You know them. You’ve seen them. You’ve wanted to be them. You know those ladies that, no matter the day or occasion, always have their lipstick on? A couple of years ago, I decided that I wanted IN. I wanted to be part of the club. The Lipstick Ladies Club. I’m not much of a makeup wearer in general. A little bit of mascara, my tinted Aveeno moisturizer, ba-da-bing, ba-da-boom. But, lipstick? It takes it over the edge. Suddenly, you’re fresh, chic, French. Without a word, you can fool the world into thinking that you have your act together. 

Two ladies in particular come to mind when I think about lipstick. The first one I’ll call Jane. Love her. One of my co-workers and an L&D nurse for over 30 years (How??? This job is tough, man), she would say something like, “Looks like it’s about to get crazy. Better freshen my lipstick.” My other favorite lipstick lady is a childhood inspiration. I think it’s been 20 years since I’ve seen her. My schoolhood best friend’s mom is a spit-fire of a woman. Farmer’s wife, homemaker extraordinaire, blue-medal winning cook at all of the county fairs, sassy as hell. She dressed for practicality, her hair was a salt-and-pepper curly halo, but before she started the car to go anywhere in their trusty station wagon, she flipped down the vanity mirror and carefully applied her red lipstick. “First impressions count, girls!” she’d say.

For my first foray into the club, I carefully picked out two MAC lipsticks (one sassy, the other more subdued), a lip liner, lip exfoliant, and moisturizer. It. looked. awesome. And then, the truth set in. I couldn’t kiss my kid. My Dunkin Donuts coffee cup wore it better than I did. I had to check mirrors constantly to make sure it wasn’t on my teeth. This is not for me. Anyone want two barely used MAC lipsticks?

Enter LipSense. Available only through one of those consultant-run businesses that when you ask about it, friends come out of the woodwork to say that they sell it. Another co-worker has been dealing it like crack at work, so I hit her up for a couple. O.M.G. You have to try it. But, don’t. It’s too addictive. But, do. Because it rocks. It stays like a bad houseguest. You have to buy yet another product to get it to go away. The cost is on par with a good lipstick, but for those of us who get the kids looking all cute and spiffy but forget to pull a comb through our own hair, it’s a no-brainer investment. 

I put it to the test on two separate 12-hour shifts to see how it would do. Here are the before and after photos (No filters, eek! I hate selfies!)

Week one: Caramel Apple

A Literary Feast -- lipstickA Literary Feast -- lipstick                                                                                  Nice color, though more candy apple than caramel apple, if you want to split hairs. I was so impressed by the results! It stayed through goodbye kisses, coffee, first snack, dinner, second snack, water, breakfast… (Don’t hate! I eat to stay awake.) It looked a little bedraggled by morning, but that just matched the rest of my look. I got tons of compliments!

Week two: Fly Girl

A Literary Feast -- lipstickA Literary Feast -- lipstick

Ooh, I love, love, love this shade. Sassy, confident, fun. Same length of time, but this time it wore off a lot by morning. (Caveat: I don’t think I took as much time applying it this week; plus my lips felt dry. Maybe that changed the effect?) Now that I’ve tested their limits, I can easily touch up once halfway through the shift and turn the early morning zombie into something fresher looking.

(Raving about all of this without any compensation, but if you need your own LipSense dealer, contact me and I can hook you up! She may or may not be putting a new shade in my mailbox today. I think I need an intervention.)

That was a lot about lipstick. I kind of just sickened myself. All of that to say, it’s okay to treat yourself sometimes. We all need to feel confident and pretty, and if a little tube of lipstick does that? Wowza. Carve out some treat yourself time today. Take a walk, a bubble bath, a box of Oreos into the closet where the kids can’t find you for 10 minutes. That’s normal, right?

P.S. The Handmaid’s Tale! I watched the first one. So good! I can’t say that it terrified me, as I’ve heard so many people say. Maybe the eternal naive child in me keeps me from drawing comparisons to our nation’s current trajectory. I prefer to suspend reality when I read or watch a good story. A lot of background in the first ep. Does the action pick up?

P.P.S. Two words: pulled pork. On the menu this week. You won’t want to miss it!

(A new week…. and GO!– you got this. Share this with your friends to keep the good Monday vibes going!)