Empress Chronicles, Part 12: Red Lipstick Energy!

Empress Chronicles, Part 12: Red Lipstick Energy!

I know this sounds cliché, but I can’t believe time is passing so fast. It’s already spring, and for the second year in a row, I’m “stwuggling”(as my girlfriend would say) with allergies.

But aside from that, this month has been quite wonderful! I turned 29 earlier this month, and celebrated with a glorious staycation at a boutique hotel downtown, planned as a surprise by my amazing girlfriend. I also ate escargots for the first time during a romantic candlelit dinner at a Central European restaurant with the most amazing ambiance.

There has also been a lot of new and exciting changes with The Empress Within since I moved into an office space at the beginning of this year.

You’ll be relieved to know that I wake up and get to work at far more reasonable hours – in fact, ever since this transition, self-care has been my top priority. After trying to do too much and getting severely burnt out, I had to learn this the hard way that being my own boss meant I needed to take really good care of myself so I could get the results I wanted. So now I usually work three days per week (sometimes four), and my business has been doing better and better every month!

I recently revamped my online subscription, which is now known as the Empress Collective (you can learn all about it and join here!).

I’m recording the first few episodes of my podcast next week – it’s scary and exciting and I can’t wait to see where it will go!

(On that matter, after trying out many different time management and workflow softwares for months, turns out nothing works better for me than writing a simple to-do list in a journal every morning (here’s the one I use, you may have seen it in my instagram stories!) and checking it off as I go!)

I also launched a Early Reader Book Club for my upcoming book, You Are An Empress, where I upload every chapter once I complete it.

In fact, in the chapter I worked on this morning, I spoke about breaking rules imposed on us by others, and talked about something I call “Red Lipstick Energy”.

Here’s the backstory: as a teenager, I was out shopping with my mother and her friend. At a beauty counter, I tried some classic red lipstick. Everyone complimented me on it, including the sales assistant, my mother, my mother’s friend, and customers walking by. So I bought it, feeling so happy and adult, like I was becoming a real woman.

Once we stepped outside the store, my mother told me I looked like a prostitute and a clown. I was so crushed and embarrassed that I never wore that red lipstick ever again.

Years later, after cutting ties with my mother, I had an “aha” moment where I understood that her comments weren’t really about me, but stemmed from her jealousy and insecurities. So I bought a tube of red lipstick, took my courage in both hands, and wore it to work the next day. I was so afraid everyone would think I looked ridiculous (and worse, that my boss would reprimand me), but instead I got so many compliments on it all day long, and a coworker even tried to fix me up with her bachelor son (I was already out of the closet, so I gently turned her down).

Today, I wear red lipstick occasionally (it’s slightly inconvenient with a mask because it can easily get all over your face), but especially when I need to put on my badass, “don’t mess with me” armor and slam a proverbial sledgehammer at energetic blocks and baggage.

Red lipstick has become highly symbolic of my journey of walking away from abusive relatives, reclaiming my identity, believing in myself, rebuilding my life, burning the rule book once imposed on me by others, and making my own rules (which I admit I’ll break every once in a while!).

Incidentally, when it comes to badass women and red lipstick,  it turns out there’s quite a bit of history on the subject. During World War II, American women would wear red lipstick as a sign of patriotism, because Hitler hated it, along with cosmetics, nail polish, and perfume on women (the man had issues, #eyeroll). Elizabeth Arden even created a shade called “Montezuma Red” for the American Marine Corps Women’s Reserve, which matched the tassels on their uniforms. I was quite amazed when I learned this, because it only reinforced the symbolism of red lipstick as a small but pretty significant way to stand up to tyrants, narcissists, abusers and the likes.

If you’re interested to learn more about that history of red lipstick, here are a few links:

“Makeup & War Are More Intricately Connected Than You Realized”, Marlene KomarBustle.

Behind the Color: 1941 Victory Red“, Women Marines Association.

“Wearing Lipstick and Being a Marine”, St. Louis Post-Dispatch.

And with that, I leave you for now – I am ready to head home, take a nice long walk with my pup in this summer-like weather, and spend the entire weekend relaxing!

Much, much love, and keep being a rule-breaking badass!

Photo by Laura Chouette on Unsplash.

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