My love affair with red lipstick began when Estee Lauder Cosmetics hired me as their Regional Account Manager for the specialty shops in Michigan. My first day was at their National Sales meeting held in New York City — talk about intimidating. This was a painful situation for an INTJ — let alone a shy one.
However, I worked at making my shyness invisible. I really have never liked that about me. My oldest daughter is outgoing and can talk to anyone with ease. I have always wanted to me more like that — years later I’m still working on it.
We had various sales meetings all day long; it was a vigorous schedule. At one of the meetings, I remember Estee Lauder (founder), making a point that confident women wore “red lipstick”. I was never really sure if all confident women wore red lipstick or red lipstick made you confident. Either way, sitting in a huge room filled with strangers, feeling both vulnerable and shy, I was willing to try anything.
When I returned home summer was in full bloom and I was on the hunt for that perfect cherry shade. I was ready for red. I was visiting one of my accounts in Grand Rapids, looking around the counter, I realized how overwhelmed I was with the plethora of reds to choose from — luckily there was help.
I don’t remember the name of the lipstick, although you’d think I might since it was my first. But I do remember the pride — even if it was mixed with a hint of insecurity — as I was walking out the store wearing my first red lip. It felt like taking a huge step into womanhood.
The beauty of red lipstick is its universality — you can find them in numerous shades and price points. If you’re unsure about which color — seek assistance. But remember, you have to love it, as you’re the one that will wear it.
Does red lipstick really boost ones confidence? Years later, I think the jury is still out. If you asked a therapist they would probably say no. I also believe confidence begins from the inside out. Yet, when I put on my red lipstick and looked in the mirror I saw that fearless lioness, someone I wanted to be. I will forever be grateful for that little tube of red confidence.
Some of my Favorites