What Happens When a Lipstick Virgin Finds the Perfect Lipstick

In a world of laser-sharp lipstick marketing strategies, where lip gloss advertisements follow you from computer to phone and tints get touted by every beauty-obsessed influencer on Instagram, stylist and brand consultant Shiona Turini has managed to dodge every. Single. One.

Shiona’s a bonafide lipstick virgin. Her aversion to it was cemented back in childhood. Her sister routinely taunted her for being the sole owner of thin lips in an otherwise full-lipped family and household. The last thing she wanted to do was draw attention to them.

Cultural snacking over the past few years has bred mass-appreciation for full lips where there historically were none — at least not where societal beauty standards were concerned, and certainly not for black women. Search “mammy archetype” to follow the historical association of large lips with undesirability. But well before the Instagram-influx of lip plumping devices hocked to capitalize on the you-know-who effect, there was Shiona, a young girl in Bermuda who wished for a quarter of an inch of help in the lip department.

Though she eventually came to accept her lips for what they were, Shiona resolved that bold, audacious lipsticks were unfitting and off-brand. Mad Men-esque “Mark Your Man” campaigns ricocheted off of her glazed eyes, and except for the obligatory work-related beat that featured nothing more than a nude lip (not to mention an experimental Halloween or two), lipstick remained uncharted territory.

Then a makeup miracle happened. After 15 years of turning her nose up at color-drenched lips, Dior released “Rouge Liquids.” A sample arrived at her home, pure boredom convinced her to try it (not to mention the waxy substance reminded her of her deserted-island product: Crème de Rose Balm — and was therefore less intimidating) and Shiona was a changed woman. It was that easy. Kind of.

Makeup artist Miguel Ramos made a house call to Shiona’s George V hotel room in Paris to formally introduce her to the liquid lip à la Dior. Shiona fell so in love with 901 Oxblood — the most dramatic and terrifying of the bunch — that she hasn’t been able to shut up about it. In case you were wondering: No, this is not an advertorial. Just one woman’s new obsession.

On the day of the SS18 Dior show, makeup artist Bob Scott sealed the grave of Shiona’s lipstick-less past by divulging the secret to the perfect lip. The method: “dab it in the middle, or in three dots across your bottom lip. Smudge it in, then perfect it with a Q-Tip.” Sounds easy enough, right? It was. It is.

Lipstick virgin no longer, now all Shiona has to master is how to navigate the etiquette of asking strangers, “Do I have lipstick on my teeth?”

Follow Mayer on Instagram @maya_campbellPhotos by Cibelle Levi, follow her on Instagram @cibelleleviUrsela Stephen on hair using Indique hair extensions

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