Contemplating Lip Gloss …

Though I’m a child of the 70’s and 80’s, I’m a TV-product of the 90’s. During the 90’s, I was sucked into Charmed, Buffy the Vampire Slayer, Angel and Ghost Whisperer. Not sure where the fascination with Magic, Ghosts and Demon-Slaying came from, but there you have it.

My 11-year old daughter and I have successfully completed our Netflix binge-watching of both Ghost Whisperer and Charmed. She too is fascinated by Magic and Ghosts, and the occasional demon slaying. As we watched, though, I recognized one thing these shows all have in common: Perfect Lips.

Rose McGowan (Paige on Charmed Seasons 4-8) always had perfect lips. No matter how many demons she encountered, her lips remained pristine … Red Lips that never mussed or faded and shone with heavy gloss. In the Final Season, Kaley Cuoco (now of Big Bang Theory) became a regular. Her lips were painted a natural shade but with that same thick, shiny perfect gloss.

Now, I like Make-up. I’ve been playing with it since I was little. I like to try out new colors. I like to have manicured nails. And I like to paint my face and create smokey eyes like any girly girl. I know how to use it, mostly. I experiment and spend quality time at the Lancome counter. But, no matter how many Lipsticks or Lip Glosses I buy, I can’t achieve that glossy shimmer that Rose and Kaley mastered on Charmed.

So what is it … this thick, shiny flawless look that lasts even after kissing a guy or vanquishing demons? And how do I create it … me, whose only demon battles occur in my dreams or sans potions during a tough day at the office. What gloss do I have to buy to achieve it? What brush do I use to paint lips to create a look that won’t crack or fade?

It’s not Dior, I’ve tried it. And that’s pretty much the top of the line. What is the secret formula? Who sells it? What brand is it? Where do I get it? How do I create “the look”? It’s much to shiny to be petroleum jelly and that’s the thickest gloss I can think of.

And that brings me to the next questions, how many breaks in action did it take to film one episode of Charmed? How many applications were necessary to keep the perfect lips perfect for 43 minutes? Was there a Lip Person on staff?

How Shallow am I, you may ask, to be concerned with creating perfect lips amidst the realities of today. Obsess much, Jenni? But I want “the look.” I want lovely, shiny lips … Perfect Lips.

But, Perfection is impossible. Perhaps it can be created on screen with a staff of Lip People and Directors shouting “Cut!” to pause the action for addition of a new lacquer of shine. Oh, I recognize the impossibility of achieving lip precision of this magnitude. I’ve learned to love myself as I am, lipstick free most days. But can the same be said for today’s teens? For today’s young women? Or are they too trying to achieve some TV-promoted concept of the “Ideal Look.”

I tell my daughter, there is no such thing as Perfect. That she is beautiful as she is. That no matter what she saw on Charmed (and Alyssa Milano made some very questionable fashion choices) that she is loved not because of how she manages her lipstick, hair and clothing but for her heart, kindness, compassion and spirit. When she once asked me if she looked Fat, I was horrified that a healthy, active and very normal 11-year-old would ask that question.

But Hollywood projects an image that many of us — myself included at times — are tempted to emulate. And, these Hollywood Stars make it all look so easy. The actresses are uber-thin with shiny, extension-laden, highlighted hair and trendy, fitted clothing. They have smooth clump-free painted lips and smile or pout, displaying their perfect lip gloss. But then, taking care of themselves and presenting the best of themselves is their job … a trainer, hair stylist or make-up artist is part of their packaging. They have Staff to present them to the world in a specifically defined way. But, I bet inside their own four walls, they are just like you and me, albeit a little thinner due to the fact the TV cameras add poundage.

The Hollywood life is defined by the camera … Perhaps that isn’t really “ideal” either. To live a life in the spotlight and be judged by the world by their looks. Kinda sad, really.

So I want Perfectly Glossed Lips. Yeah, okay I do. But, I’m not going to become obsessed. I’m going to present the best of myself possible, that’s just who I am. But there are days I go out without make-up. Days I opt to wear my comfy yoga pants and a cozy sweatshirt with my hair swinging in a high ponytail, no eye make-up on. And — ya know what? I don’t care who sees me that way … It’s real and it’s an aspect of who I am.

Yeah, I have a couple extra pounds or a few grey hairs I’d like to get rid of. But at 50, I feel really good about how I feel and how I look. I take care of myself, yes, and find joy in the woman I have become along this crazy journey. I’m good with me … Just the way I am. I hope my daughter continues to love and honor herself for who she is, not define herself based on some Hollywood stereotype. I will do everything in my power to help her.

But … if anyone knows what Lip Gloss creates that shiny 90’s lacquered look with staying power, I’d still really like to know …

— Jenni


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