Monday, 4 July 2016

#LivingIsMyVice and #ThisIsHowLiveIt

If Urban Decay can relaunch with 100 lipsticks in six 'indulgent finishes', then I can relaunch my blog with 100 days of posting in six different lengths, over six different months-because, #LivingIsMyVice and #ThisIsHowILive. To top it off, I relaunch on the 4th of July, Independence day after the UK's unofficial day of independence from the EU on June 23rd.  What a climate of change and what a relief to not only have enough lipstick shades to see me through, but to finally feel grounded in my body, mind and spirit. 
To some I might sound flippant and vain, but for those of us that know the powerful transformation a great lipstick can have, not only the look of the face, but the soul of the wearer, it is not the least bit superficial.   
My blog is dedicated to the first woman I fell in love with, my mother.  My mother was a Lebanese, though she would correct me and say Phoenician, queen.  As a young girl, she was a princess and as I later matured into a woman, she became my queen.  Lipstick was her crown.  She grew up in Beirut and her grandfather founded the first Baptist church and school.  In the late 30's and 40's as a teenager she was not allowed to wear makeup and in all honesty, with her dark eyes and beautiful skin, she didn't need it.  She was the first to fly in an airplane from those in her area of Ras Beirut in the 1950's when she accepted an International Scholarship to Baylor University in Waco, Texas.  It was during her four years at Baylor that she learned to love lipstick and of course, Pond's Cold Cream; neither of which she was ever without until the day she passed away.  
Upon her return to Beirut, she found resistance from her church family against her desire to wear lipstick.  It became more of a feminist issue for her which we talked about at great length in the long hours at the hospital following her stroke.  The conversation happened because she asked me to pass her purse with a mirror and lipstick so she could put it on before the doctor came to see her.  She was wearing a lovely coral mauve/red shade from MAC called Hot Tahiti , we actually bought the same colour together on a day when I was able to steer her away from the stock she had bought in Ultima II 's Art Deco Collection; and before her return to Revlon's Hot Coral and Fire and Ice-not that there was anything wrong with these classic colours-especially on her full beautiful lips.  She told me as I passed her the bag that she had left the family church and went to a more progressive Baptist church near the centre of Beirut.  They had allowed her to wear lipstick and soon her sisters followed.  It was during the time when in the USA feminists were 'suggesting women should discard adornment, believing it served only subject them in the eyes of men.'  My mother acknowledged these suppositions and understood how truth is meaningful for women in different ways.  For her, it was an act of asserting her right as a woman to worship where she was not judged.  She passed on this valuable quality to her daughters; and with her husband, my dad, made sure that all of us grew up without feeling that being a woman was a barrier to any of our aspirations.  My mom dazzled me with her smile from the moment I can remember.  She didn't really wear any other makeup at all; apart from in the 1970's when she decided to wear blue or green frosty eye shadow for a brief period, and I thought she looked an Arabian princess.   From the 1980's onwards, my sisters and I tried to get her to wear all kinds of make-up-she didn't like it, eventually settling on a routine of Anew products from Avon, Pond's Cold Cream, body lotion from Victoria's Secret, body powder from Chanel and lipstick which she occasionally used as a blusher.  My mother, my mom also taught me that it was never to late to to do anything you had your heart set on, age was not a barrier.  She was near thirty when she met my father, 10 years her junior, almost 40 when she stopped having children.  Today, this would not seem so unusual, but it certainly was in the mid 60's.  At 51 she started a new career teaching Arabic to the military winning professor of the year on more than a few occasions.  At 60 she decided to get an Masters and in the last conversation I would ever have with her, she was taking about getting a PhD.   Here motto was, Live Love, Learn...and she lived it.  So, here I am a few days away from 51, deciding to travel in her footsteps and start blogging about the issues I feel most passionate about.   She asked me many times, 'Leila, why don't you write...the world needs to hear your voice!'  Of course she was my mom so she would think this way; but, to be honest, she felt this way towards everyone she met, magical she was often called by her students.  She would have gone nuts about the Urban Decay lipsticks and I will post a few that I have already purchased and will-as the posts roll on.  I am really excited to be here and living a life with greater intention.  Living authentically is my vice and Oh! I still have the Hot Tahiti and on days when I need more courage, I wear it.  This is how I live it.

Love on Day 1,

Leila SizeHourglass

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