What Your Lipstick Says About You

Your lipstick says that you’re a woman of taste.

Your lipstick says that, as a woman of taste, you should know better than to wear that shade of eyeshadow.

Your lipstick says that you need to stop trying to emphasize both your eyes and your lips. Pick one.

Your lipstick says that you should choose to emphasize your lips, but recognizes that it’s biased.

Your lipstick says that the peach fuzz on your upper lip has gone full rambutan. Your lipstick hears that electrolysis doesn’t hurt too much.

Your lipstick says that you’ve been sneaking over to Dunkin’ after yoga. This wouldn’t be such a big deal, but your lipstick says it to the woman who frequently asks if you want to grab coffee after class, and you always tell her you’ve “gotta race back to the office.”

Your lipstick says that this look is too young for you. Remember how Coco Chanel said to remove one thing before leaving the house? Your lipstick says that the one thing should be your whole outfit.

Your lipstick says that you should stop asking about all the time it spends at that run-down pizza joint everyone says is a front for the Mob.

Your lipstick says that your inability to throw away baggies of extra buttons, already-deposited checks, and lipsticks whose shades you no longer enjoy says something about you. But your lipstick’s not sure what that something is.

Your lipstick says that it has doubts about your plan to pay down your credit-card debt by selling your old clothes on Poshmark.

Your lipstick says that you’d best keep it close—the statute of limitations on shoplifting it in the tenth grade to impress Mindy Phillips may have expired, but it has decades of dirt on you.

Your lipstick says to ignore the burly stranger who passes you on the street while you’re freshening your makeup. When he mutters, “That’s a real nice lipstick, it’d be a shame if something were to happen to it,” your lipstick assures you that he was just making conversation.

Your lipstick says that “kinda getting into jazz lately” is not a personality.

Your lipstick says that it may taste bitter, but the truth often does.

Your lipstick says sure, it might be bad for you—maybe even toxic—but that’s common for lipsticks from the eighties. Also people, your lipstick adds, pointedly.

Your lipstick says that you shouldn’t ask about its business. It says that you could get hurt. And your complexion bruises easily and concealer makes you break out.

Your lipstick says to pull yourself together. Neither one of you can afford to get sloppy.

Your lipstick says that everything will look better in the morning.

In the morning, your lipstick says nothing at all. You look everywhere, but you finally have to admit that it’s gone.

After a few weeks, you get a new lipstick. This one is called No. 1 Nude, which sounds more audacious than it is.

No. 1 Nude, you are convinced, is silently judging you. You miss being judged out loud.

Sometimes, you wonder if your lipstick is wearing cement shoes at the bottom of the Hudson. But at night, in the quiet that No. 1 Nude refuses to fill, you hope that your lipstick is throwing shade at someone new, somewhere sunny, maybe even with a new name like Manic Mauve or Totally Taupe.

You hope that your lipstick is happy. ♦

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