I did it! Sort of.
I was just one day shy of my challenge to go three months without buying a new lipstick.
These past few months, I forced myself to shop my makeup drawer. I shuffled through all 76 tubes (and that’s after I gave the duplicates – I always buy 2 - to my hairdresser with the same addiction as me). I even tried standing them upright to look more like a store. Testing them on my hand. They were all just ok.
Nothing gave me a that lift I got when I shopped for a new nude pink on display under shiny lighting, music playing in the background and a salesperson to dote on the big decision. “What do you think?” I’d ask.
The fresh new look on my lips lasted, at best, a week. Then, I was back at it again - my quest for the holy grail of nude pinks.
During this time, I found myself stopping into Sephora and circling the displays like a shark to prey. But I didn’t pounce. Instead, I would call Hank.
On my computer, the Google sidebar, hip to my previous searches, would slide in, touting Charlotte Tilbury’s latest nude pink lipsticks. Dangle. Dangle. I know your addiction…I zeroed in. “Hot Lips Penelope Pink.” Yum. Dare I?
Nope. I clicked on the “x” and went back to work.
Then, a month ago I almost fell off the wagon. In a weak moment after the end of a stressful day, I found myself at the lipstick counter eyeing the latest “Liquid Nude Pink.”
I took a breath. Who’s going to know?
“I’ll take one of these,” I said, lifting the clear plastic tube out of the sample display at Nordstrom.
I glanced around like a cautious thief as the saleswoman rifled through the drawer below.
She popped up and straightened her skirt. “We’re out of it but I can have it sent. Just takes a few days. No shipping!”
I’m going to know, I thought, that’s who. “No thank you,” I said.
I was almost to the finish line this past Sunday when I landed in Bloomingdale’s seeking to soothe myself. It had been one of those weeks and what better fix than the department store, right?
There I was, right in front of Lancôme. A pretty young salesgirl with a thick Russian accent approached me.
I was practically breathless. “Nude pink.”
She furrowed her brow. “Excuse me?”
“Sorry. Sorry. Does Lancôme have a good nude pink?”
“Natural? Perhaps with a little coral?”
“Yes. Yes.” I began to perspire.
“Here,” she said handing me #232.
It was perfect. Awww. Just the perfect pink.
“I’ll walk around now,” I told her, “and see if it’s the right shade.”
Then, I called my lifeline.
“What’s Up?” My husband, Hank asked.
“Help, I’m at Bloomingdale’s in lipsticks.”
“Leave,” he said. “Go somewhere else.”
“Ok, I’m walking over to handbags. I saw a gorgeous Burberry on the way in.”
“No!” he laughed. “Not there!”
The next four days I “visited” #232 at Sephora late in the afternoon. I’d tried it on. Didn’t buy it. Just tried it on.
Yesterday, with only one more day to survive the challenge, I stopped in to visit my lipstick. I looked at the name on the tube. “In Love.”
I bought it. One day shy…
But, I didn’t wear it. I wrapped it.
Because three months ago, I thought on the 25th of August I’d be at the Bobbie Brown counter whooping it up. Piling on the pinks.
Instead, I was with Hank, out to breakfast presenting him with the wrapped box.
“Uh oh,” he said, grabbing his phone to check the date. “What have I forgotten? What’s the date?”
“Stop,” I told him. “Just open the box.”
He slipped the ribbon off and burst out laughing when he saw the lipstick. “I thought it was tomorrow!”
“Read the label,” I said.
He turned it around like a foreign object in his hands. “Rouge in Love.”
“You see, Hank,” I told him. “Instead of turning to the lipstick counter, I’m learning to turn to you.”