I have a memory from college of being at a career coaching event designed to illuminate a bunch of 21-year olds on business etiquette. The woman hosting the event -- an incredibly impressive alum -- had only a single sentence to say about makeup, that she only wore it to serious meetings, and it was her version of war paint. Combined with her staggering career and marriage to the co-host of the event, a man probably 20 years her junior who was also an accomplished alum, she struck me as a total badass.
Throughout my 20s, I modeled my makeup habits on hers. "Makeup habits" may be an overstatement; my face was boldly bare unless I needed some of that professional war paint, a layer of armor. And indeed, when I applied my only shade of lipstick before going into a job interview, I felt confident, transformed.
I think that hitting age 30 triggers a small mid-mid-life crisis in many people. When it happened to me a few years ago, it wasn't a phase of buying flashy, too-young clothing to offset the risk of appearing old. Instead, I asked myself: the number 30 sounds fully adult, so shouldn't I be a badass adult myself, and do it on my own terms? I decided that I knew myself well enough that I could start eliminating the activities in life that didn't matter to me. I made up my mind to stop just dreaming about being an entrepreneur and instead use the next years to prepare myself and then actually start the business that's now Say Hi. And I decided I'd spend more of my time being less serious.
Little did I know that lip color would integrate so neatly into my new life plan. I discovered Finding Ferdinand by chance at a neighborhood clothing store, just after my 30th birthday, and I threw away all notions that makeup had to be used rarely and only for the most practical of purposes. I'd always loved pushing boundaries and expressing creativity with my clothing, and lip color was a natural extension of that pastime. Orange lipstick to add interest to a monochromatic outfit -- yes.
I didn't, however, forget that makeup does have the useful ability to lend its wearer a sense of gravitas. And for an entrepreneur in her mid-thirties, who has to command respect from business partners and colleagues but who looks like a fresh-faced 25 year-old, the option to project a more age-appropriate version of myself using a simple dash of color has been handy, to say the least. Even handier, the ability to make myself look like the polished but design-forward head of merchandising that I was a few years ago, with a custom shade of purple.
Bettina's custom lip shades are below. Click through to edit it to your exact preference.
Check out Say Hi to learn more.