a peek inside the fishbowl

15 Jan, 2005

I just wrote 988 words about lip gloss. How is that possible?

Posted by andrea in: Oh! Things!

While browsing through the Eaton’s Centre I scoped out Sephora. Hubby stayed on the periphery of the exterior doors, surely put off by all the glitter and estrogen. Sephora is a recent migrant from the US, which before that came from overseas. It is a warehouse of cosmetics and beauty products. And interestingly enough, it is a division of Moët Hennessy Louis Vuitton, “the world’s leading luxury products group.”

All this to say is that the store can easily overwhelm a simple girl like myself, who confines her cosmetics to toothpaste, shampoo, mascara and lip gloss. It was the latter I was after. But I hardly knew where to begin. The store was huge. There were so – many – things. And the packaging! That’s where they get me every time. If it has a funky package I am more than willing to snap it up, costbedammed.

So there I was, looking lost, abandoned by a husband who would rather avoid these kinds of things entirely, (HA! Within a few years the girls will grow up and he’ll have THREE WOMEN – two teenagers and one pre-menopausal wifey to deal with – he should educate himself now, while it’s easy) when I was approached by a salesman. He was shorter and younger than myself. He was perfectly coiffed, with immaculately groomed jet-black eyebrows. In fact, I found it distressingly hard not to stare at them… they were unnaturally perfect in shape and outline. He was wearing black mascara and shiny clear lipgloss. His lips were very pouty, a little too mooshy for my taste. I wonder if he was teased by the other kids.

He pointed at the brand I was looking at, Fat Kiss Lip Plumping Gloss Potion by Two Faced, and complemented my on my choice. Clearly my lipgloss tastes are so advanced that I immediately gravitate to THE GOOD STUFF without even thinking about it, even when shopping on autopilot!

Suddenly, for some reason, he stepped back and pulled out a different smaller vial from a lower shelf.

“Just don’t get this stuff,” he said holding the other vial. It was a translucent pink, giving it magical Barbie-like glow. I was a little confused. This is not a normal sales tactic.

“This stuff is too much,” he added. He leaned in toward a small makeup mirror and inspected his lips. “Yeah, this stuff is way too intense. I applied it to my lips, like this.”

He turned to face me again. I had no choice to stare directly at his lips. I felt like I was broaching some kind of personal space, but then again, this is a cosmetics store where shoppers are encouraged to “play with the product”, and such boundaries are pretty much erased. (I felt my eyes sting with memories of pinkeye as I watched a young woman applying mascara. I sure hope it was her own, and not pulled from a display.)

He pretended to apply the stuff to his lips, demonstrating with little precise dabs.

“I put it on my lips and I – could – actually – SEE them th-ROBBING!” He was so breathless with shock and concern for his lips that I momentarily wondered if I was on a hidden camera, or if Mark was watching from the doorway, clutching his sides with laughter. It was all so weird, talking to this guy about throbbing lips and an aggressively strong lipgloss formula.

“I suppose it’s meant for people with helplessly thin lips.” I suggested. (Did I say “helplessly”?)

Now it was his turn to inspect my lips. I just hoped he wasn’t sneaking peeks at my eyebrows, which, compared to his not-unlike-a-stenciled-oil-painting must have seemed unruly, like I just walked out of a jungle without having packed a pair of tweezers or a mirror.

“You have normal lips, like mine.” (See previous paragraph about mooshy lips – are my lips mooshy?)

After a few more words about the Fat Kiss gloss, I thanked him and went on my way empty handed. About 30 minutes later I questioned my hasty departure and returned to check out the price. En route I told myself that I would buy it if it was reasonable. What’s reasonable for good lip gloss? Let’s just say it’s about 30 bucks. Vanity won. Wallet lost. Hey, it promised lips with more oomph! Frankly, I think it’s a small price to pay.

I tried it long after we left the store. I was in the hotel bathroom, where I figured the lighting would be better. I could watch my lips. Would they throb? Would the gloss do what it claimed?

I secretly feared that I’d have a horrible reaction and my lips would swell up and engulf my head, and that Mark would have to explain to my friends, my family, and the Internet that my addiction to lip gloss landed me in the hospital and that I’d have to undergo months of lip physiotherapy before they would flap properly again.

I unscrewed the top. Points for good packaging. I applied. Ummm, good smell, great texture. Right away it had the hallmarks of a good lipgloss. After a few seconds the tingle began. It was hot, not like a beef vindaloo or a jalapeno (and I dare say that if you’re smearing either of those on your lips you have a bigger problem than I do), but it was kind of like cinnamon heart hot without the cinnamon. Not unpleasant at all. Spicy. Yummy.

I immediately wondered if the tingle was imbibed with addictive qualities. But I didn’t care. Were my lips looking plumper? I stared at the mirror for a long time. Results were minor. Mark said it made a difference, and after all he knows my lips better than anyone.

I stand by this product, and recommend it to anyone. But on a sadder note, I think my lips have developed antibodies to the tingly sensation. It’s never been as intense as it was during the first few applications.

1 Response to "I just wrote 988 words about lip gloss. How is that possible?"

1 | Melissa

January 23rd, 2005 at 9:20 am


Hey Andrea,
Have you tried the lip gloss in a dress yet?


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The Obligatory Blurb

My name is Andrea and I live in the Westboro area of Ottawa with my husband Mark and our dog Piper who is kind of a big deal on Instagram. We also have two human daughters: Emma (20) and Sarah (18). During the day I work as a writer at The Royal Ottawa Mental Health Centre. I am a longtime Ottawa blogger and I've occupied this little corner of the WWW since 1999. The Fishbowl is my whiteboard, water cooler, and journal, all rolled into one. I'm passionate about healthy living, arts and culture, family travel, great gear, good food, and sharing the best of Ottawa for families. I also love vegetables, photography, gadgets, and great design.

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