What shade of lipstick are you wearing?

The warm weather, light breeze, and clear skies today reminded Roxy and me of our days in Spain.

With the Significant Other gone to a car show, we were left with the option of staying home or hopping on a bus and taking to the nearest beach.

We chose the latter.

Sadly, we were ill prepared for the stifling heat inside a bus crammed with others hankering to take advantage of the last days of “summer” sun.

The forty-five minute bus ride quickly turned into what seemed an eternal ride into hell.

And I’m not just talking about the body heat generated by forty people slathered in sun tan oil.

I’m referring to our “seat buddy,” a young lady who initiated conversation with, “Oh my God, I like your lippy! What color is that?”

Disappointed with my quick reply of, “Vaseline,” our traveling companion thought it her life mission to instruct me on every, and folks, I mean every shade of red lipstick on the market.

Halfway through her oral presentation on the history of lipstick, she stopped and excitedly chirped, “What am I thinking? I better write down the names of these shades so you don’t forget them!”

I didn’t have the heart to tell her that most days, my idea of lipstick means biting down on my lips a couple of times.

“Rimmel makes a beautiful shade called ‘Red Alert’ and it’s quite affordable.”

It was obvious that our new friend had observed Roxy’s threadbare leash and my faded shorts.

I found my eyes starting to close as she excitedly praised the staying power of Revlon’s “Kiss Me Coral 750.”

“And Body Shop also makes good lipsticks and they don’t do animal testing!”

Her sharp, high-pitched squeal made me sit upright and for the first time, I thought I heard Roxy growl.

Thankfully, as Roxy and I peered out the window, we caught sight of the sand dunes.

I slowly exhaled as I bid farewell to the bubbly lipstick lover.

Just as we were about to walk away, she shoved a paper in my hand.

“You really shouldn’t use Vaseline on your lips. It has petroleum jelly, you know. Don’t forget your list!”

Walking swiftly lest she follow us, Roxy and I headed for the dunes.

I stretched out my arms to greet the sun and inhaled deeply, eager to smell the salt in the air.

It wasn’t Spain, I wasn’t sipping a glass of vino, and Spanish men weren’t whispering, “Hola, guapa” (Hello, Beautiful), but we were staring at blue water and walking on sand.

Smiling as I curled my toes around the warm sand, I realized that today that was all that mattered.

When was the last time you went to the beach?

Note: Dear Readers, this was the post that was meant to be posted last Sunday.

What is it about red lipstick?

cc licensed ( BY NC ND ) flickr photo shared by Insomnia PHT

This morning, after a long walk in the park, Roxy and I sat down on a bench to soak up some sun.

A few minutes later, an elderly woman asked if she could join us.

After petting Roxy, she sat down and started rummaging in her purse.

Roxy, thinking it was treat, sat up and watched her intently.

A minute later, the woman pulled out a small compact mirror and a lipstick.

Roxy, convinced the objects weren’t edible, went back to sleep.

Yet, I sat quietly and watched as she carefully applied red lipstick

“Do you think it’s too loud?” she asked.

Embarrassed that she had caught me watching her, I quickly replied “Of course not. It looks nice on you.”

“My husband doesn’t like it. He thinks it’s, what’s the word he uses? Scandalous! He thinks it’s scandalous.”

“Well, I think it’s perfect.”

The lady looked at me and smiled.

“I do too,” she said. “It makes me feel alive, happy. And it’s such a fun color. Wouldn’t you agree?”


I smiled as she bid us farewell and coaxed Roxy to come out from under the bench.

As I walked home, I thought of the woman’s red lipstick and was flooded with memories.

Red lipstick.

My sister’s favorite.

She always called it her “signature lipstick.”

“Bella,” why would anyone need a signature fragrance when you can have a signature lipstick? After all, people see you before they inhale your scent.”

And she was right.

She was always right.

I remembered how one summer in Spain, my father gave each of us ten thousand “pesetas.”

To a couple of teenagers at the time, this amount was a very generous gift.

Daddy, always the generous soul said, “Girls, spend it on anything you want.”

My sister grabbed my hand and said, “Come, Bella! I know just what I want to buy!”

Ten minutes later, we were walking into a perfume shop called “Fayos” and a half hour later, my sister had spent all her money on Christian Dior make up.

Among her purchases was a red lipstick.

I still remember the name, Christian Dior 846 Sicily.

“You see this lipstick, Bella? It’s going to make me the most popular girl in school. Everyone will come to know me for my beautiful red lipstick.”

And she was right.

Every day, girls would praise her lipstick and ask her where she got it.

One night, I decided to borrow it.

I had a date with a beautiful boy named Bobby and was convinced my sister’s red lipstick would instantly charm him.

As I slicked it on my lips, I knew why she loved it so much.

It was shiny red, smooth, and sexy.

At the end of the night however, I realized my decision to wear the red lipstick, hadn’t been a wise one.

After a prolonged make out session, Bobby, red lipstick smeared all over his face and shirt collar, looked like a vampire after a killing.

Looking at myself in the mirror, I was horrified to see that I hadn’t fared any better.

The red lipstick had extended itself clear out to my cheeks giving me the appearance of a rodeo clown.

Rubbing it off didn’t help and as Bobby furiously tried to wipe his face clean, I was reminded of my sisters words.

“Bella, Dior lipstick is not like ordinary lipstick. It stains your lips and the color lasts forever.”

Forever having red lipstick on his handsome face wasn’t something Bobby looked forward to and he angrily asked, “Why can’t you wear pink lipstick like all the other girls?”

Needless to say, I knew then Bobby wasn’t man enough for a woman in red, so I slammed his car door and walked away, head held high.

Thanking the gods that it was late, I hurried to my room.

There, I found my sister, lipstick in hand, sitting on my bed.

“Oh my God! You look like a clown! I don’t even have to ask you if you used my lipstick.”

“Don’t worry. I’ll never use it again.”

“Good. Cause it’s my signature lipstick. Copycats not allowed,” she said, and flounced out of the room.

Many years have passed since then and now I only wear red lipstick on special occasions; during times when I’m in a playful mood or want to look sexy.

And every time I do, I almost feel guilty about borrowing my sister’s “signature” color.

But then I remember Bobby and think, the world definitely needs more men who can handle a woman in red.

Ladies, do you wear red lipstick?