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Luscious Labials

May 15, 2010

Intrigue.  Interest. Fascination.  What was it?  It was probably all of those and more reflecting 60 years later.  It invariably took place in the bathroom.  It was a small bathroom, built in the 1940’s.  Basic in design and content.  But it served the family for over twenty years.  When the family moved house it was the 60’s feature I remember most, gold plated taps with fake marble basin surrounds.  For me it was something out of a Hollywood movie.  Back to the original bathroom.  It was a ritual.  It was a ritual that many women performed but it was one which had me totally entranced.

The simple art of applying lip stick.  Something that Cleopatra apparently indulged in.  But this was the 1940’s.  The mirror.  My mother standing in frontg of it and me by her side at the  basin.  Me looking at her looking at the mirror.  It was red in color, I have no recollection of brand.  There was no Poppy at that time.  And it would not have been an expensive brand, she did not work and did not indulge.  She made most of her clothing herself.  It was much later she became a Target Girl. ‘Its not what you wear Lloyd, its how you wear it” she would say to me.

The pursed lips, then, like a sacred annointing, she would move the lip stick over the contours of her 30 something lips….I stood as if watching a Fellini classic.  I dont know why I was so enthralled.  For ten years it was just she and myself at home.  Not for another few years would I cease being an only child.  She had style.  It showed, especially on Sunday mornings, on those occaisons she did go to Mass, with her collection of hats.  I am sure heads turned in the dull, suburban parish in which we lived. Taking interest in ones appearance was important to her.  It did not stem from some ‘keeping up with the Jones’s’ kind of behaviour.  She was egalatarian in her own apolitical way.  One of four daughters, she stood out from the others.  A confidence and a pazzaz.

I remember when she turned 40 she decided to have her shoulder length hair cut.  It was a huge decision for her to make.  Mrs Blakeley was known for her bun.  Today it seems only to apply to pastries.  Women wore and still do, wear their hair ‘up’ as it were. The big day arrived and I think she even brought the hair home but with short hair she still looked beautiful, not that I am biased.  And then from short hair came the coloring.  But always with style.

The legacy is my love of hats and scarves.  Lipstick?  No comment!

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One Comment leave one →
  1. January 17, 2014 6:56 pm

    Reblogged this on LYNNE SANDERS-BRAITHWAITE.

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