Let’s have a virtual sleepover where we can talk about makeup and guys and things that make us really angry about makeup and guys. I feel like that pretty much every day.
Makeup is a tool; to some, it’s an art form. It can change the way the light hits your face, fake angles, and it can convey different moods. There are a lot of passionate makeup aficionados that can give you a way more heartfelt explanation about makeup than I can, but for me, makeup is just fun. Surprisingly, it’s not fun for everyone, particularly guys who view lipstick as sort of “distraction,” but I’m calling it a lazy-make-out-barrier.
I remember my first time wearing lipstick. I was a junior in high school and my friend gave me one of her CoverGirl Outlast Lipstains in coral. She said it faded too fast, as she applied a deep, blue-red lipstick on in the middle of Marine Bio and fixed the edges up with powder foundation. She was very serious about her lipstick, and I was just some ravenous teenager who swiped magic marker all over my lips because it was all I had. My makeup game has improved over the years, but if there’s anything I took away from my first lipstick experience, watching my friend’s Zen-like application in the middle of a crustacean-themed Power Point lecture, it’s that makeup is personal and cool to get your hands on.
I don’t really notice a reaction from guys when I wear makeup, but that’s because I don’t care what they think. In my mind, makeup has never been about how to attract a dude’s attention, but rather what can I do to feel different today. It seems that makeup has even found it’s way into feminist discussions, as more and more girls are asking themselves if they can wear or be interested in something as superfluous as makeup and still be considered a feminist. The longest that answer will get is “Yes,” because why is it even a question?
Still, men seem to have an opinion on makeup, particularly lipstick since it’s the first thing they, or anyone, notices if worn. Rapper ASAP Rocky’s interview with fashion website, The Coveteur, turned the lipstick world upside down when he infamously said that Black girls shouldn’t wear red lipstick.
"But for real, for me, I feel like with the red lipstick thing it all depends on the pair of complexion. I’m just being for real. You have to be fair skinned to get away with that. Just like if you were to wear like—f*cking for instance, what do dark skin girls have that you know fair skinned girls cant do… Purple lipstick? Naw, that looks stupid on all girls! Purple lipstick, guys! Like, what the f*ck…,” he was reported saying.
The Coveteur edited the interview to remove such a remark, but the Huffington Post covered the original version before the cover-up. Since then, ASAP’s words on the issue were to say that black women were too “sensitive.”
Since taking makeup and self-confidence advice from a male rapper isn’t justified, no matter how “in-tune” with fashion he really is, I’ve decided to prove ASAP wrong by wearing purple, and a bunch of other color lipsticks, for no other reason than because I can. Do guys hate it? The real question is, do I care? I was originally going to ask guys what they thought, but knowing the “science” behind lipstick really just means some like it and some don’t, I’d rather provide options – like a “choose-your-own-adventure” book.
Adventure #1: Purple lipstick
Upon hearing ASAP Rocky’s ridiculous purple lipstick statement, you decide to buy the loudest shade of violet, Maybelline Color Sensational Vivids lipcolor in “Brazen Berry.” If anyone asks you where that shade inspiration came from, just tell them, “Everything is purple (swag).”
Adventure #2 Hot “look-at-me” Pink lipstick
Milani’s Lip Flash lip pencil in “Flashy” is a great hot pink with daytime appropriate glitter. Glitter can be done in the daytime, just look at my Schiaparelli Cocteau-twins book. Elsa Schiaparelli’s (aka the OG Lady Gaga) favorite color was her signature brand of “shocking pink.” This pink was “Bright, impossible, impudent, becoming, life-giving, like all the light and the birds and the fish in the world put together, a colour of China and Peru but not of the West – a shocking colour, pure and undiluted,” she wrote in her autobiography “Shocking Life: The Autobiography of Elsa Schiaparelli.” Take Schiaparelli’s fearless attitude, and don’t be afraid to wear shocking pink day/night/to do groceries.
Adventure #3 Cherry Red
You’re in a style rut, don’t want to spend any money on clothes but feel the need to look glamorous. Throw on some red lipstick; get complimented by strangers in places like the gas station or on your way to class.
Adventure #4 Black-like-your-soul lipstick
It is possible to do black lipstick and make it look chic! Goth years behind you (or not, it’s cool), black is a great color to separate yourself from all the basic chicks at the club. It says “Go away, but I really know you want to get to know me.” You can also wear it to places like Lowes when picking out houseplants.
Adventure #5 “I-just-Blue-myself” Blue
It’s a rainy day. You happen to be watching “Arrested Development” on Netflix and you find some serious style inspiration from Tobias Funke. The best blue lipstick around is Obsessive Compulsive Cosmetics’ Lip Tar in “RX,” but if you don’t have $18 to dish out on ONE lipstick, you can always opt out for blue eyeliner. Make sure it’s an eyeliner pencil, as it will glide on like lip liner. This look works on me because, let’s be honest – Brunettes can rock blue. Just kidding, it’s all about attitude. Listen to some blues and go be fabulously sad. This color complements a pout extremely well.
Like all things, makeup tickles psychology when gender comes into play. Traditionally, makeup is exclusively female, but those lines haven’t seemed to exist for a while now (Hello, “guyliner”?). Still, when we hear ridiculous comments from someone who doesn’t even know how to apply lipstick properly, we have to start thinking what’s makeup’s purpose and who is it for? Hopefully the answer is simple. It’s for you to feel good about yourself or different when you’re bored at home with nothing to do. You shouldn’t plan your next makeup haul based on the words “Babe, what do you think?” If that’s the case, he should be wearing his favorite products, not you.