Maybe she’s born with it

So I went to Joe Fresh yesterday to see if they had any quality, affordable sweaters that would help protect me from the freezing rain and harsh winds that are currently ravaging our fair city, and well, me.

These two weather-based phenomena have been the chief culprits behind the transformation of what is normally a rather rainy, temperate rainforest into an unforgiving, frozen wasteland.

I mean, we’re not exactly talking L.A. in T2 here (not by any stretch of the imagination), but seriously dudes, it’s cold.

And while there weren’t any swell sweater deals to be found, I did however make a different discovery.

Ch-ch-ch-check out that styling. Are you seeing this Vogue?

It’s seems as though Mr. Fresh (and his affiliates) are not just purveyors of clothing for budget-minded people –they also sell cosmetics, (rather decent ones at that) and as such, I was able to pick up three nail polishes (for 10 dollars!) and a new red lipstick (for six).

This made me very happy.

Now, for those of you who don’t know me, I am a lipstick kind of gal.

I don’t wear eye shadows or liners, bronzer, or lip gloss.

Sure, I wear mascara, and I love blush, and I’ll pull out the concealer when I have bags the size of China, or a zit that is threatening to take over the world – but lipstick?

Well, lipstick, and lipstick only – that’s my bag baby.

For the past two years I had it down to a pretty solid science: I owned three different colours, from three different brands, and depending on my mood, I would chose from one of the following:

–       A fierce, fluorescent pink, by Rimmel London

New year, new red.

–       A sensuous, lavender-pink, by MAC

–       A dark, wine stain-red, by Revlon

And then of course, sometime in the last month I up and lost my red, and I was devastated, and because I am currently living at 123 Frugal House, Frugal Lane, Frugal, BC, Canada, I refused to bone up the clams (yes I realized that is a horrible mixed money metaphor) to replace it.

For me, there is just something so effortlessly awesome about red lipstick. It immediately puts me in a good mood, and makes whatever I may be wearing seem one hundred times more glamorous.

It’s like playing dress up without having to find a cape and flying goggles.

I also tend to get a lot of really awesome feedback whenever I wear it, which is lovely, but hands down the most common reaction I get, again and again, is an admission from the complimenter.

I cannot even being to count the number of times someone has told me that they don’t believe they could ever wear it (red lipstick) themselves.

They’ll always be all: “But you can pull off that kind of stuff! But there is no way I could never do it myself!”


Who told you this? And whatever reason did you have to believe them?

Right here and now I would like to end this pervasive, persistent and completely untrue assumption that the majority of women (or men) cannot pull off this particular piece of macquillage.

Anyone who wants to wear this can, and do so swimmingly, as long as they have one thing:


Got lips? Perfect – we’re good to go.

Nymeria just doesn't understand. She says go for it! Or you know, I'm exhausted and feed me.

Now, for the sake of covering all my bases, let it be known that I understand the difference between not being interested in wearing a product and believing that you are somehow physically incapable of either 1.) wearing said product because 2.) wearing said product while somehow trigger hordes of petrified individuals running away in the opposite direction should they have the misfortune of setting eyes on you, again, wearing said product.

(I promise I will never say wearing said product ever again.)

(Or at least in this post.)

Did any of that make any sense?

The nub and gist of what I am trying to communicate here, is that it makes my heart really heavy when I encounter so many beautiful, brilliant women, of all ages, who live their lives (fashion, or otherwise)  according to some kind of code that dictates what they are, and are not, capable of.

When I go shopping with friends I often find myself persuading them to try on things I believe would look marvellous on them, especially if they are particularly reticent (ie. they write off) an entire style of clothing.

I of course am not immune to this way of thinking either. Surprisingly enough, the majority of times I have found myself really moving outside of my comfort zone (we are talking like, to the Russian Taiga here) have been with M.

(The man every so often has some powerful fashion aces up his sleeve.)

Mr. M aka fashion plate extraordinaire. Are you seeing this Vogue?

But I do truly believe in taking risks.

Even if it – the risk (be it a dress, a lipstick, a relationship, a road less taken, etc.) ends up not working exactly the way you imagined, isn’t it always better to have tried?

Isn’t this how we learn, and become stronger, and ultimately, become braver? Which in turn, allows for greater and more rewarding risk-taking and self-fulfilment?

Isn’t this some awesome feedback loop we should focus on, not move away from?

Is this not how we should truly be getting to know ourselves?

My experience (as limited as it has been) has shown me that at the root of it all, this is how we truly find out what works, for us and what doesn’t.

Not from some silly code.

Fear of being judged, or looking silly may dictate the parameters of what we think is best for us at the beginning (of our relationships with certain looks, people, ideas, etc.) – but they don’t need to control them forever.

We just need to remember that variety is both an entertainment magazine, but more importantly, the spice of life.

One last note on my recent makeup purchases.

M says that this photo reminds him on a serial killer. We have been watching a lot of Dexter lately.

Does this colour of nail polish make me look like I’ve set up shop in the morgue, as you know, a resident?

Because as much as I really love this shade of blue, I’m kind of sold on the fact that it makes me look like a very dead (albeit very stylish) corpse.

And yet, just having written out these words, I sit here thinking whether or not my assessment of whether or not  this nail polish is working or not is viable, or skewed – are my preconceived notions of what looks good next to my (rather translucent skin) wrecking havoc with my assessment of the situation?

Heck, if I want to wear blue nail polish, I’ll find a way to make it work.

Yet between my red lips, white skin, and blue fingernails, I don’t know if I’m a fashion statement, or a political symbol.

Liberte, egalite, and Mme. Estee?

Published by

Vanessa Woznow

Writer, runner, ranter, reader. I write about all things.

13 thoughts on “Maybe she’s born with it”

  1. Awesome post! I love my red lipstick too and get bummed when I hear other women say that can’t “pull off” something like that. Trying new things is the spice of life! Great insight on judgment too. Keep up the fab writing!

  2. red lipstick, oh yes. completely with you. Bring it! And yes yes. thing I’ve learned about blue (and green) nail polish – guys really hate it, if they say they like it, just being nice to humor you. Secretly, they all hate it.

    1. Yeah I know what you mean. I’m not sure if dudes for the most part are even that into nailpolish. I feel as though its a more take it or leave it (or you know, quietly abiding it). The things you do for love!

      Glad to know I have more sisters in arms with regards to the red lipstick. We need to spread the word (and by word I mean love.)

  3. And women tend to compliment and encourage another woman when she wears blue or green nail polish…this could be because they think its brave, or because they actually like it.

  4. Love the energy of this post. You are very right, more people need to let go of all these limits they put on themselves or that they absorb from our culture. If you like something, give it a shot! Even if it’s scary. I agree with you wholeheartedly. This is something I find amazing in human nature – how scared people get when it comes to something new or different. At least I know there’s a few other folks out there that are willing to step out and go for it. Woo!

    1. Thanks Katherine! I was pretty pumped writing it. (Must be the red lipstick).

      Anyone planning on moving half-way around the world is definitely a (HUGE!) risk-taker in my opinion. Woot!

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