Saturday, November 22, 2008

Luscious Lips. by Patresa Hartman

My lips were vigorously exfoliated by a woman named Sue at the mall. I went to the Clinique counter for moisturizer and eye cream; but then I remembered how wrinkly and peely my lips have been. So I asked Sue, "Sue? Is there something I can do about my wrinkly, peely lips?"

She said yes, and sat me down in a tall chair.

In the middle of steady foot traffic, Sue squirted exfoliating cream onto a wet paper towel, told me to pucker, and then scrubbed the crap out of my lips while holding my head in place. An older man walked by and peered over his half-moon glasses.

"Sue?" I said.

"Uh huh?" she responded.

"This is a little weird."

She agreed and we had a good chuckle. Sue told me she had just scrubbed countless lips the night before during their big "lip event," and she'd grown sort of immune to the weirdness of it.

After my lips had been publically scrubbed, Sue smeared cream over them and then bright, shiny apricot gloss. My lips looked and felt spectacular. I wanted to lick them and kiss strangers.

I never feel completely comfortable or attractive in the vicinity of a make up counter. But at the same time, I like them. The ladies behind them have always been very kind to me, and I think it must be the result of spending your day trying to help people feel beautiful. I imagine they must see me as a meaty project.

But more than that, I admire how comfortable these women are with their femininity. Until recently, I have been somewhat embarrassed by my own femininity, preferring to accentuate the parts of myself I perceived as masculine and therefore: strong, smart, and courageous. I don't know where it comes from, this idea that feminine is weak, stupid, and helpless. But I think it's dumb.

I am no less intelligent, no more helpless, no more daring when I am wearing lip gloss. In fact, I think I am likely a better version of myself when I am balancing pride in my presentation with good sensibility. This is a fine lesson from Sue and her intimate knowledge of skin care.

Thank you, Sue. And thank you for my soft, luscious lips.


Kathryn Magendie said...

Yes - (see yog below about power!)

There is nothing wrong with lipgloss and girly stuff -- although I could never be a Orange County Housewife, or an Atlanta one - *laugh* (Yes, one day I was bored and actually watched an episode or two - geez -are these women really real--i mean, in an unreal kind of way real?)

Here's to Luscious Lips! laughing...

Angie Ledbetter said...

Who knew?

From one who is sub-zero maintenance in the girly-fied department, I do love a good mani/pedi sometimes. Here's to the balancing of the personal yin and yang. :)

Barbara Quinn said...

Oh,yes, the girly stuff is really fun some of the time and it's so nice to feel good about yourself. I've had good luck at Sephora with them finding makeup that doesn't make me look too weird.Lipstick is always difficult, but I did find a great Mary Kay lip gloss (thank you JoAnne!)I love that they come to the house and you can try everything in private!

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