Day 5 Beautiful On The Outside, Too
By MUA's Cavewoman
If beauty is in the eye of the beholder, could it also be in the holder itself? In the art of applying lipstick, does the case make any difference in the way we feel about our beauty rituals?
My Mother wore one lipstick for most of her life, until she couldn't find it anymore and moved on to another brand. It was Coty '24' and it was red, it's magic contained within a lovely fluted gold metal case. I'm sure that my love of cosmetics came at an early age as I watched her reach for that lipstick, getting ready to go dancing on a Saturday evening with my Father, and dressed in a beautiful green taffeta dancing frock. A dab of Yankee Clover behind her ears, a dab for me behind mine, and the Coty tucked into her evening bag, I'm sure she never dreamed her younger daughter would become a full-fledged beauty and fragrance fanatic! I was, to say the least, a very impressionable little girl.
Most beauty companies have several different lipstick containers within each brand, with the possible exception of MAC. Most are made of plastic, some with a little metal band or logo, some with a decent click (Chanel Allure and Lancome Magnetique) and some made of recycled paper (Stila and PlantLove) -- the variations on the basic tube are just about endless. And then there comes along a lipstick case that has you stopping in your tracks. It's gasp-worthy. And this is what happened to me, many years ago, when the local Dillards store opened its Guerlain counter.
Les Meteorites Refillable Lipstick matches the elegant Meteorites pressed powder compact, and both are refillable. I wish I had the compact to show you how beautiful it is, too, but that purchase will have to wait. I bought the lipstick in the color called Manhattan, a totally-me rose pink on one side and a pale pale pink on the other. I don't remember how many shades were available in the Meteorites lipstick, and I don't know if there were any more of the dual-sided lipsticks, but this color (and its name!) were too perfect to resist. It's been years since I've seen this lipstick at the Guerlain counters. It still gives me great pleasure, just to hold it and feel the coolness of the enamel between the gold scallop design. The colors of terracotta swirled with turquoise seem exotic and mysterious, perhaps to give the wearer a bit of that feeling for herself. It's not just a lipstick that Guerlain presented here, it's an experience.
One of the most recent beauties I've found, along with a superb formula contained therein, is Yves Saint Laurent's new Rouge Volupte. These cases have a great heft, they show the color of what is inside through the cut-out YSL logo, and the formula is one of the best I've ever used. When I pull this lipstick out of my purse to re-apply during the day, my lady friends all exclaim over it and then I have to pass it around the table, a lippie-show-and-tell! It even has a tiny silver disc on the top of the cap, serving as a mini-mirror.
The poodle lipstick case is something we used to use back in the early '60s, to hold our lipstick and have a mirror handy too. Made of white guilloche enamel with a hand painted pup, the lipstick holder clips to the back of the round mirror. I have yet to find a modern lipstick that will fit this holder, and so I just have it, a pretty collectible that belongs more in my compact collection than in my lipstick drawer. But it's young and fun, and I just had to show it to you
If you are thinking to yourself that your lipstick container is less important than the shade and the formula inside, you're right. But when a fabulous lipstick is presented in a gorgeous case, it's very special indeed.
Applying a lipstick is something many of us do everyday. It's probably automatic, choose the color, twist it up, put it on. But maybe a pretty case can turn this simple beauty task into a lovely ritual, slowing us down just long enough to appreciate the beauty at hand and in the hand, and having that moment to remember and take pleasure in the womanly art of makeup.