1. They always break up the age groups into twenties, thirties, forties, and fifty-til-death. That’s gotta sting.
2. They always include some form of the phrase, “In your twenties, you have a flat stomach, toned legs, perfect skin, and great hair, so wear whatever you want!” If you’re a twenty-something like me, words like these make you look down, see an ample belly and thigh cellulite and think, “Well, damn, according to Instyle, it’s all downhill from here.”
2. After they dote on the perfect twenty-year-olds, their sage advice for each increasing age increment is to simply cover up more and more, ultimately telling the fifty-til-death group to just wear a burka (despite the "Bikini at any age!" headline). “And make sure it’s not a sheer burka,” the writer will warn, “God knows the world doesn’t want to see those varicose veins!”
A while ago I was reading one such article (before I realized that constant rage was probably bad for my heart and gave up my fashion magazine addiction), surely titled something incredibly witty like, “Red Lips at any age!” I was ready to gasp and growl and fire off yet another letter to the editor about ageism and inform them that actually most women don’t die or go into hiding at the 5-0 mark, but go on to lead beautiful, stylish, uncovered-up lives for, you know, fifty more years.
The story said something predictable like, "In your twenties, you're skinny, so everything in your life is perfect!" and then described how to create red lips to match this allegedly perfect life. I glanced over at the next page to see the red lips advice they'd given the older set--a painful, lengthy process that included spackle and a plastic surgery consultation (well, not really, but close).
Sure, I was mad, but I was also bored and suffering from a touch of weak will, so I tried their perfect life red lips technique, and it actually came out kind of cool. Of course I recycled the magazine in rage, but I've employed my perfect life red lips multiple times since to great delight.
Red Lips For A Perfect Life (Whether you're 16 or 95--No Spackle Needed!)
Here's me, 21, perfect life, pre-red lips:
Jeez, I look a little sad for having a perfect life, huh?
Okay, so the secret to this look is that you use a red lip liner pencil instead of red lipstick. Fill in the entire lip, not just the outline. Like so:
I used Revlon Colorstay. It definitely helps if you do it while being photographed and pretend there's a mirror above the camera that you're intently focusing on.
Now, once you're done with this part, you're going to have a pretty intense, matte red lip. If you want to just stop here, I'm not gonna fight you on it:
See? I seem to be pretty pleased with myself. This lip liner method also makes the color last forever (but still, check yourself every once in a while because when the color does fade, it fades from the inner part of your lips first, so you can end up looking like you meant to trace your lips with a heavy red line, and oh boy is that a subject for another post, another time).
According to the stupid magazine, the next step for perfect twenty-year-olds is to apply a clear gloss over the top:
Again, pretending to look in a mirror somewhere vaguely above you is a must. I actually used a shimmery gold gloss here, because I am so not a gloss girl (the horror! I know!) and it was all I had. But it worked great.
Let's just ignore the fact that my bangs look exactly like Devon Sawa's circa Little Giants in this picture. The shine makes the red look a little less costume-y (holla Luck-y!), don't you think? It's actually wearable.
When my boyfriend was taking some detail shots for me, he mentioned how pleasantly plump my lips looked (well, okay, his exact words were, "Jesus Christ! Your lips look freakin' huge!").
This is kind of a creepy picture, but I had to show you that the boy is right:
Damnit, now hundreds of people are going to see up my nose. There goes my perfect life.