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Red Lips, a Dealbreaker?

When a problem comes along, you must lip it…


We all know I’m a beauty girl.  I do enjoy fashion, but for me, epic highlights or a show-stopping nail or somesuch is vastly more delightful to me than copping the new Isabel Marant Kate Wedge Boots (though I really want those, too, goddamnit).  You also know that in terms of makeup, I’m partial to bronzey, sunkissed neutrals.  Copper-kissed lids, peachy-bronze cheeks and lashes DOWN.  But lips?  Lips are a different story.  Since I keep the rest of my face so sparkly-nude, I’m always pushing for a bold n’ brilliant lip.  Think vivid velvety crimson, take-no-prisoners tangerine, bubblegum pink for your nerves, etc.  Lips as event

You can imagine my disappointment when Handsome Gentleman revealed in one of our first conversations that he is not a fan of event lips.

[Wait…who’s Handsome Gentleman?  Eagle-eyed SYB Babes might have noticed that I’ve mentioned him here and there.  Quick back story:  HG is a dizzyingly charming and hot person with whom I went on one date in August.  The date was disturbingly good, but I was prepared to relegate it to a tasty little footnote, since I was having surgery four days later and was going to be in recovery for two weeks.  I was about to be a swollen, disfigured, hypermedicated mess and in no shape for a second date, so what was the point?  Turns out, I didn’t have a choice.  HG refused to stay away, even though my face resembled the Great Pumpkin.  He visited, we FaceTimed.  He wooed, I swooned.  And the moral of the story is, everyone should try meeting someone when they’re at their most busted.  It’s instant sink or swim, and it seems I have a Lochte on my hands. #wheeee]


My new obsesh, Nars’ Kiss Mini Larger Than Life Lip Gloss Coffret ($55, at Sephora). How can HG not appreciate the GENIUS of these poppy, Warhol-inspired shades? Arrgh!! **shakes fist at the heavens**


Anyway, yeah, before he’d even seen me in a fierce fuschia gloss, he revealed the following in a random convo about unenjoyable makeout sessions.

HG:  …and I just remember that she had this really greasy, really bright orange lipstick on and it was just all bad.

Me:  So, what was bad, the greasiness or the brightness?

HG:  Both, but really the brightness.  Loud lips…why?

Me, not understanding the question:  Why?  Wait…you don’t think loud lips are sexy?

HG:  I mean…I feel like it looks like a woman’s overcompensating for some reason.  I don’t know, I just like natural beauty.  If you’re naturally beautiful, you wouldn’t need to go so hard.

Me, thinking: Silly man, how little you know of women and their primping habits.  It takes thirty minutes to create the ‘natural beauty’ of which you speak.

Me:  It’s not about needing to wear bold lips, it’s about wanting to.  It’s a trend, it’s chic!

HG:  Says who?

Me:  Women and gay men.

HG:  People who are uninterested in kissing you.

Fair enough.  But now I feel stuck.  I am soooooooooooo not about to change my style for a man.  I attempted to do this when I was married, and we all know how that ended.  And yet…if I know HG isn’t excited about kissing lips slathered in Make Up Forever Iconic Red Aqua Rouge, then why would I wear it?  Of course, in all fairness, he’s never seen me in it…I have a feeling that he’d find me quite kissable slathered in mustard.  Sigh.  Such a conundrum.  How do you feel about this?



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  1. October 2, 2012 12:06 pm 

    He musta never seen YOU in some dope red lipstick. And when he does, he gon fall over in swoonage and DEAL. Word.

  2. Nik
    October 2, 2012 12:10 pm 

    Can you just remove it when you make-out? Is that a good compromise?

  3. Bashful Beauty
    October 2, 2012 12:13 pm 

    My husband isn’t a fan of the bold lip either but I love it! And I still wear it because it makes ME feel sexy……. And if I feel sexxxxy he gets sexxx. (take note of the xxx) 🙂 So we are both happy…. And you guys will be too! Ps. Happy for you!

  4. Kim
    October 2, 2012 12:14 pm 

    I prefer clear, sparkly nude or pale pink lip glosses. I’ve never liked bright lip colors. I applaud women who can rock those loud shades but they’re really not for me. Maybe your new beau will grow to love your bold lip colors. Men don’t know what they like until we tell them, lol.

  5. October 2, 2012 12:18 pm 

    You know, we all suffer from this at one point or another. I would say that do whatever makes him want to kiss you. I’ve had BFs say the same thing. Maybe try NARS lip gloss in Stolen Kisses? That seems to be a homing signal.

  6. amarie
    October 2, 2012 12:27 pm 

    I just met a guy who expressed the same feelings about bold lips. I’m so not about changing my style either. If things progress I will *think* about wearing bold lips a little less and embracing the smokey eye/nude lip combo a little more.

  7. October 2, 2012 12:38 pm 

    Don’t change your style for him…but maybe make sure when you wear bright lips that its a good lipstick that doesn’t budge and won’t come off on him? Actually…can you recommend one of those? Does it exist?
    If he really likes you he’ll come to love your loud lips. Opinions can change, and sometimes people voice opinions that they don’t even feel that strongly about just for the sake of conversation.

  8. October 2, 2012 12:41 pm 

    DO NOT UNDER ANY CIRCUMSTANCES CHANGE ANYTHING FOR A MAN. You will resent it later. Instead….I say try a gloss that is a bit sheerer (not an opaque one) that way you get the color and he doesn’t get offended (which is the stupidest thing I have ever heard of anyway) OR a stain which will give you the shade you want even after the glossiness fades. I like Tarte lipsurgence for the stain part and urban decay lipjunkie in red light or crush for the glossy part.

  9. Andrea
    October 2, 2012 12:45 pm 

    I don’t know, Ms. T-Breezy. My feminist self is bursting at the seams to tell you to tell HG off, but my other side is saying that if a man is willing to deal with you and your not-so-cute post surgery ish, then maybe he’s worth keeping…and maybe he’s worth investing in some more eyeshadow. You could always bring out the Lippy Fierce on nights you’re not with him…keep an air of “mystery” in the budding relationship, you know?

    • twilliams
      October 2, 2012 12:55 pm 

      LOL whyyy would I tell this person off for expressing an opinion? He wasn’t trying to tell me not to wear it — he’s not CRAY. What men find attractive is usually vastly different than what women find hot. He happens to like me best when he (thinks) I’m not wearing any makeup. I like me best with scandalous scarlet lipstick. And I’ll happily continue to rock it — just not when I’m planning to make out with him 🙂

      • TammyB
        October 3, 2012 1:23 pm 

        Clue Us in on where u found him??? Lol..

        Ok being nosey. But still us red lip girls must share our great finds on all topics. I met a guy online with a red lip picture and then after a couple of dates he mentioned that as not
        Something he liked. In order to not give up his great cooking, I gave up
        The lip. 🙂

  10. SanTara
    October 2, 2012 1:38 pm 

    Interchanging lippies is the key. I’ve been married for 15yrs and the Mr.is not into the red lip or any bold color *gasps* Knowing what he wants is under the scarlet veil, has led him to gently wipe it off or just go for it without care. LOL I love my red lipstick but I like making out a whole lot more.

  11. October 2, 2012 2:28 pm 

    I’ve been obsessed with bold fuschia lips for a while now and just started seeing someone who met me when I was wearing it, has no problem with it or kissing me while I’m rocking it, so I’m good. By the time we’re done making out it’s all gone anyway. However, in the past I have been asked to remove lipstick or gloss prior to getting some lip lock action and I sulked but I obliged. HG not being into bold lips isn’t a dealbreaker but he may very well be into them on you. And if the color has to come off before any kisses can commence then dammit they better be worth it!

  12. October 2, 2012 3:39 pm 

    Ahh I’ve found that most men aren’t a fan of the bold lip. So I save it for girl’s night, and not date night.

    I kinda get it. Who wants to kiss that?

  13. October 2, 2012 3:45 pm 

    He’ll get over it!! I apologize in advance for this mini essay, but I’ve heard this crap too many times, and I’m over it, lol! Although no guy has ever complained about my beloved loud lip colors, I can’t count how many times I’ve discussed this same issue with guy friends and my brother (who should know better, because he grew up with a beauty obsessed mother and sister). True, what makeup men find sexy and what we find sexy are two different things, but at the end of the day only two things matter: 1.) Men don’t know what the hell they like. Not when it comes to makeup, anyway. They have no clue how much product goes into “natural”. Unless they have first-hand experience with wearing makeup (if he does, RUN) I take their makeup resistance with a grain of salt. 2.) They still want some, so they WILL get over it. Unless he has major issues, no man will ever let a little lip color stop him. Maybe rock a sheerer formula to ease him into it, but don’t nix the bold color completely!

  14. essence
    October 2, 2012 5:05 pm 

    You are funny. Please write another book soon!!! No pressure

  15. Trudy
    October 2, 2012 6:54 pm 

    I say stay with your style, just use a stain. I’m you can use even the maybelline super stay 14 hour lipstick or something comparable, especially since you don’t know if he’s a keeper anyway.

  16. October 2, 2012 7:02 pm 

    Men don’t get it. To be honest I always tell myself they aren’t supposed to and go along my merry way. My boyfriend loves me but hates when I won’t let him kiss me cause he would mess up my Ruby Woo. But more importantly May-jah YAY for your current prospect 🙂 more deets!

  17. October 2, 2012 8:01 pm 

    Ha! I love this. As you know, I LOVE to rock a bold red lip, and guys often ask me why I go so bold. My answer is always “because I like it!”, and they just shrug and say okay. Like most ladies have said, they don’t really care that much at the end of the day..lol. Girl, I wouldn’t even be able to THINK about parting with my red lippy, so I can assume you couldn’t either. Just mix it up a little with wearing sexy nudes, you both win! xo

  18. October 2, 2012 9:14 pm 

    Yay! I was hoping we’d get a lil more info on Handsome Gentleman but I didn’t want to be the reader all up in your business asking questions!

    I’ve never met a straight man that appreciated any bold makeup. But I don’t like it when men wear shorts. Flip flops outside the house bother me and I really wish they’d stop wearing “statement t-shirts”(you know, the shirts with phrases like “My money long”).

    *Kanyeshrug* It’s not a deal-breaker and I’m sure your red lips aren’t one for HG.

  19. Tiyana
    October 3, 2012 12:41 pm 

    This is me, now. (sigh) *pulling up a chair*

  20. Kelly
    October 3, 2012 1:08 pm 

    I was with someone who hated red lips/nail polish. He felt it was vampy. I wore it just not around him. So Saturday with the girls I would do. He also
    was a Mr. Natural, I chalked it up to his lack of knowledge. But anyways I think he is now for a natural non vampy type.

  21. Nicky
    October 3, 2012 1:09 pm 

    I guess it all depends on the reason you wear the bold lipstick in the first place. If you are wearing it because it makes YOU feel sexy and confident… Then by all means go for it and don’t change for any man. But, if you are wearing it because you feel that it makes you look sexy/ attractive to men or even other women, then you may need to put some thought into it and possibly compromise with your new boo. There are a lot of women on the prowl looking for a “good man”, doing the most to get their attention and maybe your boo finds it hard to differentiate between them and someone who is comfortable in their skin and just adds a lil pop just for the hell of it.

  22. Sharon
    October 3, 2012 3:00 pm 

    There are women that still think red polish is a “prostitute” color. Isn’t that cray cray?!? I heard this from someone in their late 20’s.

  23. Jasmine
    October 3, 2012 3:05 pm 

    You look as beautiful as ever in that gorgeous red lipstick, but I fully understand where HG is coming from. Sometimes those shades aredifficult for us ladies to get off so imagine how HG must feel! But you do look beautiful.

  24. cocofiere
    November 6, 2012 4:29 pm 

    As I read this, I’m rocking one of my new favorite reds, Kate Moss for Rimmel in #01 and I am looking quite fierce on this lovely Election Day. My guy, like most, says “I don’t know why you put all that stuff on your face, you don’t need it.” He also doesn’t get why I use eye cream but I digress. Bless his heart. I let him know that I’m fully aware that I don’t NEED makeup but I like it and always will. I remind him that he met me with makeup eons ago so I ain’t changing. I rock a bare face or a “natural” look some days but sometimes I like to wear a glittery eye or a bright lip. He thinks it’s funny/cool when I’m stopped by other women who compliment me and want my makeup secrets (LOL) so he’s learned to deal. Now, he even notices and says stuff like “What’s that stuff you put on your eyes? Whatever it is looks really pretty on you.” Rock the bright lips as you like and if HG really puts up a fuss, I have a couple of tubes of Raisin Glaze in the fridge I can send you. 🙂

  25. November 27, 2012 12:55 pm 

    I’m currently dating a guy that feels the same way. Goes on and on about natural beauty and not “understanding” why I like wearing Laura Mercier tinted moisturizer lol. He said he hates red lips. I’ve strong-armed him into being a fan of Nars’ Dragon Girl. Had to prove to him it wouldn’t rub off lol.