Monday, June 4, 2018

The Red Lip Thing

I’m a late bloomer when it comes to makeup. When I was in high school my classmates already experimented with lipstick while I stuck to lip balm (that wasn’t even tinted/colored in any way). By the time I got to college I knew I should start so I used face powder and tinted lip balm. I think I worked my way to the lipstick and blush midway through college. 

The one thing that I have been obsessed about since I started wearing makeup has been my lips, particularly red lips. I don’t think that I’ve ever had the perfect red lip in all my years of buying and using makeup. I’ve tried several brands from the expensive to the very affordable and many different shades of red. I’ve mixed and matched lipstick, tinted lip balm, lip gloss, lip tint, lip liner, lip crayon, powdered lip color, liquid lip color, matte lip color and so on and so forth but I’ve never been satisfied with the color I get. I think I’ve tried almost every kind of red and type of lip coloring method in the last 20 years without finding my perfect fit.

I’d love a red lip that stands out but not in a way that makes me look cheap or makes me come on too strong. I still want it to look natural on my face and make my teeth look whiter without making it too extreme. I know it’s too much to ask for a lip shade, but I just want it to look as good and as natural as how Taylor Swift wears it, you know what I mean?

Some lip colors look perfect in magazines or when I check out samples but when they’re on my lips, they just don’t make the cut. Some turn out looking a bit orange, sometimes pink and sometimes even a bit on the maroon-ish side. Sadly, now that I’m in my 40s the whole red lip thing doesn’t seem to fit me anymore. I know that makeup doesn’t have any age limit but these days I’m happier wearing more neutral tones – I’m more into the natural glow look instead of a pop of color. I still try to wear the red lip sometimes when I want to feel confident but for the most part, it’s just not me anymore.

These days, the reds that I’ve been using are from two brands, Maybelline and Avon. For Maybelline I use Color Jolt Matte in You Red Me (05), Rebel Bouquet (01) and Color Show in Bold Crimson. For Avon it's Ultra Glazewear Lip Gloss in Fiery Red.

Maybelline shades (Photo from Zalora)

I mostly use Avon's lip gloss since it's not too strong on me but when I feel like stepping it up a notch at night I use Maybelline's Color Jolt Matte (You Red Me) or Color Show (Crimson). I sometimes use Rebel Bouquet 01 at work but it's not that often, since I find myself feeling too old for the red these days. These shades are the closest I've got to a Taylor Swift red though.

Avon is my go-to red lip solution for when I want some red but not too much!

I'm thinking of trying lip colors from Anne Curtis' Blk Cosmetics and Vice Ganda's Vice Cosmetics in the future. So far there are a lot of potentially good reds from Vice's collection compared to Anne's but I'm willing to give both a shot. We'll see. I've heard that there is a Kris Aquino collection too so I just might check that out.

Do you know of any other lip color shades and brands I could try? Please leave a comment if you have one in mind!

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Saturday, June 2, 2018

#MeToo

Way back in my younger years, someone started stalking me. There was this guy who would just pop up wherever I was. Sometimes he’d stand behind me in line but not actually need to be there. Or sit beside me waiting for someone who would never arrive. I knew he was doing something. I could feel it. I could feel his eyes. I could see the expression on his face, taunting me as if daring me to react. It affected me to the point where I lost my sense of confidence. I began to wonder if it was because of what I wore, if it was something I said or did. It made me paranoid to think about it because I could not complain about something I could not prove.

photo from pixabay.com

This was a time when we had no cameras on our phones. I could not do anything. Plus, this was a guy who most people generally liked…how do I prove to people that this was happening? In the end, I didn’t. Thankfully however, he moved on to other interests. I was lucky it ended that way but that hasn’t stopped me from changing. I used to be more open, more carefree. After that, I started dressing sloppily. The more I blended with the background, the better. The more I hid my body, the more I felt safe. Even eating to gain weight became a security blanket for me. I didn’t want to get any attention from the way I looked after that.

Through the years I’ve experienced sexual harassment in my life. Have any of you seen the first episode of Ally McBeal where her co-worker asked her to reach for something and he went behind her to pinch her butt? Something similar happened to me once, only in my case the co-worker asked me to reach for something to get a better view of my breasts (which, in hindsight, I should have realized before I actually reached for that work thing). 

There was also the time when I was planning to purchase something in an appliance store and the salesperson (who probably thought he was attractive) stepped too close and whispered my name in my ear in a manner that made me jump out of my skin. I know the first thing to do should have been to complain to the manager, but the creepiness of the moment made me leave the store and never come back.

I felt grateful to read about the #MeToo movement and how women are speaking up about the abuse that they have experienced around men. I appreciate that now, during the time of my niece, women are given a voice to say “No, this is not OK, and I will not let you do this.” That even with abuse, it is not the woman’s fault, no matter how much men say that it is because of what women wear or act around them. When a woman says no, it means no. The whole “boys will be boys” thing is not an excuse and we should not let them use and abuse that. 

I appreciate the awareness that this movement has raised but as its founder has said, it is no longer the time for words but the time for action. I hope that as my niece grows up, she will be able to live in a world where there would be no need for this movement at all and that the sexual harassment, violence and abuse of women can be eliminated. There’s still a long way to go but the fact that women and standing up to be heard, the fact that women (along with some enlightened men) are supporting each other through this is a big achievement in itself. 

What can we do for this change to happen? We need to speak up. Both men and women need to speak up when they see sexual harassment or abuse. We need to let people know that the time for letting this happen is over. We need to raise our children right. We should teach our girls not to hide out of fear and that they should speak up when this happens to them. We should teach our boys to respect women and to defend them from this type of abuse. We should teach our boys to be men – not the type who think that rules should different for men and women, but the type who believe that we should all respect each other as human beings. It really makes me wonder where the women are in the lives of these abusive men when they were growing up. How could they have become the kind of people that they are if they had been brought up right? What man would abuse women when they have mothers, sisters, daughters and grandmothers in their lives? It really should all start from the home. It should start from all of us.

Change will be difficult; some men already accuse women of lying about abuse. These men try to make the women the villain in the story when it is the other way around. They try to discredit these women to make their complaints invalid, they try to cause trouble in their lives to make them feel that speaking up is not worth it.  

It’s still a long and challenging path, but I hope that one day this movement can be the change that women need.

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