I decided before going on my very first cruise a few weeks back that I should have a signature look.
It was a 7-day Caribbean cruise with exactly 4 stops, specifically Jamaica, The Cayman Islands, Mexico and The Bahamas. As I was deciding what to pack for this exotic leave, I had a vision, and in this vision, I was wearing bright lipstick.
I generally don’t wear bright lipstick save for special occasions. This however, I decided was one such occasion having dreamt as a precocious youngster of one day embarking on something as fabulous sounding as a Caribbean cruise.
Fast-forward almost 30 years – this dream was coming true.
Vision envisaged, I began combing though and testing my rather large collection of lipsticks all the while picturing myself in the lap of sunny luxury. As I started trying on lipsticks, it became clear that sheer lipstick was not the way to go. It had to be opaque, think 90’s zinc oxide opaque. The only finish of lipstick that seemed to me up to this challenge was a good old matte lipstick. More specifically, I narrowed it down to MAC Matte and Retromatte textures (although one MAC Amplified lipstick did sneak it’s way in amongst the options).
After some trial and error, the winners of the “Which are the best bright lipsticks to wear on the beach?” challenge were:
From left to right: All Fired Up (Retromatte), Flat Out Fabulous (Retromatte), Scarlet Ibis (LE) (Matte), Neon Orange (LE) (Amplified)
The newest addition to my arsenal was Flat Out Fabulous. Having never been the biggest fan of MAC’s Girl About Town (it’s Amplified formula sister), I avoided this color when the Retromattes were released last year. But after reading some rave reviews and having some old empties to be used for the Back2MAC recycling program, I decided I had nothing to lose. And to my delightful surprise, I didn’t. Evidently, it seemed, I had everything (as much of everything a fabulous new lipstick color can give) to gain.
Here’s how it all went down: (please excuse the terrible selfies!)
The very first port day in Falmouth, Jamaica, Scarlet Ibis seemed like the right choice. Bright and reddish-orange, it felt like the perfect way to start the vacation lipstick parade.
Next up, the Cayman Islands. This is where I broke out Flat Out Fabulous for the first time, discovering how fabulous it really is…. even while snorkeling. *
The third stop was Cozumel, Mexico, where it seemed fitting to be All Fired Up – though unfortunately I forgot to take pictures that day so here’s picture proof that Flat Out Fabulous was still fabulous while snorkelling and swimming with Stingrays. *(admittedly snorkelling while wearing bright lipstick is a bit much, however, not having a tissue handy at sea to remove it, I decided, what the heck?!)
And finally for our last stop in the Bahamas, I decided to forgo the bright lips in favor of lip balm.
I thought wearing lipstick on the beach seemed like a very reasonable thing to do. But when we met and befriended another young couple several days into our trip. The wife said she spotted me that very first beach day in Jamaica and had turned to her husband and said, “Look honey! That’s girl’s wearing lipstick at the beach!”
Only then did I realize that perhaps it could seem a peculiar thing to do.
Peculiar or not, it really felt like the perfect thing to do! (Except on that last day in the Bahamas when I decided it was a perfect day to not wear lipstick.)
Sadly, Neon Orange, did not have it’s day in the sun on this trip and probably shall remain to be seen for some time as the dreary Vancouver weather seems to eliminate (at least for me) anything with the word neon attached to it.
But maybe one day, on a beach somewhere, someone else will point out to their partner and exclaim that, “That girl’s wearing lipstick at the beach!
And perhaps, just perhaps, that color might be Neon Orange.
Then again, maybe not!