Filled with festive spirit (sherry) I decided to give my mum an
early Christmas present; I bought a red lipstick - for myself. She
was over the moon. It was exactly what she'd wanted. She turned to
me, eyes welling with tears and said, "you look so feminine". It's
official. I'm a lipstick lesbian.
Before we went our separate ways my mum whispered the secret to
good red lips. She told me that it must never be undertaken
lightly, or applied casually, in the back of a cab. "Always keep it
in the lines, and go light on the eyes or you'll look like Coco the
Clown, not Coco Chanel". Mental note: less honk honk, and more
I've never really got my head, or indeed my lips, around lipstick.
It's wonders are all too fleeting for my taste; no sooner have you
put it on than it's come off again. Capturing the one moment when
you are not either applying or reapplying lipstick woudl require
Frozen Planet-esque time lapse photography. I'm more of an eyeliner
kind of gal - the eyes definitely have it.
That said, I'm already loving red lipstick. It's a whole different
additive. This stuff stays on, and on, and on. You actually need to
get a lip graft to remove it.
Feeling good about my bright red lips I arrange to meet a couple
of my lesbian friends for drinks. As soon as they see the lips the
ridicule begins. "You're a lesbian", they say, "you don't have to
conform. You don't have to wear make up." But I like wearing
make-up. It makes me feel good, and besides, without it I look like
the photo on my driving license.
My friends don't see the point of lipstick. In their opinion
wearing no make-up is far more empowering.
I'm beginning to feel like an outcast. I'm different from all the
other lesbians. I've always thought of a killer red lipstick as
being kick ass in a powerful female way. I imagine the genesis of
red lipstick; melting Madonna's Blonde Ambition tour into a vat of
pre mixed Marilyn and a pinch of Gerri Halliwell in a Union Jack
dress. It's like liquid red kryponite.
The bar woman arrives and asks what I'd like to drink. My thristy
friends are gobsmacked; they'd been jostling for attention for the
best part of fifteen minutes and been ignored. My light up red lips
have attracted her attention, and now we have alcohol in hand. Now
that's what I call lip service.