They say the right lipstick can transform your face. They say that about eyeliner and tweezers as well. Brighten here, define there. Well you know, I need to be transformed.
And that’s why I’m wandering around DJ’s on a Friday night trying not to look at myself in the mirrors, mirrors everywhere it’s that kind of place as if mirrors are the symbol of those seeking beauty because of course we all want to see ourselves reflected yeah but not me not right now…
Lipsticks ruby red for hot dates clear red for black suit occasions brown for country roads purple for those punk days and pink for seducing old men…they don’t sell black here that’s for rebellion and these lipsticks are for us girls who have already accepted the rules who know beauty is first who know beauty matters
Sales assistant leans out from counter she has that moist skin that goes with foundation almost like rising damp everything stands out all the features ringed around with colour in case we forget to notice them so I say
I’m looking for a lipstick
She says what brand do you normally wear?
Well I don’t normally wear any but I’m trying to change I’m trying to get more beautiful so I say “Um I don’t know” and I dredge in my fantasies my hopes my personal symbolism and then I go on
“I’d like something kind of rich..”
She says “Long lasting? For day or night?”
I say no, that doesn’t matter, because that’s getting too practical anyway what do I care if it lasts I might want to put it on again and again…’I just want a change..”
“Why don’t you try Glamour’ she says ‘gives a rich glow …contains three different ingredients to make the lips you know, fuller..”
Ok I say I’’ll try that, and I hold it up against my face and she says try it on your hand so I pull it across the back of my hand pretty soon my knuckles are a rainbow of reds why can’t we wear lipsticks on our hands instead of our lips it looks so pretty there she says
“Luxury would suit you…a deep rose I think..”
Do I look like a deep rose… a deep red rose or perhaps a white rose perfumed and pallid….I could be a seashell blush or a bronze mist or a crimson kiss… or I could be something to eat apricot grape or paw paw or sweet to smell honeysuckle lily love in the mist ….
Or what about Deadly she says yes I’d like to be deadly …though I do have a taste for Luxury as well…perhaps I could be both kind of like Rita Hayworth and Sharon Stone all mixed up with long silk stockings inspire men to madness with just a look but then maybe I’d need to buy mascara as well …
Or Passion…my lips grow large and luscious just thinking about it like they do when you’re with your lover when you’re lying back with your eyes tight shut and your mouth open you hope you don’t look like a chook’s bum at those moments but then with Passion you wouldn’t would you..
Would you like to take this one then and I realise I’ve been holding it in my hand and gazing blindly at it like I’m in love already and she’s getting impatient there’s someone else waiting to be transformed how long have I been here? So I look at my watch and on the way there catch sight of the ever present mirror and see my face staring back all pea-eyed and plain with the features in slightly the wrong place nothing the right colour and I say yeah ok and she wraps it up for me and I pay for beauty has no price and put it in my purse and sail out ignoring the mirrors because I’m just starting out aren’t I and tomorrow I will be different.