Have you ever seen a stranger wearing something amazing — something you know would hit you in all the right places, or perfectly complement your complexion, something that almost (almost) makes you cross the lines of social norms and ask a random stranger a personal shopping question?
Chances are, you've been there. Whether at work, in the street, or stalking your ex-boyfriend's sister's Facebook pictures.
Maybe - like me - you happened to be bowling. When suddenly, three lanes down, you spot the most gorgeous grey jacket rolling a perfect strike. And maybe you spend the next three weeks searching in vain for the jacket, making stops at H&M, Banana Republic, Target... and coming up empty. Maybe you regret not asking, and you especially regret not asking while you bumble around in a boxy, not-quite-the-right-grey peacoat from Old Navy... all to avoid a single moment of awkwardness.
But I recently learned that sometimes those awkward questions are worth it. And that brings me to lipstick girl...
My sister and I were sitting in a coffee shop when we noticed two girls sitting out on the patio. My sister pointed out (as she likes to) that one of the girls was just as pale as me. Thanks. Then I pointed out that (more importantly) she was wearing a cool-girl shade of lipstick: Dark, purplish, matte. The kind that invariably takes an effortlessly stylish girl to simply swipe on for morning biscuits.
We continued our breakfast ... and I glanced, every now and then, at lipstick girl who was sipping what I imagine was a soy latte, no-whip no-foam (to avoid greater chances of lipstick smear-age.) Soon we got up to leave, I threw something away, and that's when I saw my sister reach down and touch lipstick girl on the shoulder and ask, "Excuse me, what color is your lipstick?"
I was horrified. Lipstick girl jerked up and looked confused. I was ready to step in and apologize for my sister's intrusion. Or turn and run. When lipstick girl suddenly chanted "Colourpop, Bad Habit."
"Thanks," my sister said and we walked away.
It was revelatory. Stepping outside of a few brief moments of awkwardness — I realized the entire exchange had been fine... really. And now a whole new world of resources was opening up to me. There was no more guesswork. Gone were the days of tossing full tubes of gloss simply for being the wrong shade. I had the insider's knowledge, and I was ready to use it! And seriously, the girl must've been one of those beauty guru gals, because she called out that brand color and specific shade from memory in less than 5 seconds.
So what's the consensus? I dream of a land where asking someone where they got their outfit, or their bag, or even their lipstick is not just acceptable, but encouraged. I mean, who isn't flattered when someone compliments their taste? And speaking of which, if you're on the receiving end of a compliment on something specific you're wearing, what would you do? Isn't it sisterly to dish on where to buy, price, and the deal you got on it? Please share your opinion so we can get this settled once and for all.
And as for the lipstick... did I buy it? Did it look amazing on me? Do I still feel it was worth it to ask? Stay tuned for more on my experience with the mysterious illuminati makeup brand that is Colourpop.