By María Elena Bourbón,
Beauty Editor, Todo Ahora
February 2, 2003

I was the guest speaker at one of those "hoity-toity" women's clubs luncheons staged to raise money for charity.  While a splendid way to spend an afternoon out of the office, and I confess I love the bagful of presents that act as parting gifts, a room full of "ladies who lunch" can be more horrifying than a Stephen King tale about a cheerleading squad meeting the business end of a chainsaw.  Despite the girlish squeals and air-kisses they greet each other with, they are all anxious to prove each one is just a bit more "it" than the other.

They pushed the nouvelle cuisine around on their plates, taking just enough nibbles to be socially correct. As the coffee was being poured and "show time" was announced, I took the podium. It turned out, however, the real show was in the audience. Looking around at my luncheon companions, self professed doyennes of all things beautiful; I noticed one's lipstick had jumped from her mouth to her water goblet, one's made the pilgrimage to her teeth, another's had migrated to the crust of her roll and yet another's had feathered into oblivion.  The lady to my left, who had her lip liner tattooed on, looked quite macabre when her lipstick had worn off leaving just the liner outlining her naked lips.  All of these women made the same lip faux paux: making a choice for color only without regard to a formulation that will allow the color to last.

Even women who wear no other make-up opt to wear lipstick: the average western woman will use between six and nine pounds in her lifetime.  "Il rossetto" in Italian, "lippenstift" in German, and "Kuchi-beni" in Japanese, lipstick can trace it's history back 5,000 years to the tomb of a Sumerian queen.  Fashion's momentum has brought us the whole gamut of lip colors from crimson reds to the palest pinks.  In the current mode for the minimalist face, lipstick reigns supreme!  Here are some of my favorite secrets in selecting the perfect color for you and the techniques to make it last!


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