At the end of every passionate embrace I wonder, “Have I ruined my lipstick?”


This wouldn’t be a very good column about the trials and tribulations of being a lipstick lesbian if I didn’t mention the rather obvious problem of actual lipstick.

My first kiss with Pearl took place at the superbly romantic location of platform 3, Taunton railway station. It was clumsy, tender and full of desire as all the best first kisses are. When we eventually pulled apart, Pearl said wryly, “Have I ruined my lipstick?”

Miraculously, she hadn’t, but I later noticed that some of her hers had smeared with my own and blotched unattractively around my cupid’s bow. I couldn’t help but wonder whether this was a problem faced by lipstick lesbians everywhere. I didn’t know any others, so I had nobody to ask. It’s not a problem that anybody warns you about.

When we first started dating, I was enamoured with how often Pearl likes to wear lipstick, for it is surely one of the femme-est of femme qualities that a lesbian can possess. However, there is one small issue: I also like to wear it on the regular. Additionally, as our train station kiss may have indicated, I am a big fan of public displays of affection. I did not know I felt this way before entering into this relationship, but it transpires that I am not adverse to a smooch in the street.

The issue here is that two women with perfectly applied lipstick cannot kiss in public or before an evening out with any hope of their make-up remaining in tact. There have been many times where I’ve given her a peck and left a big crimson mark all over her coral lips. At times, she has leant in and quickly recoiled before we’ve even made contact so as not to smudge my lipstick with hers.

Generally, I stick to muted dark pinks during the day and deep blood reds if I’m out in the evening. Pearl usually favours a bright pink or a more orangey red. Our complexions differ so much so that I look ridiculous in most of the colours she wears. Trust me, I’ve done the research. I thought that moving in together would equal double the potential lipsticks for me to choose from. It doesn’t.

We don’t wear it all the time (have you ever tried to eat ramen and keep your lipstick fully in tact? Definitely something to avoid) but sometimes going out without lipstick is not an option. You feel incomplete, almost a little naked. Ironically, nothing makes me feel more kissable than perfectly applied lippy.

While lipstick always makes me feel sexy, abstaining from kissing for the majority of date night in order to preserve it does not. In recent months, as Pearl and I have grown more comfortable with one another, I have grown less attached to the “flawless make-up at all times” illusion.

However, this isn’t to say that I’ll ever abstain from crimson lips. Now, though, there is no firmer guarantee that I’ve had a wonderful evening than when we take off our make-up in front of the bathroom mirror with two different colours smeared enthusiastically around each of our mouths.

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