Wednesday, April 19, 2006

this lipstick tastes like bubblegum

A few days ago, Hope came to my door.

It arrived via USPS in a brown box. Inside was a small plastic jar with a black lid. The label read, “hope in a jar.” I had been having kind of a rough day. How did it know exactly what I needed?

Actually, it’s my friend Nerissa who knew: She’s a style writer for the San Jose Mercury News, which means she writes glossy stuff on newsprint, which pretty much describes Nerissa: glamorous but down-to-earth. She’d sent me and Jamie a handful of products to test, as well as a few just-for-fun freebies.

Yes, I’m going to be one of those quotes you read in girly mags: “This lipstick tastes like bubblegum, and now my boyfriend can’t stop kissing me!” It will be a little challenging, because I’m pretty low-maintenance as far as beauty products go, and I don’t always follow instructions. I don’t repeat after lathering and rinsing, and I’ve been known to put lip gloss on my eyelids.

I’m kind of tempted to get all subversive in my comments: “This lipstick rubbed off the minute I went down on a girl.” Although I think the most subversive act would be to admit that most beauty products don’t make a significant difference, or at least they can’t do anything more than face wash, Chapstick and a little Wet ‘N’ Wild mascara can do.

I believe that beauty magazines write to a pretend reader—a single-but-dating urban girl who’s climbing the corporate ladder and frequently needs to find the perfect outfit that will take her from her fast-paced workplace to a downtown cocktail party. I (and, I suspect, many of the real readers) wear jeans to work and jeans to Starbucks and jeans to the cattery and, if I did get invited to a cocktail party, I would wear jeans there too. But we read InStyle and Elle and Glamour because we like to pretend, for a little while, that we are seriously contemplating buying a $115 camisole.

So what if I were to not play along? What if I said that I have no place to wear my sparkly lipstick, that it’s too expensive, that while it may fill me with hope, that that hope is not fulfilled?

But I probably won’t. I will be as honest as possible, but I am no adbuster. I’m a girl helping out a friend, and being helped by a friend. Whenever I’m up north—usually grubby from a plane ride and a long day of work—Nerissa and I get cocktails and have a great time, shiny skin and all. We’re subversive like that.


jenny said...

I would say, "This lipstick tastes like bubblegum, and now I can't get my lips unstuck from this little boy's hair. Do you have any peanut butter scented conditioner?"

I hope you become a famous product endorser/reviewer/shill and take us all with you on your rise to the top.

Cheryl said...

Ooh, that's a good one. I'll see if Nerissa needs any Chicago-based reviewers.

Schrodinger's Kitten said...

If you're going to get bubblegum flavored lipstick, you might as well get the Dr. Pepper lipsmacker. It's so 1986. And it will cushion your pocketboook when you plunk down the cash for that $115 camisole.

Tracy Lynn said...

I KNOW THE GIRL FOR WHOM ALL THOSE MAGAZINES ARE WRITTEN! She is a friend of my sister in law's and she literally does all that stuff, is immaculately groomed and has a subscription to LUCKY, which is apparently a magazine wholly devoted to shopping. I didn't even know there were such things, I thought they were just called ads and you got them for free.

I only really like hair products. I do the minimal everywhere else.

Schrodinger's Kitten said...

I LOVE LUCKY!!! oh...maybe I shouldn't have admitted that.

they have stickers for marking things to buy...isnt that cool?

erin said...

i love lucky too! it's my usual air travel magazine reading selection... that and real simple. not that i ever buy or use anything from either of them, but it is fun to use the stickers and pretend that one day, when i'm a grown-up, i will live like the people those magazines are made for.

Cheryl said...

It's all about looking at shiny, bright-colored objects, right girls? Nothin' wrong with that.

Cheryl said...

Oh, and Erin, nothing you read while airborne counts. It's like how broken cookies don't have calories.

erin said...

well, thank goodness, because as much as i hate the idea of celebrity news/gossip, i have been known to pollute my brain with people and US and that crap while airborne, as well. good to know i never actually read it as long as i read it while flying.