The baby ("baby") got her first lipstick the other day. She asked for a lipstick a couple of weeks ago, the way she asks for everything which feels big to her -- in a sidebar way down at the bottom of the page. We were talking about lip balm & I accidentally said "lipstick" & she said, "Can I have a lipstick?"
I finished what I was meaning about lip balm & then asked her if girls at ballet school were wearing lipstick. No, no one, but the girl who is in a fearsome hurry to grow up is wearing eye makeup & the girl who is that girl's Marcy wears gloss.
"Hm," is what I said. Then I changed the subject with her & promptly put it to my ladies, like when Babe Paley would rely upon Clare Booth Luce to advise her on the children.
Their response was about as I expected, although it belatedly occurred to me that I did not ask the women around me with same-age children here on the ground, probably because, yk, people + also Fille is a second child & all her friends are firsties, but I do not know that I thought about all that at the time of my inquiry.
Anyhow, I thought of handing down a lipstick she has admired, or bringing her a gift of lipstick, or something, but it didn't feel actionable. After a few more days went by, MAC was tweeting on the Twitter about Viva Glam & then it hit me: This is Fifille's induction into a League! Let's make it An Event! She's growing up!
I was glad to remember to take her to MAC because I knew that someone would take their time & go over everything with her and help her get it right -- everyone who works for MAC knows there is a heart's desire in a lipstick & we only need help it to the light.
Moore was no exception: fully made up, 50-feet tall, in phenomenal leather pants & Fluevogs -- he was patient with her while he showed her everything which would suit her, while encouraging her to feel free to like nothing and also to forget about me and what I might like, whilst they were fully-engaged in the business of picking & choosing, sifting & winnowing, finding out what she wanted to like.
I was browsing the eyshadows, mostly, looking for something in a green.
She chose a Viva Glam right away from the first wave of soft pinks Moore wanted to show her -- Viva Glam V. Then he showed her the companion Lipglass which attends it. She liked it all right, but she wanted to make the shopping last -- this was her first time! And VGV is a little nude on her -- it could as well be a drugstore lip balm.
She tried on some different colors, some more orange, some more rose .. she couldn't decide. There were a lot of stripes on the backs of both hands. She tried on a satin that she liked, a little, and I said it was too matte, it made her look too-too made-up. Moore did not disagree & gave her a lipgloss coat, and that softened it up, but I didn't want her to have a cosmetic that required a different product to make use.
She studied, took in the entire lipstick inventory, sighed. She scrutinized the backs of her hands & redrew a few stripes which had been wiped aside alread. She deeply considered. She screwed up her face & thought & thought. Moore asked her what she was thinking about. She thought some more and spoke, finally, her words clear & true, getting right to the heart of her lipstick.
"Well, my mom wears these dark lipsticks and ... they're neutral, but still dark ... they're dramatic! And I guess when I thought I would wear lipstick --" her tone was aspirational & wistful -- "I thought I would wear a color like that, like she does."
Ok, srsly, stalker! Hello, Jennifer Jason Leigh!
I told Moore my top MAC lippies, enduring on the palette for these last 20 years -- Double Shot, Photo, Paramount, VGIII, Verve, Fetish, Media, plus how Mari still talks about Cyber, which has been long-retired from my repertoire, but was ever-present on my pout when we were dating.
"Oh, my God. I love Cyber," is what Moore told me. And I knew he was telling the truth because he could not even actually say love, he just kind of mouthed the word in awe. I was the same when it was my turn to talk.
"I know. Me, too! And I would put it on, and just not [mouthing, from me now] give a fuck."
Then, we let a moment go while we held Cyber fully in our attentions before we returned ourselves to Fille. He handed over a few tubes & striped them on her hand. She picked one called Strength, like a coppery color, tried it on & eh. It was OK, better in real light outside, but we came back, unsure.
Moore handed her a tube with a berry color within, Odyssey. I loved the color a lot on her. It was what she wanted, dark, dramatic, but still neutral on her skin, not chalky nor painted. It was the color of a wine stain, or beard-burn, but with a tiny bit of pearl. I really liked it, but said nothing, waiting for her. Moore was excited, too, I could tell.
"What do you think?" he asked her.
She was apprehensive, turning this way & that in the mirror. "I'm not sure." Then she shook her head. "I don't think so."
You could have knocked the Lipstick Team over with a feather. I said, with way less enthusiasm than I was feeling about the color. "Are you sure? Take the mirror outside again."
When she was gone, I turned to Moore, "WHAT? OMIGOD, I thought for sure she was going to say, Omigod, this is it!"
He said, astutely, "I think she doesn't want to say she likes it because she isn't sure you will let her have it."
I KNOW, RIGHT?!?
When she came back in, she said she thought she may have liked it, but she still wasn't sure. Moore got fully into intervention-mode.
"Ok," he said. "If you could wear any lipstick here, and nothing else mattered -- not how old you are, not what your mom likes, nothing -- what lipstick would you choose?"
After a while, in a whisper I couldn't hear, she confessed to him.
I asked her, him, both, "Which one?"
She pointed, still in the mirror, really shyly, in the direction of her face, at the same time Moore said, "The one she is wearing."
"Oh, wow!" I said, like it just occured to me, this idea of hers the whole time. I fake-thought about it. "Yah, I think I really like it, too, a lot. Are you sure?"
OMIGOD, it's so good. As when I described this shopping event for Mari, I will say that it looks like her. It's like, Of course that's the lipstick Fille got. That's her lipstick color. That's what color of lipstick Fille would wear, so good. It suits her entirely.
I told her she could have the Odyssey, and the Viva Glam V, plus the matching Lipglass, if she would like, since they were really different tones for different times. OMG, it was like when Laura got mittens, and candy, and a doll.
When we got home, after a few hours, after dinner, when we were just sitting around in the dining room all of us talking, she slipped away & then came back wearing it, the Odyssey.
"Why are you wearing lipstick?" Mari asked her after a few minutes, when he caught sight of her for the first time.
"I wanted to see if you would say anything," she said, in a highly-recognizable tone, coy and yet somehow laced with antagonism.
Nature or nurture? This girl.
I let Moore do me some eyeshadow & bought all of that. Just one shadow-for-liner & an eyeshadow primer, which was what I wanted.
I told him, when we left, her with her own bag full of stash, "She will always remember you. For her whole life she will remember this day, so thank you." & ok, maybe it was a little too heavy for a guy at work, but I know that he also knew that we were talking about makeup and that is important, srsly.
Je vous adore! xoxox