As I’ve said approximately 90 trillion times, red is my favorite color. I’ve always been told that I look ravishing in red, which is part of its appeal, but I also love its implications of power and passion. And yet, even though I wanted desperately to do bold red lips, every red lipstick I’d ever tried looked positively clownish on me. So for ages, I assumed I just wasn’t a red lips girl. But eventually I realized that there were as many shades of red as there were women in the world and I was never going to pick a good one for myself by guessing. So I swung by my local Sephora. I said, “Red lipstick makes me look awful. But I’d like a shade that actually works for me.” The gal grabbed a tube of Make Up For Ever in Rouge Artist Intense 44, I slapped it on, and nearly fell over.
This shade worked with my coloring, felt amazing on my lips, and looked positively amazing on my surprised little face. But what was most fantastic about it was that it looked red and vibrant and powerful without looking too … makeup-y. I didn’t feel like I was suddenly The Girl With the Bright Red Lips, I felt like myself. Just a bit richer, cooler, more sophisticated. This was MY red.
And I realized later that I’d had a similar experience with blue jeans. I wore them non-stop throughout my youth until I finally realized that they were uncomfortable and unflattering on my body, and just because everyone around me wore them didn’t mean I had to, too. I decided I hated jeans. Pants. Swore them off. For years! Until I found a style that worked for me, my shape, my body, my needs. (High-waisted, typically Karen Kane or Lee Classic Fit.) Finally, I’d found MY jeans.
Which just goes to show that sometimes it takes time and a little bit of digging to unearth the ultimate you-version of things. Emphasis on the “sometimes,” of course. Some body types and sizes have very limited choices from which to pick, and no one has the time, money, or energy to search endlessly for perfect versions of everything. It’s certainly possible, but I doubt I’ll ever find a dropwaist dress or pair of boyfriend jeans that works for me, and I’m not keen to try. But red lips and blue jeans? I’m thrilled to have them in my arsenal in iterations that suit me, just as I am.
Have you ever sworn off a fashion or beauty item, only to discover that there actually was a version of it out there that worked perfectly for you?
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