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Max Factor

27 Nov

Billboard number 5 and it’s a beauty!  Well, it’s beauty related, at the very least.  Yes, at last a fairly embarrassing ad has appeared on my billboard and it’s promoting Max Factor lipstick.  In terms of the exact range or colours the ad is telling me to buy… I have no idea.  In fact, the word lipstick doesn’t even appear.  All I can tell is that “New from Max Factor” is being promoted and seeing as there are pictures of what I believe to be lipstick in the poster – that is what I must buy.

I had scoped out my local Boots a couple of times as ‘research’ before buying any lipstick and found the Max Factor range easy enough to find amongst the normally off-limits make-up section.  However, what I hadn’t been warned about was the veritable minefield that a lipstick purchase could present.  Rather than simply calling the colours “red” or “pink,” I was instead met by ridiculous adjectives like “Angelic” and “Bewitching” or even edible items such as “Chili” and “Raisin.”  What’s worse, there is absolutely loads of them available from a number of different companies.  Even whilst obliged to only buy a lipstick from Max Factor’s range, I was still in way over my head and needed a girl’s expert advice before making my purchase.

The choice of lip-based make-up was frightening

I arranged for my friend Grace to join me at my new favourite hangout – Boots Tottenham Court Road’s make-up section – and she very kindly showed me the ropes.  Men, pay attention; ladies, you might learn something here too.  First of all, I was instructed to check the inside of my bottom lip as this is the only way to identify your ideal ‘nude’ shade – your lip colour, only better.  Rather than relying on the ridiculous colour names alone, shops will actually let you draw some test sticks on your hand to help work out what the hell “Dusky Rose” really looks like.  This process is called ‘swatching’ and played an integral part in my nude shade selection process.

Hot swatching action

I started by giving “English Rose” a good swatch on my right hand.  This appeared to be the lightest colour on offer and was just a little too girly for me… “Rosewood” was next but perhaps a little grey in colour.  Based on the name alone, I was sure that “Bewitching Coral” would be my favourite, however we had a clear winner in “Chili.”  Grace believed that it was the perfect shade for me, daringly bright, but tempered with earthy brown tones.  She went on to say that it also had a lovely creamy texture and was densely pigmented, giving me great colour payoff.  As a result, the shade worked well with my colourings, bringing out the aqua tones of my eyes whilst complimenting my Mediterranean complexion.  Personally, I liked the fact that it had sparkly glitter in it.  So, with a hand that looked like it had just stepped out of a Skins party, I paid my £7.99 for the Chili Max Factor lipstick and dreaded the point where I would actually have to wear it. 

Hungover on a Sunday morning seemed the best time to give it a go, if only to see whether it would make me look any better.  So, I kept my bedroom door firmly shut and painstakingly peeled the Sellotape seal from around the stick.  I genuinely don’t understand why they use Sellotape to keep the pack shut, once removed it simply made it sticky to hold and also lowered the perceived quality of the item.  Surely a branded seal would be a marked improvement.

With my first twist, I was pleasantly surprised to see a giant X imprinted on the lipstick itself – just like the billboard ad.  Simple things like that really impress me and all disparity with the Sellotape seal were now truly forgotten.  Then came the dreaded moment were I actually had to apply it. 

The X imprint really impressed me.

Like most men, I hate lipstick.  I have no aversions to girls wearing make-up but I don’t like it when it’s so obvious that it appears to have been applied as some sort of war paint ritual or by loading an eyeliner, lipstick and blusher bullet into a gun and shot to the face at close range.  As a typical man, I personally prefer make-up that doesn’t look as though it’s been applied at all.  Therefore the act of having to actually hold a dark red stick to my mouth and rub it on my lips was almost enough to make me wretch.

Why so serious?

I take pride in the fact that I applied the lipstick terribly.  After being unpleasantly surprised by the strawberry flavour, I simply tried to get it on as quickly as possible whilst attempting to ‘colour within the lines’ of my mouth.  As you can see, this produced mixed results. 

Whilst I do like women to wear a little make up, if I were female I would personally hate to have to wear lipstick.  It’s sticky, it tastes horrible, it’s expensive, it’s hard to apply and after all of that it looks best when you can’t tell it’s being worn at all.  Bring on the next billboard.

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5 Responses to “Max Factor”

  1. Neeta November 27, 2011 at 8:47 pm #

    Thoroughly enjoyed your latest post young William. Grace got the colour spot on- suits you xxx

  2. Lavan November 28, 2011 at 9:54 am #

    One day this girl I know kissed my shirt and left a lipstick stain on it. Then we got drunk and had a good time. Then a week later when doing laundry, she noticed the same lipstick stain on my shirt and accussed me of cheating on her. It was like Momento except miserable.

    True story.

  3. MartynMartyn November 28, 2011 at 12:13 pm #

    Bill, you didn’t need to use eye liner as well…

  4. Christine Rutchik November 29, 2011 at 10:21 pm #

    I live and breath billboard in Green Bay Wisconsin and I love this!! Keep it up 🙂

  5. Debs February 25, 2012 at 9:22 pm #

    It suits you 🙂

    I love the billboard challenge.

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