A Life Lesson in Lipstick…Seriously

I have this theory that lipstick tells a lot about a woman. In this month’s Ladies’ Home Journal, Diane Keaton says, “Just have fun. Smile. And keep putting on lipstick.” I usually stick with your basic Vaseline or all-purpose Chap Stick. Safe. Predictable. Barely there. Even on my wedding day, I wore a thin coat of Vaseline.

One morning a few weeks ago, I called my friend Lynne Gentry. “You up?”

“Up, dressed, and have on my red lipstick,” she said.

“I’ve never seen you without it.”

She laughed. “And you never will.”

An itty-bitty comment but it sailed into my heart.

You’ll never believe what my redheaded mother did. She broke from her burnt orange OPI Cheyenne Pepper and bought FUCHSIA-COLORED LIPSTICK. I kid you not.

Mother said during the 50’s she and her friends went to Rich’s in Atlanta just to buy Milkmaid Pixie Pink lipstick.

“The smell of it made your mouth water,” she said. “Not for food but to make sweet memories.”

That did it.

I headed to Ulta and walked right up to the makeup counter and asked for help. “I want a lipstick with shine, sparkle… you know, personality.”

The saleslady chose one for me. “This looks like you.”

“Perfect. I’ll take it!”

And then I read the name of the color. You’ll never believe it.

Risk Taker.

Risk Taker. Opposite of the old me.

Ah, now I understand. This is about my one word for the year. 


Let go.

Live boldly.


Trust God.

What color lipstick do you wear? Does it say anything about your personality? Is my theory right?





  1. Anna Haney says:

    Okay, You have magical powers because you have me teary eyed about lipstick of all things. I never wear it because when I do, I feel like I look like Bugs Bunny when he was dressing as a Tasmanian She Devil to trick Taz in an old cartoon. I wore pale lip gloss on my wedding day. But last week I did go for darker hair. My dream is to have luscious red locks like Maureen O’Hara or Christina Henricks, but I am scared. Just like I was scared to climb the rocks at the Grand Canyon overlook, scared of a waterslide at Splash Country, and scared to do a lot of things. I am not, however, afraid to sing. Perhaps you will join me in a chorus of “I Surrender All.” Have a wonderful day!

    • Anna, Anna, Anna. Since I picked my word Surrender for the year, I’ve been writing it at the top of my prayer journal every day. And then it wasn’t until the middle of September until I could write “I Surrender All” Have been singing that song sooooooo often.

      Do you like your darker hair? I bet it looks incredible….now for a lipstick to go with it…..

      XOXOXOXO And thanks for the retweet~~~

  2. I remember when Tangee lipstick was all the rage. It smelled like orange blossoms. It didn’t deposit much color, so that made it okay for young girls to start out with. 🙂

    Now, this color you just got, Risk Taker, looks like one I’d love!

    • Ane, YES. I was thinking about you when I wrote Risk Taker–because it’s your personality and because we love the same colors.

      It’s you!

      Tangee—sounds familiar.

  3. Georgia says:

    Hi, Julie! I have a lipstick in my purse, but I seldom wear it. I usually use lipgloss that just has a shine. After reading your post, I just had to put my lipstick on! LOL 🙂 Have a good day and thank you so much for sharing with us. I always look forward to Wednesday as I know it is Julie’s posting day. 😉

    • I’m laughing, Georgia. I know! I’ve started wearing it the past few days–even at home by myself.

      Shine on!! And thanks for reading and writing me. 🙂

  4. Brenda Greene says:

    Hah…had to chuckle! As my hair has steadily lightened to silver from a warm brunette I’ve had to readjust my lipstick. For years I wore shades of pink but have since gone darker…Amber Suede is my choice right now. Fair complected, without lipstick, I tend to fade away….some days that’s quite alright, especially if it’s a “stay home” day! ‘Bout to scoot out the door to pick up Grandcuties from early release at school and piano lessons…grabbing that Amber Suede on the run!! And gotta agree with Georgia…love Julie posting days! Thanks for keeping us lighthearted!

    • Amber Suede. Ohhhhh, how I love the sound of that, Brenda.

      And Grandcuties~~I’ve never heard that word, but isn’t it precious!

      Smile. And keeping putting on your lipstick.

      • Brenda Greene says:

        Grandcuties….I “adopted” from Carol Knapp in Daily Guideposts. Sixteen year old grandson frowns when I use it…but the younger ones don’t seem to mind.

  5. When I was in 7th grade I constantly wore/ate LipSmackers by BonneBell until I became allergic to a substance used to produce lipsticks. Even most “hypoallergenic” formulas make my lips tingle & start to tighten my throat. I find that I can tolerate most if I have a nice thick base of Vaseline for protection. 🙂
    Of course, my favorite colors never come in a brand that I can wear… 🙁
    I’ll have to scout out “Risk Taker.”

    • Oh, yes, Melody. I DO remember Lipsmackers. And the feeling of being so cool with just a little bit of shine waaaay back then.

      Even now.

      Glad we’re Vaseline sisters~and friends.

      Yeah, you can order Risk Taker online. It’s made by Bare Minerals.

  6. Pat Garczynski says:

    Love to Marion and The Milkmaid Memory! We are in the Same Age Category! It was a big deal in my teen years to go to J. L. Hudson’s to buy Milkmaid – if not for the color, for the scent! As the song goes, “Thanks for the memory…..” Oh, to find Milkmaid on E-Bay or Amazon!
    These days, one of my daughters has talked me into lip gloss – I like Bonfire by Clinique!
    Years ago in the Catholic church, I struggled with women called to holiness and the denial of femininity. In my reading, I settled on a sermon by Peter Marshall, Protestant minister/chaplain, that said “Femininity is God’s gift.”

    • Pat! You’re kidding!! You can still find Milkmaid?? I looked for it online the other day. Will have to try Amazon. I want to surprise Mother and get it for her.

      Bonfire by Clinique–LOVE the sound of that. Sounds like a color that might work for me.

      Ohhhhh, “Feminity is God’s gift.” I wondered when I wrote about this if it might offend anyone. Thanks for sharing the Peter Marshall quote. 🙂

      • Pat Garczynski says:

        Sorry, Julie, I meant I WISH you could still find Milkmaid on E-Bay or Amazon after all these years. I have never found it and think it’s definitely “Over and Out.” xxoo

    • Sammy Wilbanks says:

      I wore Milkmaid in the 50’s and absolutely loved the fragrance! Right now on Etsy there is an old ad for sale–Milkmaid. I don’t believe it is made anymore.

      • Hey Sammy–I’ll be sure to pass this along to my mother. 🙂 She loves talking about Milkmaid.

        Blessings and Happy New Year!


  7. marie says:

    My lipstick is called “Berry Kisses,” which is what I’m sending to you today! Great post!

  8. Robin Schmidt says:

    Growing up I don’t remember ever seeing my Mom leave the house without lipstick on. She may have had her hair in curlers, wrapped in a scarf or bandana, but her lips were fully dressed. Thanks for sparking a great memory. Oh, current lip color: Pretty in Pink

    • Hey Robin. Isn’t it funny those itty bitty things we remember from childhood!

      Pretty in Pink. Hmmmm. Wonder if I could pull it off with my red hair?

      Thanks so much for sharing. XOXOXO

  9. My lipstick colors depend on the seasons and what I am wearing. I am a “winter” so cool colors for me. Right now in Fall I wear a brown lip pencil filled in with a lighter brown and some red. It is very pretty for fall. In Winter I go more red, in summer pinker. I wear lipstick EVERY day. XO, Pinky

    • You do, Pinky??? You wear it EVERY day?? That’s exactly what moved me so with my friend Lynne. I’d have never thought about it.

      I’m inspired now. Love your color combo!

      Going to put on my Risky Taker right this minute!


  10. Arie Strobel says:

    Julie, how can you post that without including a photo of yourself in Risk Taker?? Kind of disqualifies the post if you ask me.

    • Good point, Arie. Actually, I tried the day I posted, but it was hard to take one of myself–and the flash showed up in the mirror.

      Since I’m now a RISK TAKER, I’ll have to. I should include a pic next week. I’ll get my husband to take one. 🙂

  11. Janette says:

    I am using up all my tubes of lipstick by digging out the insides with a lipstick brush…Aren’t I thrifty? Like the saying goes: Use it up, wear it out, make it do or do without!” The thing is I have several old tubes to use up and just grab one and don’t give a care what color it is. Just a light coat, top it with clear lip balm and off I go smiling away and probably with lipstick on my teeth – HA!

    • Janette…wow–What you just shared. Mother’s told me she remembers her mother doing this years ago.

      I love your attitude. “Off you go smiling away.”:-) 🙂

  12. Sandra Walker says:

    I, too, read your blog first things on Wednesdays! I spent all day yesterday trying to figure out what my lipstick says about my personality. But I didn’t come up with anything! It is Raspberry Glace by Clinique. I have been wearing it about 20 years. I am a “Winter” and it is the perfect lipstick for all seasons and all outfits! I tried buying another shade a while back, but God kept reminding me that I already had the right one! I have a friend at church that confirmed to me that it was the perfect shade for me as I was very discontent and thought I needed a change. She can tell if I try a new one, even one close to that shade! I love my Rasberry and will stick with it. But after reading one of your older blogs back in the summer, I did buy a couple of shades of bright toenail polish and had such job this summer!

    • Hey, Sandra! Raspberry Glace sounds lovely, but I bet I couldn’t wear it…being a fall. Love how God reminded you that you have the right one.

      So glad to hear you tried new toenail polish color! Right now, I’m wearing a chocolate color and I ADORE it.

      Thanks for reading. 🙂 It keeps me writing. 🙂

  13. Sandra Walker says:

    Oops!! that was supposed to be Joy

  14. 🙂 Joy

  15. I’m glad I finally got to stop and read your lipstick post! I’m one who never even wants to get into day clothes when I’m home, but if I go out the door, you can be sure I’ll have on lipstick! I’ve never been consistent with name or brand, but it’s always got to be some sort of berry/burgundy color. But since I’m a winter, too, I might have to look at Clinique’s Raspberry Glace. I’m such a bargain shopper, it’s hard for me to pay brand name prices. :-/ But I’ll definitely look it up.

    Smack. Smack. 🙂

    • Vonda, I love how you said Day Clothes and I know exactly what you mean. I have a writing friend who wakes up and dresses first thing every morning–even puts on her makeup. So opposite of my natural self.

      Now, I’m all about lipstick with weird Day Clothes!


  16. Wow…lots of comments on this one, Julie! Guess you sparked a fire. My lipstick is mostly Carmex, sometimes Chapstick like you. Sometimes a lip balm that tastes kind of sweet, but then I keep licking my lips. I do have a real lipstick I use on special occasions and the color is Blushing Nude. Huh, not as glamorous and Risk Taker. Love that!

  17. Ooooooh, B.J.! I had no idea you were a Chapstick kind of girl too!!! WOW–we are soul sisters. 🙂

    I’m smiling at your lovely profile picture…you wearing your Blushing Nude Lipstick.

    Love you, my friend. Thanks for the incredible email this morning!!!

  18. oh my GOODNESS! I only ever wear Vaseline in the little tubes because I’m always smooching on a baby!
    When I go on a date with Mike and put on lipstick I feel redunk! Like I’m trying too hard or something…I may have to reconsider…I’ve gotten to “safe” in my old age 🙂
    (I’m sooooo not surprised with Pinky’s color choices…delightful just like she is!)

  19. Jan O says:

    I’m a blender–hardly ever wear just one color. My current options are: Plumscicle, Sugared Maple, Cranberry, Apple Berry, and hmmm Rated R. For ripe? Otherwise, rather sweet-oriented, food-oriented names. But I chose them for the colors! If it really related to what sweet things I liked there would be chocolate in there somewhere. And rhubarb.

    • Jan O says:

      Can remember Elisabeth Elliot writing about wearing Tangee lipstick, maybe back in her Wheaton College days. Remember Bonnie Belle too, but am thinking I must have started off with some color by Maybelline (sp). These days it’s a variety, but I have a sister who is a Mary Kay lady, and if I use their lipsticks I tend not to have cracky lips (think pain) in the Wisconsin winters. And it is definitely daily.

    • Jan, so you’re a daily Lipstick Lady! I love it! Me too…well, now I am. I remember Maybelline from way back to. I know in the 70’s.

      Thanks for reading and writing!

    • And Jan, I’ve never thought about blending colors. Love to learn new ideas from readers~


  20. Just checked( for the fun of it ) “Pixie Pink” lipstick by Milkmaid. In Palm Springs in the fifties the rage was Pixie Pink. There was just one place that sold it…The Village Pharmacy. I distinctly remember the white tube w/ tiny flowers, the pink color and that wonderful smell! I think every girl at Palm Springs High School wore it, despite the fact that is was light pink! Any memories of Pixie Pink from the fifties?

    • Sally, I’m just now seeing your comment! So sorry. My mother loved this color! I’ll have to tell her about your comment.

      Thank you, and happy New Year!


    • Annette Fields says:

      My dear sister who passed used to wear it and she was 12 years older than me but I used to watch her put Pucue Punk on Nd the smell I still remember. I was 9 years old . What I would give to
      Find it as it would sort of bring my sister back to me

    • I am 84 years and cleaning out a drawer and found an old tube of my Pixie Pink lipstick. The only place i could buy it back in the ’50s was an upscale department store. Wore it all the time. The tube is beautiful.


  1. […] be wasting time! Your blog’s not ready. You only have a blip of an idea, and who writes about lipstick anyway? That’s stupid. Nobody’s going to understand. If you don’t stop dilly dallying, […]

  2. […] be wasting time! Your blog’s not ready. You only have a blip of an idea, and who writes about lipstick anyway? That’s stupid. Nobody’s going to understand. If you don’t stop dilly dallying, […]

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