Have You Ever Worn Red Lipstick?

Jordana Jaffe portrait 052112I don’t know about you, but I’m not a lipstick kinda girl. Or at least I thought I wasn’t – until a few weeks ago, that is.

It has always taken me less than 3 minutes to put on makeup – I consider myself girly, but I’m pretty grounded in my girliness –and well, red lipstick has scared the bejeezus out of me for as long as I can remember.

It’s just so RED.

And red is just so bold – it’s so “look at me, here I am.”

Those who like to blend into the crowd clearly need not apply.

And I was like this for a while. I still sometimes feel this way. There’s a coziness, a comfort of sorts, when you blend into the crowd. But at the same time, you can also feel forgotten about, unseen, and a bit lost.

A few weeks ago, I went on a magical retreat in Sonoma called Live Free. It was led by the magnificent Nisha Moodley and Sarah Jenks. And when I got the packing list, I saw one thing that made me squirm a bit.

Bright. Lipstick.

Um, excuse me. Since when is bright lipstick a requirement for a retreat?

But, as one who follows directions and is up for the magical adventures of life, I meandered over to Sephora to check out my options.

And, let me tell you, I felt scared. This whole lipstick thing felt really scary.

Here’s what I realized though —

It wasn’t the lipstick that scared me. It was the idea of being seen.

When I was in Cape Cod last week for the retreat I recently wrote about, we sat around the fire under the full moon and pledged to release a part of ourselves that was no longer serving us. Feeling the heat of the flames on my face, I delicately dropped the white piece of scrap paper that I scribbled my commitment on and watched it melt into the fire.

And my commitment was this – to stop hiding myself from people.

That might surprise you – maybe I seem very “out there” in my newsletters and on Facebook and if we’ve met in person. And there’s a part of me that’s certainly outgoing and bubbly and over-excited.

But there’s also a part of me – and I’m pretty certain, a part of all of us – that hides myself from other people. We’re scared that if we’re really seen for who we are, maybe we won’t be liked, loved, included, valued, etc. And that can feel really super scary, so we hide, and blend in, and conform, and sure, maybe it feels safer for a bit, but ultimately it doesn’t, because you’re not only hiding from other people, you’re hiding from YOU.

You deserve to be seen and loved as is. And to be really seen by others, you have to first really see yourself.

Stop hiding. Stop blending in. The world needs to see you. You’re here on this earth to be seen. And yes, while buying (and trying on) my first tube of red lipstick felt pretty terrifying, once I put it on to go out, I felt pretty awesome. I felt more confident. I felt pretty kick ass. And get this – I was actually excited to be seen.

How can you allow yourself to be more seen? Here are some of my favorite suggestions. Let me know what yours are too. I love swapping ideas.

Buy that tube of bright (red/pink/gold/blue) lipstick
Wear a headband with a big bow on it
Choose a brightly colored work bag (no more black and brown and navy)
Sway your hips side to side as you walk on the street (I’ve legit tried this and it feels awesome)
Smile at everyone you pass by
Compliment a stranger
Wear a tiara out to dinner – because, why the hell not?
Get your nails painted a wild color – check out Essie’s colors
Wear big dangly earrings or hoops
Talk to the person next to you while waiting in line
Go to that event where potential clients and referral partners will be hanging out
Dance freely to your favorite jams every morning before you do anything else
Go skinny dipping
Bye bye to those baggy sweaters (or at least just save them for those extra cold days)
Ask someone out on a date (and stop waiting to be asked)
Skip in the park (at first it might feel silly, but pretty quickly, it’ll feel ah-mazing)
Host a dinner party and tell each friend to bring one of their friends so that everyone meets a new person
Offer to split a cab with someone who is also waiting for one (this one is for you NY-ers in particular)
Go out dancing, just to dance
Make eye contact
Sit in the front of the room at an event
Get a tattoo (real or temporary)
Wear a hot pink bikini
No more messy buns – hello blown out, deliciously straight or curled hair
Join a club or start your own




Jordana Jaffe, founder of Embarkability, teaches entrepreneurs how to get clients without spending a lot of (or any!) money. She’s currently leading a free 21-Day Challenge, How to Get Clients on a Close-to-Zero Budget that you can sign up for here. You can also receive Jordana’s free weekly newsletter here.

  • changesofheart

    Thankyou – this is challenging but encouraging greater personal freedom. Your commitment to stop hiding deeply resonates with me & inspires me. (Love that song ‘Give myself permission to shine’!)

    • Jordana

      Yay! Thanks for sharing love! 🙂

    • The Daily Love

      Thanks for reading, changesofheart!! We love that you are able to connect here!! Start shining and never stop!
      -Team TDL

  • Chrissy

    Fabulous Article.. Its what I tell all my girls at The Lindy Charm School for Girls and indeed it is our motto: – Thou Shalt Endeavour To Always Wear Red Lipstick

    Have you heard about my Sister Elisha? – Take a Minute to
    Save a Life: http://www.helpelisha.com.au/elishas-story/

    Kisses from the Mistress xx

    Thou Shalt Endeavour To Always Wear Red Lipstick

    Hens Parties, Debutantes, Weddings, Vintage Stylist, EMCEE,
    Manners, Poise & Charm Presentations

    • Jordana

      Thanks Chrissy!

    • The Daily Love

      Thanks for reading and sharing, Chrissy!! Glad that you enjoyed the article!!
      -Team TDL

  • Valerie Marie Rutherford

    I appreciate this article and your insight. I’m glad you’ve found your red lipstick. I’ve never found one that appeals to me. And actually, most of those suggestions sound terrifying. I have Social Anxiety (about as bad as you can before just never leaving the house). I really and honestly don’t want to be seen in public, and anything that draws attention to me (especially my body) is terrifying. I like to be seen and heard one-on-one with someone. I like personal connection. But I don’t want to be bold. I like being quiet and introverted. I’m not holding back; it’s just who I am. I do wear dangly earrings, and I don’t avoid wearing or doing what I want to just to blend in. I do not conform. Trust me, I walk my own path.

    Anyhow, I just don’t think everyone needs to be bold to be seen. I think personal connections are more important than standing out in a crowd. Not to say there’s anything wrong with being bold, if you want to. If you’re avoiding something you want because of your fear of being seen, I say take steps towards it. Being yourself is important. Just, for me, doing one of those suggestions would actually be more acting like someone else over letting the real me shine.

    I wish you blessings towards being more seen, though. I think your suggestions could definitely help people, and I hope your post gets more attention. And hey, if I do ever find a red lipstick I actually like, I’m willing to buy it! Maybe I’ll even try seeking one out. (Although finding red lipstick without carmine sounds like a difficult task.)

    • The Daily Love

      Whatever works for you, Valerie! We all shine in our own ways, and we are so happy to hear that you do your own thing and LOVE it! Thanks for reading and commenting!!
      -Team TDL