Growing up, I was never shown how to be a “girl”, well not from my mom anyway because my parent’s wanted a boy, a thought they’ve shared with me since I can remember. In any case, as a pre-teen and teenager I learned my feminine ways through either friends, their moms or on television. My mom never even shared with me that one day I was going to get my period let alone makeup instructions or birth control, but I digress (yes again). It’s taken me literally 30 years to hone my personal look, and with that I’ve experimented with all different kinds of makeup. Some successful and some, well not so much. But one thing that has been a constant for me is lipstick.
As a little girl my mom sold Avon, she was very successful at it, she was one of the few Avon Ladies (back then and in our part of El Paso) to win the Avon Calling Door Knocker Pin.
The Diamond and Black onyx Avon Service Award Pin
The Sapphire Award Pin
And the President’s Club Pin
And several awards that were plates, some I can’t find images to. But because my mom was an Avon lady I got to try a lot of the cosmetics she would sell, as Avon use to have these tiny cute lipstick samples that came in their very own case, that she gave to her customers and put in their order bags.
She also had her very own case to carry her stuff in, I wish I’d known this would be vintage and be selling at extremely over-inflated prices online. I would have kept the one she had in the storage room.
Anyway, I loved to try on all the lipstick samples and quickly found that my skins undertone which is olive, most lipsticks would turn different colors on me. So anything melon color would be extremely bright and old lady looking, anything brown would be red on me, and anything red would be orange, ugh. Frustrating to say the least, but in my 30’s I came to find the perfect color for me, it was RED. I would continue to buy red lipsticks from my mom, and even though I felt that the color wasn’t exactly what I wanted I began to improvise. When I began buying the Avon lipsticks, there was a line called Perfect Wear, and I LOVED it. Because no matter what I did, ate, drank or kissed (yep this is important) the lipstick didn’t budge and it wasn’t dry or flaky either.
Then it happened, they changed the formula and then the lipstick line, it started as Perfect Wear, then Ultra Rich/Color to Extralasting then True Color (I think) either way, the reds or browns never really fit me. That is until, low and behold I saw a YouTube video about how to make one’s own lipstick colors by combining lipstick shades. I loved this lipstick line with a passion and at first it was Chocolate, then Rich Brown (which was actually red on me) was my go to lipstick, and now it’s Perfect Red.
With a little help from Rimmel’s London by Kate Moss lipstick line, specifically #01. It’s a red these two colors combined give me the perfect red for my taste.
So, let me explain the title of my post, as I was perusing through articles on lipstick earlier this week I came across this one by Jacqui Palumbo from CNN. About how red lipstick has had a long history of defiance starting with the Suffragettes in the 1920’s. When they marched by Elizabeth Arden’s newly opened boutique, Arden herself apparently gave the passing suffragettes tubes of red lipstick to wear. You can read the full article here.
So why a vamp? Oh let’s just say that when I began working at this university in the clerkship program the lipstick color I wore the most was red. Or two of the colors I wore to make the one perfect color. Then one day my director (a woman herself) asked me “Where do you buy your lipstick?” I thought this was going to be an actual honest question because she liked the color. I was wrong, she decided to let me know that the color I was wearing was inappropriate for my job. She’s a beautiful but insecure older woman with trust issues because her second husband cheated on her with a Latina (she’s a white lady to clarify).
I told her that my lipstick color was actually two, and that I combine them to make my own unique color. She looked at me up and down, with those criticizing eyes and said “Well maybe you should mute that color, it’s not appropriate for the clerkship.” My smart-assy pants took over and I asked her “According to whom? You or medical education?” She rolled her eyes at me and then I said “You know, what you just said might be misconstrued by someone with ultra-sensitivity as not only narcissistic but completely hostile. Maybe you might want to try a little red lipstick once in a while.”
She looked down at her clipboard, and without looking at me said “Red lipstick is for vamps and tramps” and walked down the hallway. Well, if y’all know me at all you know that I was raging mad at this insensitive comment. But, I maintained my professionalism and went about the day. We were observing the 3rd year medical students in their simulation tests and had to walk from one observation room to another. Each time passing each other in the hallway, and every time I passed this bitch, my anger grew. We soon had to break for lunch, and apparently by this time she was in a better mood and walked over to me and said “So, where are we going to lunch?” and I told her I had to go to HR.
She asked why, and then I told her to file a complaint against her for the remark she made about the red lipstick. Her green eyes grew wide, and she began to follow me down the hall as I walked away from her. She ran to catch up to me and then reached for my shoulder to say “You aren’t really going to HR are you? I mean, I meant it as a joke.” I looked down at her (she’s a short bitch, about 4’11 or 5’ at the most) and said “A joke? Seriously you meant it as a joke?”
She began to laugh, as she put her newly engaged hand along with a huge piss yellow diamond engagement ring on her forehead, as in disbelief. It was about four or five carat that her so-called fiancé bought because she pressured him into it, she also kept mentioning that it cost more than her Porsche to the med students, how tacky is that shit?
She said that she hadn’t meant for it to come out that way. I told her it sure as hell looked like she meant what she said, and that if she ever did it again I’d not only go to HR, I’d make sure that Medical Education knew about her derogatory comments. She said “Derogatory? What? I never said anything to the like.” I repeated what she said, the whole “Red lipstick is for vamps and tramps” line and she laughed and repeated that it was a joke.
It made me even angrier, so got as close to her as I could and whispered “It’s not funny that you insinuated that I was a tramp, and if you do it again I will make sure you regret it.” She looked up and me and said that I was threatening her. I laughed (like she had previously) and said “Oh, it was a joke” and turned to leave. Later on that day, on our last simulation exercise another director commented on her huge piss yellow diamond engagement ring. Saying how big and beautiful it was. I rolled my eyes as I checked off the students coming out of the observation room, and then the other director asked “Don’t you think it’s just beautiful, her ring?”
I answered not once turning around and said “That big old ugly, piss yellow thing? Ugh, no, diamonds that big are for insecure white women who have lost their ex-husband to a sexy Latina vamp.” They both looked like I had caught them off guard by my response, I turned, laughed and walked towards the next observation room.
When I got back to my office I had a voicemail to call my current supervisor and when I did, she had offered me the job I have now. I was ecstatic to say the least. I marched right into the clerkship director’s office and gave my two weeks’ notice. This vamp was leaving and taking my red lipstick with me, and I don’t regret one word of what I said.
This is the Huntress, over and out!