thought of my gran's wasted money, sick with disappointment and sick with fear that I would never be pretty. Deep down I knew the lipstick was a bad choice, but somehow I still blamed myself. 

Paradise Pink was relegated to the back of a drawer where it remained for longer than I care to remember. I think I tried to wear it on occasions, forgetting how bad it was previously, only to wipe it off with disgust as soon as I saw my sad reflection peer back at me, my lips coated in shimmery baby pink tackiness which seemed to turn my pale olive skin to a funny shade of lime green.

I don't know what happened to Paradise Pink. I can't remember throwing it away, but I must have done at some point. All I know, is that I never made such a heinous mistake ever again.

I had better luck in the months which followed with Rimmel's Bunch of Roses (a blushing nude pink) and, more boldly, a lovely raspberry red shade called Cranberry Crush by the now extant Sensiq.

So, there it is. Paradise Pink both scarred me and made me.

Now it's your turn! What are your lipstick memories?

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