My Mother’s Lipstick

I posted the following on February 15,  2012 on G+ and Facebook:

Roses are often a photographer’s Valentine’s day hangover. I cannot see this particularly red without thinking of my mother’s lipstick. It is what she wears when going to town. She wears it with her earrings and usually no other make up. I have seen her “dress for town” as long as I can remember. She looks as beautiful today as she did when I was a small child. No one thinks to look at her hardworking farm-hands when she has her lipstick on.

Along with this photograph of a rose that was given to us after dinner at The Green House Restaurant….

(image available for purchase HERE)

And here are some of the fascinating responses I received…

Sue Wiebe (my sister):  So true! And that lipstick seems to transform her whole face. A highschool friend once told me, “your mom’s lipstick is her trademark and it looks so right on her.”

Lynda Schwemmer: My mother’s color too; for many years… I think it’s partly a generational thing. There she was looking so classy in her blue-red, while I, child of the sixties, was trying out the pales and the earth tones. And they are polar opposites. Those reds have come around again though…. For what it’s worth, I think my mom’s lipstick color is Revlon “Love that Red” which has been around since the 1950s.

Oksana Suzulhan: I think red was the only lipstick colour at one point ( rouge à levres, en français and I believe that’s still what its called ). I like your comment about your Mom’s hardworking hands and lipstick; I look at people’s hands and usually see soft (yuck – no work), worn (hard work), or for most of us here somewhere MOR….This photo brought back the smell of lipstick I remember when I was much younger – it had a pungent, waxy, perfumey smell which I haven’t come across in years… I think that’s all that was available when lipstick was first introduced, or probably made available to almost anyone who could afford it. It was a status symbol, along with that smell, and was worn only as your Mom put it to ” dress for town “….To-day, all this is part of our every-day ablutions – different shade for every outfit 🙂

Now isn’t that just the most interesting bits of information to be gifted for sharing one photograph of a red rose?

SPROUT: What colour do you think will have people thinking about you and your trade mark presence? 

© 2012 Terrill Welch, All rights reserved.

Liberal usage granted with written permission. See “About” for details.

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11 thoughts on “My Mother’s Lipstick

  1. Terrill – Like Oksana, I especially love the heartwarming comment you made about your Mother’s hardworking hands and lipstick.

    I think your Mom’s “dress for town” is the equivalent of my Mom’s “…not until I put my face on.” I remember it well.

    SPROUT: What color do you think will have people thinking about you and your trademark presence?

    I think that when people think of HolEssence (my business), they think of lavender, but when people think of me (as an individual), they think of green.

    Great post Terrill, I really enjoyed it!

    • Yes Laurie these likely meant much the same to our mothers. My mom hands were put to more rugged use than even most of her farming neighbours it seems. She still hangs her clothes out on the line even in the winter where they freeze and then are brought in a few at a time hung to try. But it was roping a calf and getting her hand caught in the bite as she did a quick wrap around a poplar tree that did the most damage resulting in some time with a plastic surgeon to repair her hand. She was taken by ambulance from Vanderhoof to the Prince George Hospital. I worked near the hospital and had been called to meet her there. I still remember how protective she was of me when I came though the curtain. She frowned that stern look of hers said “its a mess and you are not to look!” The damaged hand was covered with a disposable cloth to keep it clean. But today you only notice the damage if you are looking for it. It was a long recovery but the surgeon did an amazing job.

      I like how you make the distinction between your business and you. Lavender and green are meant for each other 🙂

  2. My mum wore a shade of pink- purple that looked rather awful on her …not quite lavender – I think it had more silver in it. My aunt got her to switch to a more maroon colour and that looked lovely on her. My mum’s great pleasure when teaching was having her hair done each week – it was truly black, then salt and pepper, then high silver to white. When we were in Korea visiting, the people kept asking to touch her hair for good luck…and take pictures of her hair….I think that is the colour she will be most remembered for.
    Her hands were a crooked mess from arthritis and she stopped putting colour on her nails to work on hiding her hands.

    I don’t know why but I never go on Google + to read comments…it never crossed my mind…how silly! and Linked In I don’t seem to use correctly at all and have to wait for folks to join me…I can’t seem to add people – aren’t you smart

    I think most people would think RED when they think about me…but I think I am more NAVY BLUE…
    I wear black pants and sweater with a burnt red vest often in winter and my kids say that is my work uniform ( think ladybug)!!! I have to say I always feel great in it.
    When my 28 year old was 1 I bought a pair of pewter heart earrings that dangle a bit…I wear then nearly everyday for 27 years….They were $3,49. I am all heart and kindness
    When I go to town…I have pearls.

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