Today I made a sneaky trip to Selfridges with Susan and Neradah and associated squealy annoying children (mostly mine, actually) to buy Products’O’Beauty in the shiny, clean, quiet loveliness of the Beauty Hall. HURRAH! There is nothing like a bit of sparkly eyeshadow to make a mam feel girlish and pretty again. My plan (conceived over weeks, laboured over, savoured, while I stared into middle distance willing the sound of whinging and crying to fade out) was to sashay my way to the Tom Ford counter (as well as you can sashay with a baby tied to your chest and a two-year old throwing his shoes at the security guards) because it has come to my attention that I need a TF lipstick. Really NEED one, because I am a lady and there is some very impressive pigment in there and always, when people write nice memoirs about their mother and/or their gran, they remember the lipstick. (And their lavender sachets and their pound cake. And their cheeks are always chalkily smooth and they have dancing dresses in their wardrobes. And enormous grand, old-lady rings that they will pass on.) Anyway, I digress. I have come to understand that:
a) lipstick is more than just a tube of wax that you inadvertently eat. Rather, it is an chance to try out the woman you thought you might have become when you grew up. It is the memory of women you read about in novels, the thing your mother turned to when she dressed up, the idea of all those things you aspired to become when you were a girl. For me, anyway. It is grown-up, elegant, luxurious, dangerous, show-offy, confident, and stylish. And you know how I love a stylish thing.
b) Vogue said they were the best. And I believe Vogue, in a blindly devoted kind of way.
So I sashayed, and asked the lovely TF salesgirl who was wearing big black spectacles and the reddest, glossiest, most delicious cherry-red lips if I could try the pinky one and the blush one. And she said they were sold out. Just like that. But I had already mentally bought one, and there was a TF lipstick-sized hole in my Alexa and so I decided to cast my previous nude-toned selections aside. I pointed to an orange lipstick (unfortunately named “Ginger Fawn”) and tried it on. It was very orange, very stainy, very, very grown-up. Bold, a bit nutty, and completely perfect. And if you decided to do the cost-per-wear equation, it was FREE. Here it is:
And the enamelled tube is too lovely for words. Gold and white. Too, too lovely.
And so I have been wearing it all day. It does stain and so you look a little like you have been mainlining popsicles. I have not been shy when people have mouth-stared; rather, I have been wearing my orange lips with complete pride. I LOVE Tom Ford and his pigment-rich masterpieces. And I also love Gina Ford. I am a Ford-Lover. If I had twin siamese cats, I think I would call them Tom and Gina in a Ford-homage, and I would let them sleep on my bed. Tom would be sleek and a bit homosexual, and Gina would be a bit fluffy and hefty and she would scratch the children. Butt they would deserve it.
Here they are, being a bit bad. They need a scratch from Gina Ford The Cat.
Lucky the baby is nice. Please excuse my balloon arms. They will become thin, when I stop eating cake. And I am wearing a Paul Smith dress. So there. This is in our garden. There will be illicit plum-taking very, very soon.
Jesus! Is that your teeny tiny newborn?!! What HAPPENED??
I don’t know the ways of lipstick. I just have one only and wear it always until it runs out then I buy another one the same. But then, I am not a proper girl. I don’t even much care about diamonds.
Throughout the 80s and some of the 90s I wore lipstick exclusively and thought gloss was terribly 70s and backward. Now I am finding it hard to make the transition from gloss back to glamorous, womanly lipstick. Damn, I wish I had used my youth to wear matt red lips and 40s rolled hairdos; now I just look too wizened somehow, or so I imagine.
Nothing wrong with your arms, woman. Don’t – under any circumstances – give up eating cake.
cath, that is my tiny baby indeed – he is enormous and terribly handsome. It is my boobs wot did it.
PB – The way forward is lipstick. It feels a bit bold and sort of transgressive, like you have been playing with your mother’s stuff, BUT embrace the lipstick! I bet you look elegant. And you are right – cake is worth it. Tonight I have been polishing off profiteroles.