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Sunday, October 17, 2010

The price of beauty.

Okay, this is a serious question and I expect comments.

Where the hell did my lips go?

Is this an age thing? And if so, when is my ass going to shrink? Because right now it's the same size it's been for the last 20 years...except lower. It seems to be dropping. I expect to feel it banging on the back of my knees by Christmas.

I thought, several weeks ago, that since I'm trying to SELL make-up and perfume and stuff like that I should start wearing it. It's okay stuff, I like it. But, to this end, I ordered myself some lipstick. I've been noticing in pictures lately that lipstick is in style again. I see a LOT of deep, true, saturated color on lips. LOTS of red lips. I mean RED. "Fire and Ice" RED. Remember "Fire and Ice"? Revlon. That color was really, really hot. My mother wore "Fire and Ice". I used to wear "Love That Red" because it wasn't very red. I didn't have the guts for red lips. I don't have the complexion for them either, but that's another story.

Well, anyway, I quit wearing lipstick years ago anyway because once, while we were dating, the hubster saw me putting on lipstick and claimed I was imitating an astronaut's wife. So I stopped wearing it. Occasionally some gloss but it hurt my feelings to no end and I quit. I was young and in love, what can I say?

Well, I'm looking at these rich lovely colors and I'm thinking "What the hell? Why not?" I bought a red called something cute, the word "Cherry" is involved. And a really bad-ass coral.

The red, actually, looks a bit more like a deep rose on me, which I'm comfortable with. I'm not ENTIRELY at ease with my newly burgeoning. old age "who gives a crap what you think, I like it" attitude and this one is a nice transition.

However, I don't seem to have any lips anymore. I put on the lipstick and I realize that my lips are thinning. I wouldn't mind my hair thinning, I have POUNDS of hair, always have, and it's thick and heavy and damn, is it HOT.

Less hair, more lips.

No, I will NOT "plump", although the thought of having to actually "plump" something is enticing. For the most part, I'm entirely too plump as it is. But the problem with these now rose colored lips is that it's really obvious that they've shrunk. I tried filling in outside my lip line, I looked as if a six year old had applied my make-up. I thought of buying a lip liner pencil and seeing it that would help. But, frankly, I think that's getting entirely too complicated. First you draw them on, then you fill them in...this is already two steps too many. At this age I SHOULD be able to put on my make-up free hand and not have to use a paint by numbers kit.

A couple of years ago my facialist rented out some space to a guy who dyed eyelashes and THAT made me curious. I shelled out 50 bucks and he dyed AND PERMED my lashes. It was actually hella cool. They had a nice, permanent curve and they were BLACK. I didn't need mascara. It lasts as long as your eyelashes don't fall out, which is about three months. I loved it.

But then I had a falling out with my facialist over her wanting to do a chemical peel and me saying "that doesn't sound pleasant, no". I don't care HOW much new skin will be magically brought to the forefront on my fat face, I do NOT want to be peeled, chemically or otherwise.

Besides, she was really, really expensive. I didn't know that at the time. I had my first pedicure after my mother died (she thought they were creepy and passed it on to me), along with my first lip wax and my first facial. And my first highlights. I was a rather quiet daughter, I guess. So yeah, I was in my 40s when I discovered all this stuff that someone will do to/for you and I sort of got real girly. The greatest memory of my childhood was pitching a one-hitter, so me getting all feminine was really quite an event.

Now, logically, I assumed (don't go there, that joke's too old) that, as the purveyors of beauty I was utilizing were both located in the strip mall with the K-Mart and the Chuck-E-Cheeses I was getting a fair shake. My hairdresser was there, as was the facialist. I stopped going to the hairdresser after the morning I showed up for my APPOINTMENT, she painted and wrapped me in foil, set me down to cook for 10 minutes and then took a walk-in, a teen-age girl and her mother. Her mother said "gee, she's having a picture taken in 90 minutes and we need her hair styled and I didn't call for an appointment, can you do it?"

Now I wasn't as annoyed and the walk-ins as I was at my hairdresser, who said "sure I can" and let me sit for FORTY-FIVE effing minutes with foil and bleach on my head while she primped some teen-ager. I wouldn't have minded if I had been a walk-in but I made an appointment and showed up on time. Not only that, when she FINALLY finished with the girl and came back to rinse me several of the little foil packets fell off my head with the hair still in them. She announced it was "beautiful and sexy" and charged me $140 bucks. Which I, wuss that I am, paid. And never went back.

Now my facialist, several doors up in the same strip mall, charged me $120 for a facial AND I refused the chemical peel. I mean, the facial was lovely. But that was sort of pricey. I figured it was a decent deal, considering the neighborhood. But I never went back. Come to think of it, it wasn't just the pushing of the chemical peel, I think the playing of Kenny G. all the time had something to do with it too.

Now I can't go back and have my eyelashes dyed and curled (which I might consider) because I don't want her to see me going to the eyelash guy and not to her. Yeah, I know, it's lame.

I've also discovered that, here in the urban village, I get my hair done, and beautifully, for $50 bucks, which isn't cheap but, compared to what I was paying, it's a steal. It's also a freaking BRILLIANT cut that lasts for 8 weeks easy. Every three months I get what the spa lady calls a "mini facial" and she waxes my eyebrows (because I don't pay any attention to them anymore either, I just let 'em grow and pull them out now and then by hand when I'm stressed)and I get change back from 40 bucks.

This isn't helping me with the thin lips though. For some reason, thin lips look sinister to me. I'm not sure why, Edward G. Robinson played crooks 75% of the time and he didn't have skinny lips. Basil Rathbone was famous for playing an honest detective and he had really skinny lips...and he always looked as if he smelled something really nasty. I do NOT want this look for myself. I'm lucky though, at least the lipstick doesn't melt and run into the little vertical wrinkles that have, most likely, started to form around the outside of my lips. I've seen way too many grandmothers walking down the street in my time, all dressed up, hats and gloves, and their carefully applied lipstick now making their mouths look like a little red sunshine with rays dancing around the edge. Kind of like Gumby when he was surprised.

I'm wondering if this is a result of all those years of never putting anything ON my lips, so not they're all dried up, which would make it all the hubster's fault. Botox scares the hell out of me, I KNOW it's quite safe but a) when you can't make your car payment on time one does NOT want to be stuck on the phone with the Wells Fargo guy saying "I'm really, really sorry, I can have it next week, I spent it on Botox this month" and b) there's just something about the fact that Botox uses botulism that I find disturbing. I can hear it now, as I'm laid out in the mortuary: "OMG, I can't BELIEVE she got BOTULISM, she was always overly careful in the kitchen" and the response "I KNOW! But don't her lips look great?"

Followed by the hubster, looking down into the box and announcing "Crap. She looks like an astronaut's wife."


  1. Friend from the PastOctober 17, 2010 at 11:40 AM

    I've never heard of "thinning lips" being related to aging, but you know what, you might be on to something.

    Lately I've caught myself admiring my DD's very plump and luscious-looking lips, compared to my thin and mismatched set (thin on top, thicker on bottom). And thinking, man, I bet she's gonna be a great kisser some day and drive the boys wild. Heaven help me.

    This aging thing is crap, except that it sure beats the alternative :-)

  2. Why do you think so many women get stuff injected into their lips? Even Lisa Rinna did that! Thinning lips are totally par for the course.

    I'm probably just saying what you already know here. With lip color, it's the same idea as hair color: softer is better. Look at what Diane Keaton does with her hair color - she was a brunette and now she's much more ash blonde. It's softer. Hard, deep color on the hair and face ages.

    So for lip color, you can do reds but very sheer. Light apricot, again pretty sheer, might be fun. I'm going to be excited to hear what you end up deciding!