Chrysanthemum Orange – the lipstick of champions (and maybe hookers)

lipstick by makingabeautycallI need to buy lipstick. That is one of the hardest cosmetic purchases for me. I throw out half of what I buy. I’m very particular. I don’t like it sticky and if it’s too emollient the grease oozes in my lip wrinkles (not that I have any!).

I prefer a sun block in my lipstick and something that isn’t too poisonous. It has to be muted. No bright red or pink for me. Something lip colored but a tad darker than my natural faded lips. No testing on animals.

Then there are the choices — two-part stain and gloss (too much work), high gloss (greasy), matte (shows all the wrinkles — not that I have any), guaranteed for 12 hours (only if you’re sleeping), guaranteed for 12 minutes (this one is usually on target for me), etc.

It wasn’t always like this. I can remember my very first lipstick purchase. I bought it at the five and dime. Remember those? It was like a dollar store but cheaper.

Ah puberty! Such a painful time!

My mother wasn’t along for that first purchase. That’s a good thing because she would have talked me out of it. Or maybe downright forbid it. I was 12 or 13. Believe it or not, we didn’t wear makeup to school! We grew up slower then.

Since I didn’t date, my opportunities to wear lipstick were severely limited.

I could wear it to church on Sunday if no one noticed — fat chance of that happening.

I could sneak it on when I went roller skating with my girlfriends AFTER we got to the rink. Or to the movies! You really need lipstick in a dark theatre!

So where did I wear my first lipstick? To bed! Yep, I would put on this gross orange shade called Chrysanthemum orange (it really should have been outlawed) and go to bed hoping it would be gone by morning.

My mother must have known I was doing that but she took it in stride. Of all the rebellious things I could have been doing, this worried her least. She didn’t even flinch when she caught me shaving my legs with a scissor. Do you know how hard it is to shave with a scissor?? I think she gave me points for creativity!

I was her first (and only but that’s another story) daughter so this was all new territory for her and obviously for me too. My best friend Bonnie taught me some tricks to get away with stuff.

Bonnie was so lucky. Her mother worked but left home earlier and came home later than she did. That meant that she could wear anything to school, come home and change before her mother got home.

I wasn’t so lucky. Although my mother worked she came home before me but worst of all she had eyes on the back of her head and a sixth sense. The best I could do was roll up the waistband on my skirt at school and then let it down before I got home.

It was hard to get away with anything except for the occasional makeup session on the school bus and yes, every once in a while I wore that vile orange lipstick!

Feel free to share one of your childhood stories! You must have a good one. Come on, your mother doesn’t read my blog. Those were tumultuous times!

32 thoughts on “Chrysanthemum Orange – the lipstick of champions (and maybe hookers)

  1. It’s also the color of choice for 9-year-old girls! Not a perfect match, but close. My granddaughter and her friend borrowed a tube from her mother’s purse and wore it proudly…and wildly!


  2. I was a blush girl. Just the way they applied it on tv with those big fluffy brushes, I wanted to do that! 12 years old with big clown like red circles on my cheeks and eyelids. It was hilarious (but of course I had no idea)! Luckily I only did this once or twice.
    And then there was the time I tried to shave my face ‘just like daddy’.


  3. I’m so amused that you wore lipstick to bed! So funny! And the color, wow! I wore that pale pink, almost white shimmery stuff that really looked cool–I thought! Looking back it really was hideous! I was just plain old sneaky…changed clothes at a friend’s house, and washed off the makeup before I came home. I later learned my mom knew all about it, and just didn’t want to make it easy on me!


  4. My Mother would have loved to have had you as a daughter, if the only rebellious things you did were to wear lipstick to bed and shave your legs with scissors. Good golly, that must have been unbelievably hard. I can’t even imagine 🙂 Our schools hear, predominantly, do not allow makeup and the kids still go to school in uniform. I hated it at the time but, in retrospect, I think it’s a very good thing. Weekends, of course, were an entirely different matter!


  5. In fourth grade I asked if I could use hairspray because soandso did. My mom said fine, as long as you start washing your hair everyday. She won that discussion for a couple of years. 8)


  6. I was very much into the British Invasion so when I wanted to try lipstick or any makeup I bought Yardely and was hoping I would look like Jean Shrimpton.(yeah right) Of course this was all bought on the sly as I too was not allowed to wear this stuff till probably after 16 ot 17 and had to make sure I had it all off before I went home. But my mom knew anyway, she always did! All she had to do was give me the “look” and a I swear a neon sign lit up on my forehead saying “guilty.”

    And I too agree about the animal testing, I make sure my makeup and other products are marked not tested on animals.


  7. Shaving your legs with scissors?! That sounds painful!
    “The best I could do was roll up the waistband on my skirt at school and then let it down before I got home.” – I couldn’t even do that. We had strict rules at my school about skirt lengths – no shorter than 3 inches above the central point of the knee and no longer than 3 inches below that point. (You will understand, this was about the time when the miniskirt was in competition with the maxi-skirt.)
    Lipstick? It was forbidden at school, as was any other kind of make-up (if I remember rightly, we were allowed to wear colourless nail varnish) and jewellery (except for small, plain gold post ear-rings, if we had recently had our ears pierced) and my father would have had a fit if I’d worn it at home – till I was about 16. Then I had a very pale pink pearlised lipstick by Rimmel and a pearlised peach coloured lipstick, which also tasted of peaches, if I’m not mistaken.
    I absolutely agree about Animal Testing – which is why, after many years of using Lancome products, I went over to Ga-de ,Soft Touch , AHAVA and Laline. Otherwise, I wouldn’t be able to look my furbabies in the eye.


  8. I have an older sister who would help me with my make-up, hair and clothes…since we were only 1 grade apart, she had to make sure i looked presentable. Now-a-days I just wear make-up for special occasions. My sister on the other hand always has to have a lipstick on!!


  9. First lipstick for me was Go-Go Pink. It was well, pink. I put lipstick on in the morning. If it lasts it lasts if it doesn’t it doesn’t. The only make-up I always wear is Bare Minerals powder foundation and Almay thickening mascara. Hey, the rest of me is getting fat so my lashes should keep up.


  10. I had Bonnie Bell everything when I was a teenager, but I always hated lipstick. I think because my mom thinks it’s a federal crime to leave the house without it. I only wear it now when I have a job interview or going out for a nice dinner. The stuff only stays on me for 10 minutes anyway. And I’m sorry, reapplying lipstick at the table is not acceptable!

    Unlike most, my mom encouraged me to wear make-up. Her famous quote was “if Elizabeth Taylor needs make-up so do we,” but at least she taught me how to apply it, and we avoided blue eye shadow. I honestly don’t think I could pick her out of a line-up if she wasn’t wearing make-up.

    The most important thing now is NO TESTING ON ANIMALS–I applaud your efforts. Estee Lauder does not test on animals, and their products are very good. Merle Norman is safe too.


  11. You’re right, Kate, about growing up slower then. I see girls in my 7th grade classes who are wearing eye shade meant for nighttime or for hookers. It’s not an appealing look. I often wonder what they’re thinking when we read “The Outsiders” and Ponyboy is quite emphatic on how ‘greasy’ girls look. (He was not being complimentary.)

    As for my youth, I was a tom boy. So the mischief I got into had nothing to do with wearing lipstick – which I was forbidden to wear until I was maybe 14 or 16. Those transgressions will remain my little secret. 😆


  12. We had Tangee! You are undoubtedly too young to remember that lipstick that smelled like fruity gum, had no color, but felt sticky like lipstick. It was supposed to change color to suit your complexion. In reality, it just felt sticky. I love it that you were an errant child. No real lipstick for me until I was 16!
    P.S. I have just awarded you the WordPress Family award. Go to:


  13. I can’t believe you wore that stuff to bed. My sisters (much older) often dressed me up and put makeup on me when I was way too young for it. My mother blessed the first lipstick because it was the same stuff my sister wore. Some product called Tangee. To this day I still go mostly without – just using Chapstick or some equivalent. I did however use a fair amount of eyeliner and still do, cautiously. The one time I went all out with the blue eyeshadow my boyfriend (now husband) said I should remove it because I looked like a hooker. The last time I wore it I was playing a hooker on stage!


    • There was no place else to wear it! I was young and needed to wear it somewhere. I remember Tangee. I think I had that too at one time. I don’t wear lipstick enough which is why I have so much trouble with the feel.


  14. You wore it to bed? Ha ha ha! Hilarious!

    I remember the Bonnie Bell rouge that was a stick — it went on clear but “warmed” to your complexion, supposedly giving a most perfect match. My cousin & I (my partner & crime, same age, same grade, {horse} riding partners, and frequent-spend-the-night-pal) thought it would be a good idea to put it on out in the barnyard while waiting for the bus to come … I think Elliott the bus driver suspected we were joining the circus b/c if a bit was good a lot was better … picture bright pink circles on flushed girls’ faces at 7:20 am!! That stuff didn’t come off without a healthy slathering of Noxema, either. Oh and we also put our blue eyeshadow (up to the eyebrows) on out there .. away from our Mother’s eyes — without mirrors. EEK!

    Fun post 🙂 MJ


  15. At, lipstick. Rite of passage stuff! I don’t often wear it even now: my adolescent faux pas would have to be bright blue eyeshadow. The first make up I ever tried, and I looked like a panda.


    • My intro to blue eye shadow happened after the orange tragedy. I don’t really like wearing lipstick because I don’t like the feel on my lips so like you, I rarely wear it (or I do the Burt’s Bee goo).


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