Lips are an evocative pair of things. You can tell a lot about a person because of their lips.
They say eyes are the window into a person's soul but lips are the door to their being and feelings. A kiss can change how you feel about someone all at once. A sneer can crush you and leave you in no doubt about what someone thinks of you. This is why we have such a love affair, as both men and women, with lipstick.
If you ask a man about eyeshadow, most will look blank. But ask about lipstick and they’ll definitely have an opinion; whether they like red, nude or gloss.
Similarly, most girls remember their mothers putting on lipstick, above any other makeup. The concentration, the pursing of the mouth. It conjures up all kinds of nostalgic feelings. There is an anticipation to lipstick, the need to impress, which another makeup like powder simply doesn’t excite.
Girls wear lipstick for themselves. It is a kind of shield against the world - one that at the door of our being can say a lot about our frame of mind - hard or soft, vulnerable or bold. I wear lipstick to make me feel better about starting the day, particularly if I am feeling low or weary.
This personal relationship we have to how we mouth off to the world is at the core of a new line of luxury lipsticks from Tom Ford Beauty, available in Wellington at David Jones - the Boys + Girls collection.
I was sent some from range to test out, and got to researching why this set of lippys plays upon the names of boys and girls. They’re not random; they’re each named after a person who its creator has a strong connection to. The first series, which came out last year, had each gorgeous named after men in Toms life who inspired him (the ones in the black tubes).
There are 50 Boy Shades and 50 Girl shades. The boy shades are more matte and the girl shades are sheer and shimmery.
This year, he released a second set named after the women who mean the world to him, encased in ivory. With names like Violet and Rosie and Naomi. Similar to the mystery of wondering what my mother was thinking when she’d put on her lipstick as a little girl, I found myself wondering whether Naomi meant Naomi Campbell or who Valentina might be. Part of the attraction of these lipsticks is certainly their packaging and marketing, creating mystique and romance.
The lipsticks themselves have a beautiful creamy texture, soft as velvet. Each is made with soja seed extract, Brazilian murumuru butter, and chamomile flower oil which feels as divine as it sounds. Even though they’re little and clutch-sized, they pack a punch when worn, with great roses, purples, fuchsia and coral, lasting with precision, languishing on your lips well into the night.
Lipstick for me is meant to be about putting on an elegant fanstasy from a tube, a little shot of magic, exactly what Tom Ford is trying to capture and best known for. He’s giving us a story of his own muses and men. Playing with the Tom Ford Lipsticks, trying them on, testing their colours was like being a child in a dress up box. Who did I want to be? Sometimes, we need the fantasy to help lift us when we are down. Perhaps I am Sofia? Or maybe Violet? Yes, definitely Violet. That’s who I am today…