"Pour yourself a drink, put on some lipstick, and pull yourself together” was Elizabeth Taylor’s famous ‘pick-me-up’ prescription. From Cleopatra to Queen Elizabeth, from Marilyn Monroe to Madhubala, from Benazir Bhutto to Michelle Obama, from the simple college girl to the regal matriarch of the family, the lipstick is a badge of identity for women.
With myriad different shades —reds, pinks, maroons, nudes — and finishes, there’s a perfect tube of lipstick for every woman out there.
But under the mask which COVID-19 has made ubiquitous, is the lipstick losing its gloss?
Richa Gupta, author of Slices of Life is confident that colouring lips will never go out of fashion.
“Lipstick will remain popular among women as a means to lift their spirits, especially when they look into the mirror, says Richa, adding, “Now, with this trend of the lower face being printed on masks, women may need to use lipstick on their real lips as well as the printed ones. Not an end, but an overuse, for sure.”
Feelings about lipstick are remarkably intense in some quarters. The right shade of lipstick brightens up even the dullest outfit and takes years off your face, feels actress Nidhhi Agerwal.
“You can never take away a lipstick from a girl, but the situation demands wearing a mask right now. So, put on the mask over lipstick.”
“Lipstick not only draws attention to your lips, it can also give people an insight into your personality. It’s all about beautiful lips, which can smile, pout and assume many more expressions,” feels entrepreneur and philanthropist Sudha Reddy.
Lipstick under my mask
Movies have fuelled this idea of lipstick as power —Pulp Fiction, Lipstick under my Burkha, etc. But now the severe health scare is making us cover our lips, and the allure of lipstick has taken a hit, says Akanksha Komirelly, content creator on Instagram and YouTube.
“Right now, to compare the importance of a mask with anything, not just lipstick, obviously the mask gets the highest priority,” she says.
“But I don’t think facemasks are wiping away the joy of cosmetics. In my opinion, lipsticks are just on hold for some time, once we get back to normal, they’ll be back with a bang,” adds Akanksha.
A lesson or two
We might take some lessons from women who wear hijabs and scarves some of which cover parts or all of the face.
“Earlier burqa, hijaab and naqab would be used to cover ones modesty, it’s just been replaced by PPE, surgical head covers and masks for safety. However, these can just be brightened up by a dash of smudge free lipstick which just adds to ones confidence and brightens up our day,” says Dr Sameena Ali, Ali's Dentistree.
Focus shifts to eyes
Is lipstick losing ground to eye make-up? Says Shobha Nihalani, author of Blue Jade, “Lipsticks ruled, but now it is all about the eyes.
Women have learnt to adjust to the times. They will get creative and express themselves with their smoky eyes.”
“Agreed, half of the face is covered with a face mask, but the most expressive feature, the eyes, are still visible even with a face mask on. And one can create a countless number of eye looks. I think the spirits can still be high and people can have fun with colours or neutrals or whatever they prefer on their eyes,” feels Akanksha.
Meanwhile, here’s a tip for die-hard lipstick fans, matte finishes are dry and won’t stick to the mask.