Beauty, Lookbook

My coral lipstick got me through my breakdowns, and now I’m cheating on it

I may be pushing out of my comfort zone, but that doesn't mean I can't go back to the basics.

It’s safe to say that I’ve always loved makeup.

Growing up, I wore every terrible 2000’s trend – from blue glitter, cream eyeshadow to clear mascara (I’m still trying to figure out what that was for). Don’t even get me started on colorful hair mascara. Despite my crazy antics, I don’t really remember experimenting with lipstick in my teen’s – though my mother is particularly proud of my high school portrait where I’m wearing a dashing nude gold shade (perhaps that put me off of lipstick for a while).

In fact, my lipstick obsession came around when I was an anxiety-ridden 21 year old and desperately trying to reclaim and rediscover who I was.

[bctt tweet=”My life was changing in every way possible, and I was struggling to be who I really wanted.” username=”wearethetempest”]

At the start of my 20’s, I was recovering from a monumental breakdown. My life was changing in every way possible, and I was struggling to be who I really wanted. Most importantly, I struggled on a daily basis with my body image, and that’s when I found my love for fashion and, in turn, my personal style. I dyed my hair pillar box red, wore long strands of faux pearls, and wouldn’t be seen dead without my trusty dark, red lipstick. My trademark shade became MAC’s Russian Red, and I’d wear it any time I left the house – even to go to the corner shop. It was such a dark, powerful lipstick that made me feel artificially confident enough to walk into a room alone while I was shaking under my layers.

[bctt tweet=”At the start of my 20’s, I was recovering from a monumental breakdown.” username=”wearethetempest”]

Dark, vampy red lipstick was significant in a dark and manic time of my life – a moment where I was going through the motions and hoping to fool the world. But when I grew again and actually discovered real happiness, I sought brighter and funner colors. I wanted a lip color that actually helped me feel alive and gave me real confidence instead of being the mask I painted on to hide myself.

That’s when coral lipsticks came into my life.

[bctt tweet=”Because as materialistic as it seems, they do bring me joy.” username=”wearethetempest”]

Coral lipsticks are one of my favorite things in the world. They’ve appeared on pretty much every “happy list” I’ve made for nearly half a decade now, because as materialistic as it seems, they do bring me joy. When you’re bed-bound with illness as much as I am, you need a quick and easy boost. Coral lipstick does that for me.

I can be lying in bed feeling like crap without having even brushed my hair that day, but I slick on a bright lipstick, and it brings my mood up that tiny bit. I’ve lost count of how many I own, but it’s easily in the double digits.

My bathroom is littered with all ranging from the daily Rio Rio by Topshop to the ultimate attention grabbing So Chaud by Mac – I could give you so many suggestions and recommendations for all your coral lip needs (seriously ask me!). I flirted with other shades, and they flirted back, but even if I was wearing another shade, I’d always keep a coral in my bag and probably end up applying it an hour later.

And then it happened. I wish I had an excuse my dear beloved Coral, but I don’t.

I cheated.

My life took another grand old beating at the start of this year, and in between dusting myself off and reforging my path, my style changed once again, too. I discovered that I actually enjoy how my bum looks in jeans after years of only wearing skirts.

I attempted to perfect casual chic (more on that as the story develops), and I entered into a love affair with a new lip shade.

[bctt tweet=”The kiss on the cheek to coral’s full on snog.” username=”wearethetempest”]

I guess I realized that coral didn’t really go with the casual, classic, and cool (lazy) look I was going for, but dark nude shades definitely did. Where coral had the impact and clout, nude tones had the understated mystique. The kiss on the cheek to coral’s full on snog. The sort of shade that wants you to introduce yourself before it has the chance to shout its name at you. I did something I’d never done when I embraced nude lipstick; I started using lipliner to perfect that pout. It broadened my horizons in ways corals never did. The nudes I love are named things like Bond Girl, Corset and Lolita – sexy names that can’t help but roll off your tongue and make you feel sophisticated whilst sipping a classy afternoon wine. Nude shades help me own that “lady-like” persona for as long as I wear them whilst giving my naughty side wistful gazes.

It’s like slipping into an old mask…

But, sometimes I don’t want to be classy and elegant. Not far from the surface is a loud, bubbly, inappropriate goddess who needs to let her opinions on sex, politics, and life come raging out. She prefers to scream these thoughts whilst drinking a cider with her best friends. And whilst I could easily do this when wearing nude lip colors, I always feel more at home as my opinionated self wearing my old faithful coral lipstick. It’ll be the one being smeared on without a mirror, because it has a groove worn into it the shape of my lips.

Truth is, coral lipstick became as integral a part of my life as my fandoms, activism work, and a certain swear word. I’m fairly sure that nobody else cares what lip color I wear or if I wear any at all.

But it’s going to take some work to replace my true love, but that’s the fun and thrill of a new relationship.