January 3, 1987
Today, mom and me went to the mall. We both got the same lipstick at the Clinique counter! “Mauve Crystal” or something. It’s so neat! But I hated to put it on my cruddy face. Yeah, it looks nice from afar, but it was peeling and dry, YUCK! Why can’t I have nice smooth brown skin, like other girls? I have to use moisturizer, special soap, go to the dermatologist. We ran out of vitamins a while ago and the corners of my mouth are sore and peeling. UGH!
Boy, I really do make a big deal about all that vanity crap when I should be helping the world, helping a little old woman across the street. I sure am a jerk, aren’t I? I also think too much. Good night!
October 2, 2014
For the record, this wasn’t a great color for me. That cool silvery pink looked much better on my fair-skinned, blue-eyed mother. And anyway, it didn’t matter what I put on my face—it was always my face that was the problem. Anything else I added was a hopeful improvement. (Where I had this idea that all “other girls” had smooth brown skin is a mystery.)
But how important it was to have my very own lipstick! I remember the surprising weight of the cool, metal case, the waxy, unscented lipsticky smell as I drew it across my mouth. I was hooked. I couldn’t wait til I had grown into my adult face, and out of this rash of uneven pre-teen skin, so that I could be worthy of it.
Sadly, Clinique discontinued Mauve Crystal years ago. It was the only lipstick my mother ever wore then, and the only cosmetic, aside from a bloom of rose blush on each cheek.
On the drive from the Livingston mall that afternoon, I held the case in my hand until it got warm. From where I sat in the backseat of the blue Toyota minivan, I could see my shiny, pink mouth in the rearview mirror, smiling the whole way home.