The Liberation in Lipstick


By Julia Nguyen, Staff Writer

Lipstick, for me, began as something to enhance my appearance, but has now grown to be something much more than that. It’s a girl’s true best friend. It compliments you, empowers you, and no matter where you go, it’s always there for you when you need it most.

The ritual of applying and blotting and reapplying validates me. I feel ready to take on the day with both power and grace. Lipstick definitely inspires confidence. But remember, ladies (and men, too!), with great power comes great responsibility. It speaks volumes, it says “here I am! Listen to what I have to say!” And that can be extremely beneficial, especially in a workplace environment.

Lipstick can mean a lot of things for different people. It can be a symbol for womanhood, or a coming of age. It can be something that makes you look or feel more attractive. Or maybe it’s a part of who you are. For me, it’s a bit of everything. It’s gotten to a point where it’s a part of my identity, I don’t recognize myself nor do I know what I would do without it. However, I don’t necessarily find that to be a bad thing. I don’t think it’s a hassle for me at all to go through the process of reaching for my lipstick and compact and reapplying. I actually find the whole thing quite satisfying and the experience to be cathartic.

It’s also something that can easily boost your mood with every swipe. I know on those days when I’m not exactly feeling 100%, I put on my favorite lipstick and the transformation is instant. I feel more put together, confident, and fearless ― something a woman should feel every day. And if you’re not overly fond of makeup in general, lipstick is definitely worth a try! You might find yourself buying lipstick religiously (it’s a blessing and curse).

I tend to gravitate toward more nude/dusty rose, brown and dark burgundy or berry lipsticks. For me, these colors go with anything and I love how they look and make me feel. For others, they could love red, black, blue, green, or fuchsia lipsticks. And that’s fine! You should feel like you can dismantle the patriarchy when you’re wearing lipstick, like you can kick butt at that presentation you’ve been heavily preparing for, or like you can do practically anything. But I think the most important thing to take away from this is to wear what makes you feel beautiful, regardless of what anyone else thinks.