Red Lipstick and a whole lot of Hope!
Living (and coping?) in this crazy, covid world.
With the wedding just a week away, and the potential for a lockdown looming in the distance, I found myself, once again, looking at lipsticks. Gorgeous, red, saturated lipsticks - that won't rub off with a kiss, or, quite sadly, stain the inside of a mask.
Masks are not my thing, and wearing one yesterday had me hyperventilating and taking gasps of air in the women's bathroom of my favorite home store. Of course, I understand the seriousness of it all, but seeing a sign "recommending" that I wear one, and being handed an antibacterial wipe by a latex-gloved, masked man at the store entrance, is not what I would call the beginning of a happy retail therapy experience.
Like so many others, I find a mask completely disorientating, never mind the onset of the anxiety-ridden claustrophobia that I never knew I had. Yet, despite my anxiety, and my (ir)rational fear of self-suffocating, I still continue to wear lipstick.
Throughout the past eighteen months, although mainly marooned inside my home, I've continued to keep my routines, and, as silly as it sounds, wearing red lipstick is part of that routine. No matter what is on my agenda for the day, I get up, shower, add a smudge of red to my lips, and get dressed.
Which was why I was so gobsmacked to learn, that with the arrival of vaccines, had also arrived many conversations about the inconvenience of having to get dressed in real clothes, the chore of wearing makeup again, and lamenting the return of trips to the local hair salon.
Even magazines and news channels were talking about continuing the natural look, and taking great lengths to explain why it was perfectly okay to ditch the deodorant and cut your own hair with a glass of wine in one hand and a pair of kitchen scissors in the other (been there, done that).
Little did I realize, that masks had provided many of us with a convenient, low maintenance excuse to avoid getting ready in the morning. Not only had pajama-dressing taken the world by storm, but clean faces and gray hair had also joined the ranks.
Don't get me wrong, like everyone else, my backside has grown more than I would like, and I feel like I've aged ten years over the last two, but I've always got dressed, done my hair and wore makeup. A quick shower and a red lip does wonders for my internal disposition, even if it's just to prepare myself for an afternoon of Netflix and plonking my ample bottom back down on to the sofa.
Y'see, it's not about impressing others, or looking pretty for a selfie, it's actually all completely about me (ha-ha). If I feel pulled together, then it gets me off to a better start, and if the day still goes to custard, and the universe collapses around me, at the very, very least I'm dressed and ready to face the latest catastrophe.
In the end, it's really just about self-preservation and a whole lot of hope.
It's been proven that we can't fix everything (and we're constantly being told that depression is at an all-time high) so why not try and face each day head-on, do what we can, and start with the simplest of things.
Why not create your own little bag of emotional tricks for when the days feel lousy, and you can't stop worrying about the state of the universe. Create a routine, a strategy, something to help when you need it the most, but, in the meantime, grab inspiration wherever you can. If you're feel really stuck, feel free to borrow mine - start with a delicious, long shower, wear your favorite, comfy pajamas, put on some lipstick, and place you and yourself lovingly, gently on to the nearest sofa.