Saturday, 10 January 2009

Lipstick Story

There once was an eccentric American woman who lived in the north of England. She had subscribed to, read, highlighted and took notes from The Tightwad Gazette. This had changed the way she thought about things and the way she lived.

This woman loved pink, particularly pink lipstick. She wore it almost every day, unless she was wearing her favourite red jacket which was approaching vintage status or her long purple skirt with orange flowers, acquired at Oxfam. Then of course she wore red or orange lipstick, not pink. However, most days she wore black, brown, navy or burgundy clothes and they just demanded pink lipstick, which was also great with the jeans that she wore at the weekend.

One day when she was cleaning out her bathroom drawers, she noticed there were a lot of used-up-but-not-empty lipsticks in the pink lipstick basket. She gathered all these up and took them to the kitchen. Using a small wooden ice cream stick she scraped all the lipstick into a small plastic box that had a lid. She had purchased silver filigree earrings when they were on holiday in Malta and had kept the box they came in, thinking it could come in handy for something else one day; that day had come.

When all the lipstick was in the little box she put it in the microwave and nuked it, watching carefully until the lipstick was just melted. The colours were still separate but blended around the edges where they met. She then put the lid on the box and popped it into the freezer, making sure it was horizontal. Sadly, all the now completely empty lipstick containers went to landfill, as she had not yet learned a way to re-use them. Her previous attempts to put all the lipstick product into one of those tubes had been highly variable and did not produce a useable stick for application, so she preferred the box approach.

The next morning she had (the coolest) new cosmetic and she used it every morning with a lipstick brush as she got ready for work. Her purse still contained a pink lipstick for re-application at the office, but at home that little box of lipstick was her first choice. She used it happily almost every morning for a full two years, until there was no more lipstick to be brushed out of the box.

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