I'll Wear Red Lipstick!

I'll wear Red Lipstick! That was my answer as I lay on the operating table staring up at the big brilliant light, waiting for the nurse with her large needle to inject me with pain killers. This was what? My 21? 23? surgery on my face. I've lost count of the number of times I've had basal cell cancer surgery on my face. I seem to always be walking around with a bandage on my nose, neck, side of face, etc.. Aha you ask, “don’t you wear sunscreen?  It’s not the sun, it’s the treatment I had as a teenager. Had normal acne. Nothing special, not that much, just some pimples. But “in those days” the preferred and “gold standard” of treatment was to have x-rays for your acne. I went to the “best” doctor at the time. My mother made sure of that. and had the “best” treatment. Did they cover you with a lead apron? Did the nurses hide behind a door? Can you believe that no one remembers! In those days X-ray was used for everything.

Do you remember when you were buying shoes and you stood on a platform with your feet in the  shoes encased in a little x-ray box and they could see how they fit? You don't remember? You're too young. I mean that was the best part of buying new shoes, seeing your toes in the radiation machine!  Now, many years later, I've had many cancers on my face. You’d think I'd be disfigured. But thankfully so far, my excellent specialist doctor has kept me pretty “terrible scar acceptable." But, I’ve had it. I try to be very brave and also grateful that this is all it is.

After looking at my latest scar I said "bright lipstick here I come." Focus on the lips not on scars. The nurses agreed with me. They said "go for Dolce & Gabanna, Yves St. Laurent," I mean they really knew. I’ve always worn, nice sedate, non threatening lipstick, but NOW. I was going for it. I became obsessed. No one would have a chance to see the scar on my neck or the side of my face, they’d be too busy looking at my lips. You’d think I had gorgeous lips, I'm no Angelina Jolie lipper, nope they show my age with all those lines, even though I never smoked. But I didn't care. I am who I am. So bring on the lipstick.

First stop I figure go for Chanel, um that Rouge Cambon is gorgeous but could I wear it every day? Next Dior, nice bright pink, that I could wear, and so it went. I even tried a Tom Ford Wild Ginger, walked in the door and my husband said "what in the world is on your lips?" Gee, the sales associate at Neiman's "adored it on me." I went on a quest to find the perfect lipstick, read blogs about it. You write "lipstick" I was reading it.

Do you think I have too many lipsticks?

See any resemblance between the number of red lipsticks I own and the tubes of red oil paint? Funny, huh? Color for me doesn't stray very far from the tree or my obsessions.

I went to Fredrique at IQ beauty  she has a wonderful sheer makeup tint and makeup line that I love. She showed me her brightest lipstick, Lush. Loved it but maybe a tad too bright so softened it with a pink on top.  What I do is NEVER wear any color from the tube. I always contrast with the opposite color. If red, I put on coral or pink, if orange I put pink over that. Always mixing colors. I never quite know what I've got on my lips because I'm always mixing, combining, changing. Did not learn this from a blog. I just did it. One day, I  realized that this is exactly the way I paint. Never use a color directly from a tube. Thus I would never use grey from a tube. Nor would I mix black with white to get grey, horrors. I'd mix Pink Flesh, Space Bleu and Naples Yellow to get a beigy grey. But when I paint I write down my color recipes so I'll be able to recreate it the next day, month year. I mean sometimes I come up with fabulous combinations of oil colors and want to reproduce them.

I remember going on a cooking tour back east and visiting Jacques Pepin great chef and cookbook author, in his home in Connecticut. He had a large notebook next to the range and every time he added something to the stew he'd write it down. Well, I don't do that with my lipsticks, talk about a car accident in the making... I just go by the recipe of mixing hues. Almost anything, so that it's not just one straight color.

Recipe of the day, Edward Bess "Night Romance" with IQ Beauty "Woman" over it. Actually, a sales associate in Neiman Marcus stopped me to say that "You must wear this color of lipstick every day. You need no other!" News Alert:  Edward Bess has discontinued the color. Perfection is so ephemeral.