My name is thesinglecell. And I am addicted to lip gloss.
(This is the part where you say “hello, thesinglecell.”)
I don’t really know when it started. I wore lip gloss even in high school (gloss, because it had far less color than lipstick and therefore did not appear to be “makeup” to the disciplinarians who ran my Catholic school). But I don’t know when it developed into an addiction. I don’t remember constantly reapplying it between classes, though it’s possible that I did. But now… it’s out of control. It’s gotten to the point where I take it out of my purse when I get to work and put it on my desk so I can grab it quickly and easily.
I don’t really buy a lot of lip gloss. I mean, I’m not one of those people who’s constantly looking to score. I just have to have some with me at all times. On the exceedingly rare occasions when I’ve forgotten to move a tube from the purse I’d been using to the purse I’d chosen that day, the travesty was recorded in such places as my Facebook page. “Forgot lip gloss today. Oh, the humanity!” And don’t try to give me any of that ChapStick crap. That’s useless to a hardcore junkie like me.
My glosses are seasonal. There are lighter colors for spring and summer, and richer colors for fall and winter. But never too much color. I have very full lips and I don’t need them all duded up in a bold finish. You’d see them coming a mile away, set 2/3 of the way down my very pale face. You’d be frightened. I would look like the Rolling Stones logo, but on a white background instead of black.
But I always have to have a hint of color, because my lips are almost the exact same natural shade as the rest of my face. They’re not even pink, really. They’re more of a beige with a hint of some kind of neutral blush. With my pale complexion and brown eyes, if I open my mouth in the absence of gloss, it just looks like there’s a hole in my face, surrounded by a puffy border.
When we were kids, my sisters used to make fun of my lips. They’d use their fingers to pull their top lips up so that the inside was exposed. They’d fold their top lips up to their noses and walk around claiming to be me.
They’re just jealous. They don’t have sultry lips. They barely have any lips.
Theirs are pink, though, and without the absolute need for color.
I reapply the gloss a lot because it tends to disappear. I don’t lick my lips, so I don’t understand where the gloss goes. I drink a lot of water, usually from a bottle, and it’s clear from the cap and the nozzle at the top that much of my lip color winds up deposited on recyclable plastic.
That’s the only place I see it going. Even if I rub my lips together a lot, I can’t imagine that I’m rubbing it off. Shouldn’t it sort of just be smushing itself around, redistributing the shiny, tinted wealth?
It’s a mystery.
I realize that there are some people who see me reapplying my gloss and think I’m vain. At least I can do it without a mirror. They think I’m vain when I check for skin shine in the mirror of my compact and then powder my face, too. It’s not vanity that does this. It’s self-consciousness. I have less than fantastic skin, and when I was younger, it was flat-out horrible. I used to refer to it as Mexico: a mountainous region. My skin has oil slicks that could power a small town and pores that could serve as lakes. My teenaged years left me constantly aware of exactly where every spot, blotch and blemish is on any given day. I do a pretty good job of concealing the flaws in the initial makeup application, but still… you never know when something’s going to wear off and the angst of Age 13 will return.
That doesn’t really explain the lip gloss obsession, though.
There are worse addictions to have.
Oh, and the worst thing is when my favorite gloss is discontinued. This sends me into a quiet seething fury. Why do cosmetic companies do that, anyway? Why discontinue what is really a perfectly lovely and totally utilitarian shade? It’s not like some Tangerine Tango hue that only hookers buy. But about once every two years, my loyalties are betrayed by people at whatever cosmetic company I’m favoring, who decide, “Nah, we’re not going to make that anymore.” And I have to go hunting for a new shade, and usually, a different brand. This could take hours.
Most recently, Rimmel apparently discontinued its Vinyl Gloss line. I had found an unprecidented two shades from the same brand that I adored, Cosmic and Snog (yes, Brits: Snog. You have to love that)… and it lasted much longer than other brands I’d used. And then all of a sudden… POOF! Gone. Disappeared from the face of the earth. I’m still hanging on desperately to the last, 99% empty tube of it. I loved it so.
But I loved how long the stuff lasted, so I switched to Rimmel’s Moisture Renew Cream Lip Gloss with Collagen and Vitamins A, C & E, plus SPF 15. Which is a ridiculous amount of crap to put in a lip gloss. People. Color. Shine. That’s it. I sure as hell don’t need collagen. (I am lucky like that, I acknowledge.) But I don’t like it as much as the Vinyl Gloss. It’s a shade called Mauve Renew. It’s the closest I could find to the Snog, but I think it’s a bit too subtle. At least one gay guy friend agrees. Alas… I have found no solution. I’m stuck with it until the seasons change.
There are some injustices in the world that just cannot be measured.