A night out with the girls is heaven, especially when you’re divorced and your chums are too. A glass of Sancerre or Diet Coke Plus and the honest exchange of beauty advice and gossip make Sex and the City seem tame. It’s the best time to dish over frenemies’ affairs, the diet-of-the-month, and whether boyfriend jeans flatter anyone over forty.
It’s the moment too for confessing your beauty sins to those who understand: like my friend Cheryl’s new Restylane pout (credited to “an amazing plumping gloss”), or Suzie’s Fraxel-smoothed face (“I gave up caffeine and sugar”), or Nan’s Sculptra cheekbones (“I finally found the best facialist”). Naturally the cone of silence over that evening’s conversation means we will never discuss these topics again, especially with other people.
It’s not just the admission of getting a little medical help anymore.
Right now, when we’re worried about school tuition, mortgage payments, and healthcare, indulging in pricey dermatological procedures can bring on a guilt attack if addressed in public. Buying luxury skincare or splurging on a spa vacation can inspire the same discomfort as selling your grandmother’s silver.
Beauty is comfort food for women. The so-called “lipstick effect” cited by economists once again highlights the trend for us to buy small feel-good items like lipstick during times of crisis.
Divorced women are facing fierce competition in the workplace to protect their jobs, and even tougher challenges to get new ones if they’ve been restructured out of a position. The bar has been raised when it comes to the term “beauty boost.”
Sometimes a lipstick isn’t enough, so it’s important to stay non-judgmental if you (or a friend) think an eye-job or Botox are going to add that kick of confidence. But sometimes a new lipstick is truly all you need.
If you’ve been sticking to natural lip-toned neutral colors and sheer glosses, try a real lipstick for a change and go for an “up” shade of pink or red. That instant face-brightening effect you may remember? It still works. Try one of these mini-splurges:
1. Yves Saint Laurent Rouge Volupte Lipstick in #10 Provocative Pink, #11 Rose Culte or # 8 Red Taboo ($34,saksfifthavenue.com)
2. Clinique High Impact Lip Color SPF 15 in Extreme Pink or Red-y to Wear ($14, Clinique)
3. Lancôme Color Fever Roses Lipstick in S.O.S Pink, Lancôme Rosebud or Daring Rose ($25, saksfifthavenue)
4 Avon Pro-To- Go Lipstick in Mauve Madness or Party Rouge ($7.99, avon)
5. Dior Rouge Replenishing Lipstick in VIP Pink #365 or Action Red #526 ($27, sephora)