Wednesday, 4 July 2012

One mouth four ways

Foreskins and corpse and bovine fat are just some of the lovely ingredients that women, and sometimes men, inject into their faces, especially their lips, to look beautiful. Of course these ingredients have pretty names once they are packaged, but they are what they are. Why do we do this? Why are big lips such an attraction, especially for 40+ women? Why is it that I'll never hear these words as I walk by: "Wow, she has the most awesome thin lips!!"


So I-Of-The-Thin-Lips decided to do my own big-lip investigation as part of my series of art projects on identity and some of the results are scaaary, in an unexpected way, which you'll find out if you read on.

Below is my lip transformation. On my face I am wearing foundation and translucent powder to maintain colour under the lights. Unfortunately, I didn't smooth out the powder on my nose, which I suppose is not such a big deal considering all the other little imperfections competing for attention under the bright lights.

The Transformation



Top left: no lips, foundation on my lips; Top centre: outline of natural lips; Top right: Look (1) lipstick on natural lips. Bottom left: Look (2) lips drawn bigger than real lips; Bottom centre: Look (3) lips drawn even bigger; Bottom right: Look (4) big, huge, ginormous lips so I can't even talk without drooling.

It's easy not to appreciate how much my lips have taken over my face from start to finish, but have another look. Compare the bottom right photo, Look (4), to the one directly above it, Look (1). How, you may ask, did I achieve those whopper-licious lips? 


Bounty (the papertowels). "Mah wips ah bwootifoe. Kwiss me bwaybee!" You can actually see the wadded papertowel sticking out on the left - those are not my teeth, great illusion though. And the next photo is me removing the papertowel... Pitui. But better than having corpse fat in there...or is it?

And below you have the evidence of my fun experiment. Those lipstick stains around my mouth took some scrubbing with Bounty to get off. 


And one gratuitous movie star photo of me below with the most huge lips, minus the papertowels, Look (4). This is the kind of photo I would use on my book jacket if I ever had a book. But now you know my big-lip secret...


Oh no! I like big lips!


Oh gentle reader, I may not be ready for injections but I do indeed like the bigger-than-natural lips from drawing outside the lines in Look (2) and below. Now I GET it - this is what all the fuss is about. But it still feels odd drawing lipstick outside the lines, even though I would be the first to tell you to break that rule. Joan Crawford didn't mind doing it. I like the bow-like shape below even though this photo looks a bit like a mug shot. This is from a test photo the previous day.


So now that I have become thicker skinned with my thin lips, I think I should cut some slack for female Hollywood stars in particular and their big lips, but if you should ever encounter me out walking my own new big mouth, say hi but ironically don't expect a reply - I'm afraid I'd drool and my papertowels would fall out.

Have you ever thought of buying big lips? Are you blessed with them naturally? Have you ever augmented your lips? Do you draw lipstick outside the lines?! Thoughts?

Happy Fourth of July to my American blogger friends!

68 comments:

  1. You look magnificent, and your bigger lips don´t take away the centre light of your face. your wonderful eyes.
    XXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXX

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Your compliment makes my day, Sacramento!

      Delete
  2. Very interesting experiment. I, however, am far more struck with your amazingly pretty blue eyes.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I tried the photos without so much face too but then it was hard to see how disproportionately large my lips had become. Thank you for following my experiment!

      Delete
  3. I like your lips as they are, Melanie (and yes, you have amazing eyes!). You also look very glamourous with your large pouty lips, so it's nice that you have that option (+/- Bounty, hee hee).

    I have big lips, always have. I feel very self-conscious when I wear a bright lipstick because of that, so I usually just do a tinted gloss.

    I will admit to being judge-y about women who draw their lipstick outside the lines, especially when you can tell, or they've used a dark lipliner.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I've been through phases about lip liner and also tend to dislike it when the liner is much darker than the filler. As for your dissatisfaction about your lips, it sounds like we have a case of the grass is always greener... You have the lips many thin-lipped women dream about.

      Delete
  4. Either way you look entirely fabulous! It's good to experiment and try out different looks and I love the vibrant lipstick on you, it shows off your beautiful eyes.
    I've never thought about fillers and am never very keen on the harsh lipliner drawn outside the lip line, bit too porn star.
    I know a girl who has semi-permanent make-up tattooed in the same shade as her real lip colour to the outer lip line and that looks brilliant, really natural but a little more voluptuous. xxx

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I would be too nervous to get even semi-permanent tattooing around my mouth but I like to hear the success stories. ("Filler" is the word I was looking for.) If I'm looking for fullness, I think I'll stick with cosmetic illusions for now, but natural feels best.

      Delete
  5. Besides the fact that I love looking at your gorgeous face, this is such an interesting experiment. Big lips are so much sexier. I am envious of the puffy lipped. Alas, I, too, am a thin lipped gal. So let's hear it for thin lips: lip lip lorray!!! Once had a make-up artist paint big I Love Lucy lips (un-ironically, I might add) on me and I looked INSANE! You are so much better at it. You know, you should write a book......
    Connie*

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. LOL lip lip lorray!! I felt rather insane with the mega big lips. But I certainly had fun. Too bad I didn't get any shots of me laughing - because I certainly did.

      Delete
  6. "don't expect a reply - I'm afraid I'd drool and my papertowels would fall out" sounds like Patti Smith lyric!

    I would like to comment on your beautiful, clear blue yes and crystal gaze. I would buy your book.

    Sarah xxx

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Wow! You have referenced with with Patti Smith! That's quite a compliment! Would you still buy my book if it were entitled "How to clean escalator treads with Q-tips and other useful cleaning advice"?

      Delete
  7. I like the transformation of the lips, every one of them looks amazing!

    ReplyDelete
  8. You are hilarious!!! Love your face as it is! No need for paper towel! And I would buy the book without knowing anything if you have that photo on the jacket:-)
    BTW, foreskin on the lips - now that is something I thought to read only in xrated novel! LOL! Well...You learn new things everyday!
    Hope you are having a wonderful day!
    -Jyoti
    Style-Delights Blog

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. The foreskin thing is rather sick - it's the "leftovers" from circumcisions apparently. Even typing it creeps me out. Yes, who knew? Does this fall under Too Much Information?!!

      Delete
  9. I like the photo you said you'd use in your book jacket. Very pretty. However, I like your real lips just as much. You are a natural beauty, so no need to plump. It was an interesting experiment. Bounty will have to add "lip plumper upper" as second bill to "the quicker picker upper".
    I have a big lower lip, but not as much of a top lip. I've tried lining outside my top lip to make it look larger and more bowed, but I had disastrous results. haha So I'll just stick with what I've got. (And I never use lip liner, although I know its supposed to keep your lips from "bleeding" About 15 years or so ago I lined and then used a frosty pink. I was really tan and thought I was looking like Pamela Anderson. hahahahah)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. LOL about the lip plumper upper! Thanks for sharing your own lip liner adventures. I'm sure you DID look like Pamela Anderson!

      Delete
  10. Well, my dear, I must tell you a story. I have a friend who is in her 70s who decided that because her lips were too thin, she should have them tatooed just outside the lip line and then she would also never have to bother with lipstick, as tatoo would do the job. The results were less than what one would hope for, to put it kindly. As Vix says, sometimes that drawing outside the natural contour works, but usually not. As for adding paper towelling, well, that's a new one on me. Try not to go swimming while wearing them!

    I agree with Lisa, and others, that you look fine just as you are. The bright red lips sort of detract from your lovely eyes and try to grab all the attention. I'd say, go with a more toned down colour. You have more beauty than you realize.

    Much love from England,

    Rosemary from www.foreveronthecatwalkoflife.com

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Oh, your dear friend, I hope that she was not too disappointed. It's hard to keep the papertowel in even without swimming - I keep laughing too much. Thank you for your most generous compliment. PS. Dear Readers, this comment was entirely unsolicited. (Rosemary, your cheque is in the mail.)

      Delete
  11. can you settle for medium lips? I liked those, the scary ones are putting me off my lunch. I do like that bright pink colour on you. I've wanted fuller lips (and longer eyelashes - my boyfriend has both!)but would never get them done - my facial disappointment usually focused on my nose xxx

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Ah, don't get me started on my nose...although we have been making friends lately. I love your nose!

      Delete
  12. I'm curious to know how you felt as you watched the transformation. Did you feel silly, sexy, or a whole myriad of other possibilities? Would you act differently if you suddenly had a feature deemed sexy (or the reverse) by the dominant culture? I love experiments like these. It reminds me of your wig post.

    There are so many ways to present oneself and we chose our tribe, I think, by how we chose to dress, including makeup, hair etc. Exaggerated choices are always fascinating to contemplate. I think you look extraordinary sans makeup and although your book headshot is lovely, I love your before look more.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Excellent questions and really at the heart of what I was doing. I felt silly throughout this experiment and absolutely ridiculous when I reached the papertowel stage. What shocked me was seeing the photos after and realizing that I actually liked a few of the bigger lips - but the LOOK is so removed from the FEELING. I couldn't go out like that and feel normal, unless I practised, and then I wouldn't be me. I can imagine the big hair wig, the big lips, the whole deal... Shudder and laugh at the same time. She would be a character, a fun one, but not me. You must understand the transformative process as an actor.

      Delete
  13. I'm enjoying this transformation of your luscious lips. I think the second photo of the pink liner would look great filled in with a bright yellow or turquoise but those colors are so hard to find in a good lipstick.
    My dad had the most beautiful lips but he never wore anything other than chapstick. My son has the loooongest eyelashes. How is it men get so lucky?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. HA HA! I think your idea of using bright yellow or turquoise lipstick are brilliant! I think I know where I can get some. Look for this look in future posts...

      Delete
  14. I have the double curse of thin lps AND a small mouth. But what's a girl to do? Never heard of this paper towel trick. I'm afraid I'd be hesitant to try it as I'd somehow end up with lipstick all over my face and teeth. Un to see your transformation. Beautiful eyes...and I love your so short cropped grey hair. So chic!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I thought of using toilet paper instead but... I think a sponge cut to shape would have been better, but live and learn. I DID end up with lipstick all over my hands. Thanks for this feedback!

      Delete
  15. I am of the thin lip crew :) This post cracked me up and I can relate. I have tried my lip liner outside my lips to make them bigger but it just seems to run into my little wrinkles right there and then it looks crazy awful. I also tried this lip puff stuff which had cinnamon or something in it, hated that, super sticky and well just felt gross. So I'm stuck with my thin lips too :) I like your picture 3 best :) and you have some crazy sick beautiful blue eyes!
    XXOO
    Krista

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. The red gloss I put over the matte red had plumper in it so my lips were all tingling. I actually liked it! But when I had to apply it on my actual face as my lips grew, there was a bit too much tingle action. Thanks, Krista, for your comment. This matte lipstick stays put pretty well, thank goodness, because I've certainly got lots of tributaries.

      Delete
  16. Forgot to mention about your book jacket photo. I thought the order of things were that you had to write a book, then someone would publish it, and then you'd pose for your book jacket cover shot. I like your version MUCH better. See, you can now work backwards. I'm sure once a publisher saw that photo, they'd be happy to give a book contract. Maybe a book on how to change your face? When are we going to see some of your fabulous drawings again?

    Much love from England,
    Rosemary from www.foreveronthecatwalkoflife.com

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Okay, that second cheque is on its way! (Oops, that's supposed to be our secret...)

      Delete
  17. I agree with many of the comments above, especially Jean's - in that I like the 'before' look most. Or actually, my favourite is your amazing smile just after removing the lippy - you look positively luminous. I do find it fascinating how our faces can act as a canvas with make-up though. I definitely have days when only pillarbox red lipstick will do.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. You are exactly right that our faces are our canvases. If I had had more than one shade of red lipstick, liner, and gloss, and more than one shade of foundation, I could have dramatically enhanced the transformation using simple chiaroscuro techniques. Thanks for your feedback.

      Delete
  18. What an interesting experiment! I know that the last time I wore make-up, my middle daughter drew on my tips--slightly bigger than the real deal. I liked the look, but in my mind ANY make-up ages me. I had always thought that the reason for luscious lips had to do with the mouth being a stand in for the labia. Cough, cough.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Also, I'll bet if you contact Bounty that they'll sponsor your blog.

      Delete
    2. Yes, I've heard the mouth comparison before. Choke, choke. Ha! I suspect that not all makeup ages you, Terri. You've yet to find the perfect makeup. But going without is liberating, and I often wear none or just lipstick. Often my face just wants to breathe.

      About the Bounty, I hope you saw Lisa's comment, "Bounty, the lipper plumper upper."

      Delete
  19. You know what my little sister's nickname for me was as a kid? "Lard lips" I had full lips when they weren't cool. Of course, I called her "Lard Butt" but that was before J Lo, Beyonce, and Kim. Oh, how I hated my lips. Now, I likes them :P

    And I love your natural lips with a touch of lippy for glamour of course. The paper towels made me giggle. As does Terri's comment about Bounty sponsoring your blog. Who knows where else you can stuff those paper towels to enhance the girly goods? :P

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Oh dear, I'm afraid I'd need a pair of rolls to enhance my other girly goods. I'll leave that for another experiment...!

      I'm glad you like your lips now. They are surely the envy of many women.

      Delete
  20. My favorite photo - after you took the lipstick off with Bounty and mischievously smiled with you lips and with your blue eyes. But I love lipstick, so whatever the day calls for is good! What a creative mind you have and I adore surprises, like an experiment with paper towel lips.

    As for me, I change the lipstick, but not the lips.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Lipstick is my favourite go-to cosmetic, whether it's clear gloss or matte colour. I'm with you - change the lipstick, not the lips!

      Delete
  21. Hahaha, I wonder whether all the ladies plumping up their lips with all sorts of unmentionables realise they are just trying to get men to be interested in a different set of lips... Might as well just drop your pants and save some cash!
    I've got fairly full lips so I've never done that draw-outside-the-lip-line thing, but as Vix says, it does look a bit porn star.
    Go with what you've got, Melanie, you're beautiful whatever the size of your lips! I agree with Judith, the best photo is the one of you laughing when you've taken the tissue out. Good experiment though! xxxxx

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Ha ha ha re. drop your pants and be done with it! Thanks for the vote of confidence for my natural state. It was a fun test.

      Delete
  22. Incredible how it looks so different, from one photo to the other. Not in a very obvious but rather a subtle way.
    Corpse fat? eew, never heard of that, wouldn't be caught dead doing it!
    xx

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Ha ha! The fancy names and perfumes are just tarting up the goods, but I'm sure the ingredients in many other cosmetic products would make us wince too.

      Delete
  23. It is a good exercise to know more on our lips and to see all his options of conquest, I have liked your very graphical, magnificent exhibition, kisses ana.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks for your feedback, Ana. xo

      Delete
  24. I consider myself thin-lipped, as well, and I like your natural look. I think that, because thinner lips aren't the Hollywood norm, they can add a kind of authority and seriousness to the face-- but I don't mean in a severe way. Your "book jacket photo" is beautiful, but so is photo number 3! Love this experiment-- very entertaining read.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I think you're right about the authority and seriousness. A friend told me about a study that reported big-lipped women get jobs more readily but both big- and thin-lipped women are considered equally intelligent. Interesting finding.

      Delete
  25. Melanie, it's posts like these that make such an avid fan of your blog - I love when you experiment with your look and in doing so, start discussions about what we do to our bodies for the sake of appearing attractive to the outside world (men, in particular). I would say I have medium lips, but a small mouth, and have never liked my smile mostly because of self-consciousness about my teeth. Thin lips have always been considered a "severe" look (all the governesses in films have thin lips!), as opposed to the pillow-lipped porn star "I'm available" look. However, there are so many examples of plastic surgery gone wrong when it comes to lips (Meg Ryan!!). I think all parts of your face work in tandem to create a woman who is confident, creative and beautiful. I love the photo of you after you've blotted off the lipstick - the wide smile is gorgeous! That shade of lipstick suits you perfectly, so I would agree with the other commenters who have said "keep the lipstick".

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks for this feedback. I have to say I'm more sympathetic to the extra-big-lipped look of women who have had obvious work done. The first time I saw Meg Ryan with her new lips I shuddered, but since then I have grown accustomed to her new look. Maybe we are just too comparative with how she looked before so any change is frowned upon. Just a thought. I agree that all parts work together to create beauty, and you have a wonderful smile!!!

      Delete
  26. Hmm, I've had restylane in my lips before, but it was a bit hard for my liking. Can't wait to get a softer and permanent filler done, but nothing unnatural looking-no way! Just enough to get rid of my smokers craggy lines and make my lips the way they were 20 years ago, not any bigger. Yes I know I am a vain bugger!! Your photos are so interesting, I'd like to see you with eye makeup for a change, no I'm not obsessed with makeup, just curious to see what you look like.xx.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thank you for sharing this! I think maybe that's what I liked about this experiment - experiencing what it feels like to erase those lines, even though I did it with Bounty. (I didn't show you my profile, which my own vanity prohibited, but the beak effect was very pronounced.) I hope you find a gentle filler that does the job; I'm sure lots of people would like your tips on doing it right. I'll do an "eye special" sometime too!

      Delete
  27. I see I am not alone in being mesmerized more by your baby blues. You are a stunner even with those red pencil lines for lips. What a wonderfully fun post touching on a touchy subjects. I have full lips and my take on all this weird un-natural ugly lip puffing is that we need to appreciate diversity and that includes the lip line. Women are sexy without the pillow mouth, ya know?

    My favorite look however was the number 4, the one where your lips are slightly bigger than norm- and I frown on corpse fat and paper towels equally. There is some sort of puffy stuff that you put on and it swells your lips- I actually tried it, which meant is was under $10 but it also dries your lips out and as a lip balm addict I like the look of peeling scaly lips less and less these days.

    Do not tattoo liner on your mouth please! Lined lips don't look good. Natural enhanced with cosmetics that wash off is crazy coooool.

    Like your eyes.
    PS Write a book.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I like my thin lips - until I see them a big bigger! I'd never do the tattoo thing because I'm too afraid of mistakes. I have plumping lip gloss - it doesn't do much other than make my lips tingle in a delightful way. If I had more colours to play with I could still stay within my natural lines and create a great illusion, but that would involve too much mirror work. I never wear lip liner either. I'm more of a slap-it-on-and-run kind of gal. Thanks for your feedback!

      Delete
  28. Oh Melanie, this made me laugh, though you tackle a serious subject (I am equally disturbed by this mania for mega-huge injected pouty lips - I think it infantalizes women and is rather grotesque). A naturally-plumped lip, on the other hand, looks great (though I guess I am agreeing with the same premise: it makes one look younger). I have tried the lip liner and dark lipstick thing, and I end up looking like Bo-bo the Clown. So I stick with lip gloss in light shimmery shades, sans the lip liner, and even my thin upper lip looks poufy, haha. Your book jacket cover is fab - in fact you look great in all the pics; you have beautiful eyes and bone structure! xo

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I laughed about your Bo-bo the Clown comment! That's exactly how I FELT in the last photo, but I was shocked that that look was translated by the camera into an almost-normal appearance. I like your lip gloss approach. Thanks for the bone structure compliment! I always think of my face as goblet-shaped, which is usually not an option on those "What shape is your face" questionnaires.

      Delete
  29. Such a crack up! I have spent decades and a ton of money on products and stupid gadgets to plump them up!!! City Lips really does a good job of making them swell, you won't need BOUNTY!! I stay in the lip line but use the lip plumping products and LUSCIOUS LIPS to make them bigger. I actually stopped plumping them before I shoot the pics for my blog posts, because I am trying to get away from wanting the juicy lips. My lips deflate more and more every year and I have to come to grips with it. But I have to say, after reading this post I must go and put on tons of CITY LIPS (see the before and afters at CityLips.com) because I want them swelled up now. Btw, if I had your BLUE eyes, I would even think about my lips. SO, SO gorgeous Melanie, your eyes are just INCREDIBLE!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Why, oh why, do our lips deflate? Personally, I think the lipids all migrate down towards the jowls. Lovely thought...! I saw the City Lips page and their photos are impressive. I use a product I bought at a spa and I don't even know the name of it; I don't think it works, but I usually like the tingle. I heard a radio interview of women who were lip-plumping scientists - they had such tales of burning their lips with peppers and bee venom. Yikes!

      Delete
  30. Amazing! Fun to play around like that but to me it also signals some of the arbitrariness of what were hard-wired OR acculturated to code as attractive. . . Personally, I always skip through the Beauty section of magazines, being pretty hopeless at the products and techniques.
    Have always had full lips, such that I used to feel like a walking caricature if I wore too bright a lipstick. So I wouldn't mind them shrinking a bit now, except that the shrinkage is accompanied by other so-attractive traits like the jowels and the wrinkles and the puckers. But I now find that the effect of a stronger colour can be really transformative -- puts some instant energy in my face.
    Fabulous eyes, you have, fabulous -- and those brows make great frames!

    ReplyDelete
  31. you are beautiful
    and your eyes are amazing!!!
    personally i like thin lips :D i wish my lips were a little thinner


    have a lovely week


    Kisses A.

    ReplyDelete
  32. Hi Melanie!

    I was blessed with lips! I still have them at 52- you tend to loose some as you get older, but you can do facial exercices to keep them well inflated - should do a video one of those days;) I have seen colagen inflated lips on very thin lips, not pretty if you want to know - Mr D being a make up artist did the draw outside the line thing to me last christmas, i was impress!, i liked it!

    By the way i love your lips in the last pic very pretty!

    Ariane

    ReplyDelete
  33. Gorgeous. Stick with the lipstick. It does wonders.

    ReplyDelete
  34. Love this post. Made me think about myself ... I can't leave the house without lipstick - it makes me feel better about myself and empowering, sometimes it's just a slick of beige, other times it's full on Paloma Picasso red. You look gorgeous either way, with your delicate features and wonderful blue eyes. The 'book jacket' photo is beautiful. M x

    ReplyDelete
  35. As someone who used to have the charming nickname 'BJ lips' I guess I am fairly enhanced in that regard, but I have to say you look beautiful au naturelle. Your lips really aren't 'thin', but then other people might claim that my upper arms aren't fat - I'm beginning to learn that what we see isn't at all what everyone else focusses on. As I see other commenters have noted, your eyes are immediately arresting. Windows to the soul probably beats doors to the stomach!
    Am a new follower x

    ReplyDelete
  36. You look absolutely beautiful in the shot post lipstick ...cleaning the stains. Your photography is amazing in it's ability to document the changes...love your book cover too!

    ReplyDelete
  37. thanx for the share! written very well. Thumbs UP
    Get Luscious Lips

    ReplyDelete

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...