The Life Lesson I Learned from a Lipstick

by Jaleh Bisharat

naked poppy natural makeup

There it was, on her kitchen counter. I could see her cringe every time she looked at it. This is partly because Kimberly is a minimalist. In her home, everything is sleek and beautiful. Everything has a purpose.

This lipstick did not have a purpose.

And it was breaking up the uncluttered view of her otherwise spotless home.

Little did we know, that little lipstick would teach me a lesson about simple joys.

The item in question was ILIA’s “Lust for Life” in a mauve color. Kimberly continued to wince every time she looked at this lipstick. She did not want it, but she did not want to drive across town to return it. My sympathy, my motherly instinct, kicked in.

“Kimberly,” I said, “Let me buy the mauve lipstick from you. I’ve always wanted to try mauve.”

The second half of that statement was not exactly a full lie, but it was pretty close. Mauve? I’d never considered it my color.

Kimberly’s face lit up faster than you can flick a switch.

“Are you sure? Here, take it!”


I drove home with this random lipstick cluttering my otherwise tidy car. Why did I do that? I didn’t want it either.

Up in my bathroom, I removed the lipstick from its packaging. Again, not my color.

Should I return this unwanted item?

I looked at this lipstick. It seemed to return my gaze, to dare me. I thought about how hard it had been for me to find a good clean lipstick over the years. Honestly, some of the colors didn’t apply with enough pigment, some were too dry. They were clean, but they didn’t work well.

This was ILIA, a clean brand of lipstick I had not yet tried. I took a deep breath. I put it on.

Oh my.

You can guess what unfolded.

The lipstick... was fabulous!

It lit up my face.

It was smooth and hydrating.

It gave me an immediate confidence boost.

It was nothing short of a surprise treasure.

I went to sleep that night humbled by the fact that I had serendipitously tried something new, and it turned out to be a smash hit. That little item had morphed into a simple joy that lit up my day.

Mental note to self: remember to try new things, because you never know how wonderful they might be!

ILIA’s “Lust for Life” hasn’t left my makeup bag since.

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