I started at LUX over 2 years ago, and have nearly always been a casual employee, typically joining the girls on Sundays, organizing staff meetings and making it out to product training sessions. But it came time to say goodbye to being a LUX girl and I was faced with some separation anxiety.
For some reason, I just couldn’t give up what was my ‘fun job’ – the job that let me pop in and fulfill my need to try on the latest and greatest in skincare and cosmetics, to smell the decadent candles and body care, and to set out on a new quest each shift to find the perfect shade of lipstick for any new situation.
I wanted to know and say with confidence that in my time at LUX, I tried everything in the store I wanted to, that I didn’t miss reading a single label or smelling a single fragrance. I knew I would be back at the store, in fact I could go anytime I wanted, but oddly enough it was hard to say goodbye to being the insider ‘LUX girl’.
To ease the pain of the goodbye and perhaps as an homage to my time here, a few of us got together to fulfill the grandest of my LUX dreams. One Friday night, four women, three cameras, and 120 lipsticks later, I tried on, and was photographed with, every single shade of lipstick in the store.
To keep things controlled, we defined a lipstick as anything that was in a tube and did not have a separate applicator. It is not a gloss, it is not a pencil or a liner. And there are 120 of them in the 400 sq/ft of LUX. In 5 hours, Danielle sanitized, I applied, and Katryna photographed every single one of them.We started with the sheerest of the nudes and progressed by shade all the way to our darkest, most pigmented oxbloods and violets.
I got the star treatment: Danielle helped me achieve a nice base face to serve as the canvas for our experience. Kat documented furiously, taking a picture of every lipstick tube, carefully getting the name of each one, followed with candid shots of me, and then a formal photo from the tripod. I had the easy job – swipe on shade after shade, moisturizing between every 10 or 15 tubes.
While my recount of this evening may ignite a ‘yeah, so what?’, it actually provoked some deeper thinking in me. One of the things I heard most often at LUX (and usually about lipstick) is: “I could never pull that off”.
After 120 lipsticks, let me assure you, there are some that look better than others. There are some that I swoon over and just want to wear forever, and some that just didn’t suit me I couldn’t get off fast enough. That said, I believe I could ‘pull off’ any one that I wanted to. I just have to give myself the confidence to ‘own it’.
At the risk of getting too philosophical about lipstick, I think this idea extends beyond cosmetics. Every time I hear someone say “I couldn’t pull that off”, I think “why not?” and usually say “of course you can!”. This doesn’t mean that you have to wear things that don’t appeal to you or don’t fit your style; but rather, it means that if you find the bravery to try something new, you’re already pulling it off.
Luckily, I have models of this behavior all around me, starting with Katryna, Danielle and Jenn. These women are talented in so many ways, confident in themselves and in the team they all work to create. Whether they act with intention or not, each of them continue to ‘pull it off’, (whatever ‘it’ is) and do so with grace and style.
I have a print framed beside my desk that says “work hard and be nice”. I like to think it says “work hard, be nice and own it”
Love and lipstick,