Hear Ye, Hear Ye: My New Lipstick Laws are in Effect

Posted 01/18/11 at 03:19PM by Audrey Fine

I've written before about why red lipstick scares me and now, after watching Sunday night's Golden Globes, I'm pretty sure that Colin Firth agrees with me.

The poor fellow won a statue for his sublime performance in "The King's Speech" and all I (or anyone watching) could focus on during his acceptance was the smudge of lipstick on his face. The man had just triumphed, yet his moment of glory was hampered by an errant crimson streak. Someone call FOUL. (In every meaning of the word.)

Now, it's easy for me to say this because I don't wear lipstick, but there should be some rules of decorum set forth for those who do. Lizzie Post (the great, great granddaughter of etiquette queen, Emily Post) says that it's perfectly fine to re-apply lipstick in public -- even at a restaurant table, but, as far as I'm concerned, the following four lipstick laws need to be passed and enforced post haste.

(In the world according to me...) If you are going to wear dark lipstick you must:

#1 Do a Teeth Check: Few things make people more uncomfortable than talking to a woman who's oblivious to the fact that she has color smeared across her pearly whites. (Spinach is a close second.) Do yourself (and us) a favor and perform that handy "put your index finger in your mouth and pull it out to remove extra lipstick that would otherwise end up on your teeth" trick. Please.

#2 Don't Kiss People (Whether or Not They're on Their Way to Accept a Major Award in Front of Millions of TV Viewers): This rule, henceforth known as "Colin's Commandment" is merely a matter of common courtesy. Just as giving someone a hickey without permission is un-cool, kissing and leaving behind evidence is a certifiable no-no. No one wants to be branded -- no matter how close the two of you are. Be considerate and press your cheek to the other person's cheek instead of laying your lips on them. They'll never know the difference -- especially if you add in the appropriate SMOOOCH-y sound effect while doing it. And if you can't resist an impassioned lip lock (we don't encourage this behavior while wearing bold lipstick), blot first and hope for the best.

#3 Keep the Color on Your Lips -- Not Your Face: Lipstick has a tendency to migrate off its intended target. Especially as we age. The pigment can feather or bleed into the creases above (and below) the lips. You can prevent this by placing a tissue over your lips and applying a light dusting of translucent powder around your mouth before you apply color. Applying liner to the entire lip (not just the outline) will also help to keep lipstick in place and keep you looking like the well-put-together woman you are.

#4 Blot Before You Sip: I don't care how much you like your dark lips, you have to admit that leaving a mark on stemware (from a wineglass to your Starbucks cup) is a bit gross. No one really enjoys seeing your lip marks, so we beseech you to make an effort.

There you have them, the four lipstick laws as set forth by me, your friendly neighborhood politeness policewoman.

Do you have a pet peeve about something similar? Let's hear it! (I don't want to come across as the only persnickety person!) And, hey, if you're like me and prefer a softer, more natural look to a dark, statement making one, check out this cool Natural Beauty Lookbook for tips on how to recreate the prettiest looks as worn by your favorite celebrities.
And the survey says...
1-6 of 17 Comments

  • Posted by GigiSD on 04/13/13 at 02:56pm

    These are classic great habits to develop and keep--I agree!

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  • Posted by EricaF123 on 04/13/13 at 02:49pm

    Nice

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  • Posted by powerwoman033 on 03/14/12 at 07:14pm

    I completely agree with you! These are all of the reasons I don't like to wear lipstick! If I do choose to wear it, I go with a nude for just these reasons. I have seen way too many dark lipstick disasters to keep me fearful of trying it myself! I think your laws should be used and enforced! Be Courteous!

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  • Posted by anna_davis on 11/28/11 at 02:06pm

    most people dont notice that they have lipstick on their teeth. they aren't oblivious they just dont have time to look in their pocket mirror so often.

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  • Posted by LipglossandSpandex on 07/21/11 at 09:00pm

    Very good tips. I personally don't like the idea of reapplying lipstick at the dinner table!

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  • Posted by naomi_taylor on 07/11/11 at 10:20am

    I would add to #1 make sure you whiten your pearlies and choose the shade of red that best compliments the shade of your skin AND your teeth!

    Report Abuse

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