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I’ll Wear Red Lipstick! » Apart From My Art
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I’ll Wear Red Lipstick!

I’ll wear Red Lipstick! That was my answer as I lay on the operating table staring up at the big brilliant light, waiting for the nurse with her large needle to inject me with pain killers. This was what? My 21? 23? surgery on my face. I’ve lost count of the number of times I’ve had basal cell cancer surgery on my face. I seem to always be walking around with a bandage on my nose, neck, side of face, etc.. Aha you ask, “don’t you wear sunscreen?  It’s not the sun, it’s the treatment I had as a teenager. Had normal acne. Nothing special, not that much, just some pimples. But “in those days” the preferred and “gold standard” of treatment was to have x-rays for your acne. I went to the “best” doctor at the time. My mother made sure of that. and had the “best” treatment. Did they cover you with a lead apron? Did the nurses hide behind a door? Can you believe that no one remembers! In those days X-ray was used for everything.

Do you remember when you were buying shoes and you stood on a platform with your feet in the  shoes encased in a little x-ray box and they could see how they fit? You don’t remember? You’re too young. I mean that was the best part of buying new shoes, seeing your toes in the radiation machine!  Now, many years later, I’ve had many cancers on my face. You’d think I’d be disfigured. But thankfully so far, my excellent specialist doctor has kept me pretty “terrible scar acceptable.” But, I’ve had it. I try to be very brave and also grateful that this is all it is.

After looking at my latest scar I said “bright lipstick here I come.” Focus on the lips not on scars. The nurses agreed with me. They said “go for Dolce & Gabanna, Yves St. Laurent,” I mean they really knew. I’ve always worn, nice sedate, non threatening lipstick, but NOW. I was going for it. I became obsessed. No one would have a chance to see the scar on my neck or the side of my face, they’d be too busy looking at my lips. You’d think I had gorgeous lips, I’m no Angelina Jolie lipper, nope they show my age with all those lines, even though I never smoked. But I didn’t care. I am who I am. So bring on the lipstick.


First stop I figure go for Chanel, um that Rouge Cambon is gorgeous but could I wear it every day? Next Dior, nice bright pink, that I could wear, and so it went. I even tried a Tom Ford Wild Ginger, walked in the door and my husband said “what in the world is on your lips?” Gee, the sales associate at Neiman’s “adored it on me.” I went on a quest to find the perfect lipstick, read blogs about it. You write “lipstick” I was reading it.


Do you think I have too many lipsticks?

Lots of lipsticks

See any resemblance between the number of red lipsticks I own and the tubes of red oil paint? Funny, huh? Color for me doesn’t stray very far from the tree or my obsessions.

I went to Fredrique at IQ beauty  she has a wonderful sheer makeup tint and makeup line that I love. She showed me her brightest lipstick, Lush. Loved it but maybe a tad too bright so softened it with a pink on top.  What I do is NEVER wear any color from the tube. I always contrast with the opposite color. If red, I put on coral or pink, if orange I put pink over that. Always mixing colors. I never quite know what I’ve got on my lips because I’m always mixing, combining, changing. Did not learn this from a blog. I just did it. One day, I  realized that this is exactly the way I paint. Never use a color directly from a tube. Thus I would never use grey from a tube. Nor would I mix black with white to get grey, horrors. I’d mix Pink Flesh, Space Bleu and Naples Yellow to get a beigy grey. But when I paint I write down my color recipes so I’ll be able to recreate it the next day, month year. I mean sometimes I come up with fabulous combinations of oil colors and want to reproduce them.


I remember going on a cooking tour back east and visiting Jacques Pepin great chef and cookbook author, in his home in Connecticut. He had a large notebook next to the range and every time he added something to the stew he’d write it down. Well, I don’t do that with my lipsticks, talk about a car accident in the making… I just go by the recipe of mixing hues. Almost anything, so that it’s not just one straight color.


Recipe of the day, Edward Bess “Night Romance” with IQ Beauty “Woman” over it. Actually, a sales associate in Neiman Marcus stopped me to say that “You must wear this color of lipstick every day. You need no other!” News Alert:  Edward Bess has discontinued the color. Perfection is so ephemeral.



All images appearing on I’ll Wear Red Lipstick! are the expressed property of Sandra Sallin. All rights reserved. In other words, don’t steal it!

Facebook Comments
  • Diane - I remember the feet X-rays. Am I THAT old? Guess so. ReplyCancel

    • sandra - Naw, you’re much youngher. They just did it for a long time.ReplyCancel

    • Carla Fischer - You reminded me: i loved seeing my green bones. I had to wear Buster Brown shoes to correct a birth defect on 4 toes. Up the street I would run to the shoe store and slip my feet under the machine. I’m 71. I still have feet problems. I wish I could correct them with one of your bright red lipsticks. Good thing bright reds are in. Enjoy! You have great style.ReplyCancel

      • sandra - Ya think, rubbing red lipstick on your toes would work? Speaking of style from the “style meister!” You got style woman.ReplyCancel

  • Sandra Ateca - But of course you would never wear any color from the tube…you’re an artist! I love it!ReplyCancel

    • sandra - You know me very well.ReplyCancel

  • Noriko Nakada - My mom had that treatment as well and even now, from the protective cloud-cover of the Pacific Northwest she has several removed. I’m telling her about your lipstick…ReplyCancel

    • sandra - Lipstick and a great plastic MOS surgeon make all the diference.ReplyCancel

  • Judith Eton - Try Azalea by La Prairie, great color and it goes with everything. It is my one indulgence!ReplyCancel

    • sandra - Oh, goody. Can’t wait to check it out.ReplyCancel

    • sandra - Next day I had to be at Neimans. A dirty job but someone had to do it. Looked at Azalea and it was almost exactly the same color as a Chanel Legende, that I’d purchased a while ago. So I’m on the same wavelength.ReplyCancel

  • judith august - how do I sign up for your BLOG?ReplyCancel

    • sandra - On the right hand side there is a box for you to put in your email address and subscribe. Let me know if there is a problem.ReplyCancel

  • Ginger Kay - I am too young to remember the shoe store x-rays, and my parents grew up in too small and poor a town for them, but my in-laws still talk about them.

    Love your lipstick collection – all the colours look so pretty together.ReplyCancel

  • sandra - Ginger, you’re just a young whipper snapper. One of the great joys of buying shoes as a young kid was standing on that platform and looking at your toes. All of us of a certain era remember that simple pleasure.

    Did you notice how many of my lipsticks all look like the same color? Embarressing.

    Of course that doesn’t hold me back for trying for another that might be the holy grail of lpsticks. 🙂ReplyCancel

  • Sylvia Kathleen Secrest - LOVE your behavior! life is GREAT at all stages ages! yay! i too festoon my face with lipsticks! am a fashionista too believe in self expression all days and that fashion is ART! so rock on roll on BE fabulous! just like the xray danger though be aware of the toxic carcinogenic ingredients in SOME lipsticks and other cosmetics! gotta be aware! i was born in 1952 so overdid the sun exposure too up at my Grand Parents summer cottage on Crosslake MN USA sunning fishing swimming etc and of course in my teen years flashing my bod in a 2 piece bikini (still do that in moderation 😉 covered in Coppertone or Cocunut oil! to ENHANCE tanning sigh………..who knew? now am a “Leopard” spotted gal…………no skin cancer YET so am grateful. Good Luck to your healing and to sharing women’s health info! Info is POWER! and ART heals! LOVE your ART and vibe! keep doing what replenishes you! Namaste!ReplyCancel

    • sandra - So glad you’re into lipsticks also. In case someone tells me I have too many, I’ll have them email you. Ha. Did you also you a reflector so that you got even more rays? That was very in in Southern California. I never did that. Couldn’t take the heat. Thank goodness. Do you have a blog? Which are the bad lipsticks?ReplyCancel

  • Erica - Too many lipsticks?? No such thing!ReplyCancel

    • sandra - Absolutely Erica. I’m still buying them!ReplyCancel

  • LA CONTESSA - YOU ARE MY KINDA GAL……………I too have too many lipsticks and mix them up!
    There must be a LIFE SPAN of a LIPSTICK……..does anyone know what it is because I have had some for YEARS!!!ReplyCancel

    • sandra - My judge is the smell. If it smells wonkey I throw it out. I do save my Mac lipsticks. Seven old lipsticks returned equals one new one! I’m now enjoying coral colors. Big exciting change.ReplyCancel

  • Jenny - Have you been to the Bite Beauty Lip Lab in NYC? They will mix a shade for you – Awesome!


    • sandra - No I haven’t but I can see a visit in my future. 🙂ReplyCancel

  • Valerie - Drooling over your lipstick hoard (another lipstick lover here)….ReplyCancel

    • sandra - Hate to tell you I’ve got even more! I won’t tell anyone about your obsession.ReplyCancel

    • sandra - Do we need a support group or do we just enjoy the journey?ReplyCancel

  • Cindy L - I’ve had several skin cancer surgeries on my face, all successful, but keep ending up with more basal cells. Like you, I had X-rays for my acne when I was a teenager, but wasn’t aware that this was the cause. (I also got a lot of sunburns as a kid, before we knew about good sunscreen.) You may know this already, but Retin-A helps clean up some of the damage and might prevent more lesions in the future. Ditto the new DNA repair creams. (My surgeon sells one by Neova that seems to help.) Wishing you good health and the perfect lipstick in the meanwhile!

    Here is a post I wrote about my own battle with skin cancer and one of my MOHS surgeries: https://cindylaferlehappythings.blogspot.com/2017/05/why-im-wearing-hats-this-summer.htmlReplyCancel

    • sandra - Dear Cindy, I left a note on your website. Because of your x-ray treatments, you need to be very careful and checked often. Ask about the use of Retin-A. I was told not to use it. But maybe my skin is more sensitive. I must say I’ve been using SPF for many years. My latest fave is Peter Roth. Again, please go to your doctor often and make sure your thyroid is checked on a regular basis. And remember I’m not a doctor just had lost of experience with this stuff. Thanks for reading and commenting.ReplyCancel

  • Minette Hare - Love your blogReplyCancel

    • sandra - So glad you’re enjoying it. Thanks.ReplyCancel

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