Tuesday, April 24, 2007

Red Lips For A Perfect Life

I’ve always really hated those sections in fashion magazines that tell you how to wear a style or interpret a trend based on your age. I hate them for many reasons, but I’ll give you my three big ones:

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.

And today, since I'm bored and seem to be suffering from a touch of weak will, I think I will share it with you. That's right, it's time for another high-budget photo essay!

Daddy Likey presents:

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.


Joh-anna said...

so beautiful you are!!


Anonymous said...

I will just say that you do indeed have well sculpted brows (I have been catching up on your archived posts). Love your blog!

Aruek said...

You are gorgeous! And you do have perfect brows!

Queen Michelle said...

I hate you. You and your perfectly pouty, 20 something lips. Did I say I hate you? Well I do.

maya said...

nice tips but the thing is that you already have really plump lips. I have the most oddly shaped lips in the world. they are not thin and not plump and i tell you its the worst thing ever.

shopdiary said...

you're so pretty, winona!

on the cusp of a burka said...

dearest, your post could not have been more timely as i share your rage. i am about to turn 30 and as utterly retarded as this sounds, one of my bigger concerns is that the entire fashion mag industry now thinks i should cast off my minis and wear more boatneck navy & white striped knit shirts. but if your luscious 21 yo self hates their categories, then goddamnit i am going to forget about them too (does that logic work? hmmm, whatever).

i also console myself with Harper's Bazaar which assumes your style dies at 70, rather than 50.

Elizabeth Alley said...

i am with On the Cusp - i have been pondering the subject of leggings under skirts. is is ok for a 30-something to do this, if the 30-something also wore the nearly exact same look when she was 18 and 19? it just feels wrong, but it looks so good on everyone else!

Candid Cool said...

the magazine in question wouldn't happen to have been harpers bazaar...?

Sarah said...

I wore red lipstick pretty much every day of high school. This was usually paired with some kind of goth-esque outfit, as I was desperately trying to be gothy like all my friends but I was just too damn cheerful.

But that's not the point. The point is that after this, I think I'm going to bust out the red more often.

Katie K said...

New to your blog--you had me at Devon Sawa!

Amy said...

Aww!! You so funny. Come to Seattle and hang out with me!

mj said...

Personally, I am looking forward to a Pucci burka with just the right amount of insouciant silk flutter going on... anyone ever tell you that you look just like Billie Piper, WInona? Gorgeous.

Couture Bowl said...

Red lips are so hard to pull of in my opinion! But you look super cute. I'll have to try out your technique. I've had so much fun reading your blog! :)

Anonymous said...

yes! Billie Piper! Have been reading this blog for ages and couldn't figure out who you looked like but you look oh-so familiar!!

p.s - nice red lips!

Joanna Goddard said...

whoa you are super hot. :)

also, i clicked into the comments section to say what perfect brows you had, and looks like everyone else has already said it!! can you post on that next???


Ana said...

HA! devon sawa....yeah, I guess I could see the resemblance in the hair. LOL, you are much prettier than mr. sawa though, and I don't think he could pull off the red lipstick. hmmmm the world may never know.

Holly said...

I share your animosity toward fashion mags in general, age-related stories specifically. When I was in college, my roommate and I used to sometimes buy a bunch of fashion mags just to make fun of all that shit and then burn them. Empowerment bonfire!

And, damn, you have great lips!

Stylish Thought said...

Sidebar: Forget the lips, I'm raving over the brows and eye makeup... you 20-somethings have it all!

The Shopping Nerd said...

I love this post. I can't do red lips. They would take over my face!

Mommanista said...

Must. Try. Red. Lips.

Katie said...

This reminds me of a recent article in Us Weekly about "goalpost gaps" between starlet's thighs. They pasted a clipart goalpost over the little goat-legs of Mary-Kate, Mischa, Kiera, and Kate Moss, estimating the number of inches between their thighs - 3"! 2.25"! These actresses are skeletal...and so well put-together too!

The thing that killed me, though, was the quote from the "doctor who has not treated any of these people" about thigh gaps and your health:
"Surprisingly, you actually can have thighs that touch and not be overweight!"
Wow Doc. I always thought that if your thighs didn't touch you were either a civil-war hardened refugee who's been living off of raw root vegetables and bird feathers, or an eastern-European model who's been living off of vodka and oxygen (only in moderation)

Well done you - damn the man!

Anonymous said...

Such kissable lips! Red lipstick suits you.

You look really cute, and those lips are just perfect. Would love a kiss from you on the cheek, to leave a big red kiss mark - those lips are just awesome :)

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