The Glam Factor

(Image: MAC’s Flat Out Fabulous}

I never considered myself a stunner. Bombshell and vixen were not words I identified with.  In high school, close friends called me “Simple.” It was a term of endearment that I embraced because it was an accurate description of how I considered myself. As I entered into my thirties, people still saw me as a teenager. I got carded mercilessly. Plus I continued to wear my hair in braids which didn’t help things. My self-deprecating nature only made it worse. I just considered myself to be “cute.” Which I never had a problem with. I took great joy in being the “cute” girl. A bit of a tease, yes. But generally pretty safe. At least that’s how I used to see myself.

Then last summer, I discovered Beauty Guru’s on YouTube. Hell, last summer I discovered make-up. Is it fitting that the introduction came from my 16 year old sister? It was my “aha” moment. I had just gotten my hair straightened and wanted to spruce up my beauty look as well. I walked into MAC feeling intimidated and shy – almost like I shouldn’t be there. Like this was a “chic ladies only” club and I was not a chic lady. I walked out with $200 worth of highly pigmented, highly colourful make-up. Mostly lipstick. The first time I tried on Ruby Woo I thought aloud, “Are you crazy?! Where am I going in red lipstick?” It took me two visits to MAC to finally purchase the damn thing. Another two weeks passed before I actually wore it outside of my apartment.  Once I finally got the nerve to wear it in public, I suddenly became a different person.  Dare I say – I finally became the kind of woman who wears red lipstick. Confident, polished, sophisticated – maybe even chic? Well maybe I have a ways to go before I get to chic. 

What is it about lipstick that makes a woman change? Why does this one little thing have a trigger on our psyche so much? Some might feel lipstick – particularly red lipstick – is a show of female strength, empowerment, a symbol of prowess. In an article, Poppy King states, “Unlike other cosmetics, many of which camouflage something we don’t like about ourselves, red lipstick is about assertion.” With that I must agree. 

These days I’m obsessed with MAC’s pigmented hues.  My latest love – Flat Out Fabulous – is more on the purple side of the colour spectrum.  I absolutely love it! Gone are the days of being “Simple” and being content just to slap on some lip balm just before running out my apartment. I gladly invest the 10 minutes or so to perfectly line and fill in my lipstick of choice. I don’t think make-up is meant to change the fundamental of who a person is.  I haven’t completely gone off the shallow end.  But it definitely adds a bit of glam factor. Plus – I don’t get carded anymore.

Image via Like, Whatever