” I came out of the womb waving red lipstick.” Rose McGowan
Well I asked my mother and okay I may not have had quite such an early start but she did recall that no matter the subject or the item being drawn or coloured, they always had red lips. Trees, cats, snowmen, you name it, they got the red lip treatment. And so began my lifelong love of red lips. However like most relationships the path of true love has not always run smoothly. You see I more often than not don’t wear any make-up so there have been times when mine was a secret love, a love I indulged only in the privacy of my own home. Red lips just didn’t belong, or so I thought, to my free flowing hippy look. When I did experiment with it – for a ball, the Trinity Ball in fact, it was a disaster. Although I am not entirely sure the red lips were to blame. Suffice to say eating nothing all day and then partaking of a bottle of vodka is never going to have a great outcome no matter how fabulous or red your lips look. When I moved to the San Francisco, the city of free love after all, I decided it was time to stop hiding and to proclaim my love with pride. I bought every shade of red lipstick imaginable. But I soon felt the pain and heartache of unrequited love as none of these lipsticks ever looked on me the way I imagined they would. In fact there were quite a few times where I gave some of the neighbourhood drag queens a run for their money. A photograph taken when I was on a visit home brought this time to a screeching halt and so I bid my reds adieu- but not before explaining that it wasn’t them, it was me – and then tossed them into the treacherous sea that flows under the Golden Gate Bridge and out into the vast and endless blue known as the Pacific Ocean. I never fully forgot my love but I did betray it as I switched to nudes or pale pinks. I often saw my love on the lips of others and felt a pang of guilt first followed by the sharp searing pain of jealousy. Why did they never treat me so well? Why were they so good to others and not me? I blamed my hair, my clothes, my skin tone, my shoes, my dog Fluffy. I grew hard and distant and tried to bury my grief in mascara and eye liner. Perhaps red and I were never meant to be together, I needed to accept this and move on. But ours was a love that could not be ignored so in time I did return to them. Perhaps I needed to grow before I could appreciate them for what they truly were. I needed to learn how to make the reds work for and on me. I learned that they work best for me if I do not go heavy on the eyes, that I must wear foundation to even out the rest of my face and I must choose a subtle blush, if one at all, to avoid the clown look. It is still a relationship that I must work hard at but when it goes right , boy do I feel incredible. All the tears and heartache are instantly forgotten when I catch a glimpse of myself in a mirror and a bold, sexy confident woman stares back at me. We still have our misunderstandings, recently I overdid the eyeliner and my reflection was more RuPaul then Dita von Teese, but thankfully such results are now more of an aberration than the norm. If I show the reds the respect they deserve, and put my makeup on in a well lit room, then our future is bright.Which reminds me. Another thing I did learn is that those really bright reds really do not work with my skin tone. Now the only issue I have left to ponder is would James Cameron be interested in raising my treasure of reds from the depths of the Pacific. I mean they might not be as historically significant as the Titanic, but there is a red that Mac no longer make that I’d love to get my hands on again.