Orange Lipstick: The Ultimate Symbol of Power and Play

The color orange symbolizes power just as much as it does playfulness. Wearing orange lipstick, for me, lets me enjoy the dichotomy of hard work and voracious play at the same time. Lately, I’ve been sticking to really nude shades (if anything) on my lips due to my ridiculous schedule this semester. ​But​ there do come those special days when I treat myself to a little bit of “Tangerine Tango”.

Photo from Lifestyle Asia

Even though wearing orange lipstick might seem shallow to some, it cuts deep for me. I remember being in high school and, like many girls my age, hoping and wishing that I’d kill it later on in life. I was only a high school freshman, but I wanted to go to college; I wanted to have cool AF friends; I wanted to live my life without my parents’ strict rules. My sister was in college at Ohio University, and her first college bestie, Madison*, seemed like nothing but #goals to me.

Madison had blonde and brown hair, brown eyes, a very athletic figure and a killer sense of style. I remember her telling me the first time I met her when I visited my sister that she bought most of her clothes from vintage stores. That to me seemed so cool because at the time most of my school friends blew their allowances at Abercrombie and Fitch or American Eagle Outfitters and ended up all looking the same; she knew of better places to spend her money and she looked like a rockstar. Not only did Madison look like one, she acted like one, too, because she knew where all the coolest house parties were and probably had no problems getting into bars. On top of her crazy nightlife, she had a crazy academic life: ­­she was fluent in French and Spanish and graduated Cum Laude, to brag about her more.

After visiting my sister, I joined Facebook for the first time and obviously added her to my first ever friend list. Doing so meant that I could see all her cool pictures. When I came to visit, I only saw the clothes she wore that day, but on Facebook I noticed a picture of her pulling off orange lips in the best way possible. Back then, in ancient 2008, the craze about bold lipstick was not nearly where it is today, so she was definitely one of the first to the lip game!

At the time, my mom was upset that I was so obsessed with wanting to go to a party school and she was furious that I’d signed up for Facebook. Ironically enough, she also hated when I wore bright lipstick colors, especially red. However, one time my mom and I had some shopping to do at Kohl’s, which was when I put orange lipstick on for the very first time.

I went to the very small cosmetics section in the store, smacked on some orange, and went to show my mom how good I looked in it. At first she hated it, then she loved it on me. However, she’d never let me wear it to school.

As soon as I actually came to college to live the life I longed for in high school, orange lipstick became a big part of my life. While I don’t wear it every day, the days I wear it are filled with motivation. I think of my inspiration Madison and get on with my days, which are normally consumed with fun and successful moments.

Orange represents power and play, and wearing it on my lips teaches me just how easy it is to have success in all walks of life: school, work, my social life and my dreams. People normally separate play and work, and assume that you can either be a great student or a social butterfly in college. Madison definitely taught me that I can have both; orange lipstick definitely taught me I can have both, too!

That being said, days when I pop the tropical hue on my lips are the best days ever. I walk into a room (whether that be J Bar or some place in Schoonover) and feel like I am ready to take on the world.

Oh, and in case you are wondering, my favorite shades are Heatwave by NARS, High Energy from MAC and Milani’s Sweet Nectar when trying to save money.

Photo from Bugs Beauty Blog

Yeah, sunsets will continue to fall deep on my lips. Thank you Madison for inspiring me!

*Name has been changed for privacy purposes.