EIGHTEEN LIPSTICKS AND BACKUP
There is that moment in time when you slip on a pair of pants or jeans or in my case the perfect Lululemon yoga pants and they slide on like Cinderella’s glass slipper. Comfort, fit, smoothness and you say to yourself, damn, if I had known these would be my go to comfort pants, I would have bought at least three more pairs. This is equally true with shoes, underwear, bras, a great summer dress and so many other items in our lives, my life. The countless conversations I have had with the family of women I get the privilege of calling clients for the past twenty years in business have proven the notion to me that we women when we find something that fits perfectly, we are willing to invest in more because we love things that feel great. This does not just apply to clothing items. The perfect pen or pencil, the on point size journal for writing, a great size coffee mug, the list goes on. My grandmother, Isabelle was the backup queen. Soup especially, toothpaste, weird food items maybe from her Depression era days, who knows, but my mother was like this too and Isabelle was not her mother, but her mother in-law so I can’t necessarily blame it on genes. Sometimes the list applies to products too. I have used a face oil from a company of products I sell at my business and fell in love with it. Like so many perfect products, the company decided to discontinue it so in good old-fashioned supply and demand consumerism, I bought up all I could for backup. I realize this just postpones the inevitable disappointment I will inevitably have to face, but it is the bridge while I conserve the precious droplets as the bottle lessens daily.
Then there is the never ending discontinue of the perfect color lipstick. Lipstick serves a higher purpose for me, I love a great red or a startling pink on a plain face, but that is for cosmetic. Lipstick for me is about keeping my lips moist and not chapped and finding a lipstick that does this is a priority. I like a little color, but to be able to swath it on at a mirrorless drop of a hat to keep my lips moisturized and also have a slight color is the perfect combination. I love the lipsticks I sell, but I haven’t found one yet that replaces my go to lip product by Mac. Pervette glaze. A frosty whitish pink that really does nothing for me in the winter, but because they discontinued my winter color, High Strung (yes the irony does not go unnoticed here) I have been forced to make my summer color my year round color. I wish the beauty counter would send out a spoiler alert when they are discontinuing a color, but I am guessing there are no lipstick Google algorithms yet. There probably are, but we are talking a fifteen-dollar tube of something. I also realized in my ghost of Christmas past moment that I had turned into the “old” lady I used to wait on when I was nineteen working at Cherry and Webb on Bellevue Ave in Newport at the Estee Lauder makeup counter. The disappointed array of women who were likely looking for their go to color learning from me as my younger verison that the color would be no more played back like an old vcr tape. I remember my lack of empathy for their plight working my early sales skills in trying to get them to step out of their comfort zone and try a new red or a different pink. Seldom would this work because I likely did not understand the importance of consistency when it came to go to colors back then at nineteen. It was unlikely that I understood the need for steady non-change and reliability that is more than just a discontinued lip color.
As I traipsed off to the Mac counter to purchase my allotment of my favorite color, the electrified makeup faced Mac counter artist tried to soothe my noticeable disappointment by showing me another color that was close. I felt like saying, “If it is so close, why didn’t they discontinue this one!?” But I kept my composure and begrudgingly tried on Fabby as it was called, hesitant because in the past when I have broken my rules of staying with the go to color (anticipating that like all good lip colors in the makeup world they go away) my lips have dried out maybe because of a pigment or some horrible chemical I have ingested that caused the BRCA 2 gene to turn on and therefore caused my we caught it early breast cancer. Yes my brain does go in this direction on more than one occasion, but then I relax and take some deep breaths and realize that for the most part, lipstick colors and my breast cancer is likely a stretch. So when the counter lady gave me the bad news I moved to my summer color, Pervette and she tells me that this too has been discontinued. “Would I like some Mac 1–800 number to call that specifically deals with discontinued colors?” “Sure.” I said knowing damn well I was not going to call Mac and likely pay three times more for a color. I would just have to be a grownup and try Fabby and keep my fingers crossed. I made my purchase of three of them (one for my coat pocket, one by my writing area and one by my bed) and trudged on like I had just been told my cancer was back for the third time. (not really, but trying to make my point of disappointment, you get this right?)
After trying Fabby for about a week, yep, you guessed it, chapped lips, just in time for the five below New England wind chill factor. I decided to have an online chat (whoever invented the online chat should get a Nobel Peace prize, one of the greatest inventions of all times!) with some Mac person on their website and they informed me that I had received some incorrect information, Pervette was not discontinued! Be still my beating heart! I immediately ordered as many as Mac would let me (nine in case you are wondering) Mac has this weird rule that you can’t order more than this and actually in the past when I have gone into the actual Mac store counter they have only allowed the purchase of five. Maybe they think I am going to open a Pervette black market lipstick counter. On the website though, I was able to purchase nine so of course I did. After about a week after receiving my glorious happiest day ever (not really, but for the moment when I opened the compact black box with nine freshly packaged lip colors lined up like soldiers it was a moment for sure) I started to panic a bit. What if they really decided to discontinue this? Maybe I should buy another round just to be sure, just be on the safe side, so yes, I did.
When they arrived yesterday, I did feel a little silly about all of these backups, but not enough to reconsider. I like backup, it gives me a sense of order and very false but glorious security that at least my lipsticks and my now highly moisturized lips are predictable. I realize that the whole notion of backup anything is entirely superficial and I am a lucky lady for sure to be able to buy eighteen lipsticks. I probably should be slightly embarrassed to write this aloud, but I also know that I donate happily to pretty much any cause that comes knocking at my door. I also work really hard so spending a week’s worth of groceries on lip color to give me some added joy is a part of who I am. I know I am slightly nutty when it comes to this notion of backup, but at least this is one area in my life I can totally count on for at least the next eighteen lipsticks. This is comfort as I get ready to face 2018 with new 36 D boobs, no more cancer to have to think about for the time being or ever hopefully and glossy zinc pink non chapped lips. The New Year is looking brighter by the minute.