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  • Writer's pictureRachael Yahne

The Best Lip Blushing In LA

An exploration in defining one's own beauty standards, and the still damning consequences of wanting to feel beautiful.

the best lip blushing in LA

By the time I met Lindsey, I had spent hundreds on lipliners. Endlessly searching, trying, and exchanging different brands, looking for the perfect dusty-rose shade. The perfect velvety texture that dries like a matte. The longevity to eat without eating the product. Mostly, that money that has been returned to me, when the product goes back from whence it came. Lipliner was the bain of my existence.

For all the money I've spent on lipliners, convincing myself they'd be the cheaper magic bullet to what I felt I needed, I could have bit the bullet altogether and pulled the trigger on getting lipliner permanently applied to my face.

"But it's too expensive," I told myself.

"But that's frivolous."

"But I can't because _____" (any and all reasons I am not worthy of the things I want.)

Where To Find The Best Lip Blushing In LA

Lindsey is a tattoo and permanent makeup artist. We met through her social media ad asking for models for her microblading services. I contacted, we laughed about some dark, absurdist joke one of us made, and the friendship grew faster than the client-artist relationship did. We were lucky to build both trust and mutual respect right off the bat; which, if you ask me, are vital elements if you're going to let someone tattoo your face.

A few weeks after our first phone call, I walked out of her studio with the most exquisite brows. Beautifully arched and just the right tint of brown, with long and exact strokes of hair etched into their blank spots and imperfections. Thanks to her, for months at a time, I don’t touch them. I consider this service both a convenience and an indulgence: to not have to waste time worrying about or tending to my brows.

Yet despite all the ease and confidence it provides me, every single time I spend either one second or one dollar on my own beauty, I still feel pangs of shame and guilt wash over me. I question: Who am I, of all people, to want to look pretty? To think that I deserve little (and sometimes big, permanent), expensive procedures? Isn't that for prettier girls?

Even in my 30s making my own money with the freedom to do as I please, I still wonder if the universal want to take care of one's self applies to me, too. If I'm good enough to deserve that. If wanting to be a woman that others take pleasure in looking at, especially to my soon-to-be husband, is ok. Or if...the collective 'they' might say: “Why would she even try? What a waste of money. She’s not that special.”

Where To Begin The Search

I grew up in a time (though I'm not sure it's changed) when braggery was shunned. That included, to my understanding, believing oneself to be pretty. Even the slightest degree too far into confidence was shunned as self-righteous, and I could never quite figure out that line and how to tow it. True attractiveness requires extreme humility apparently - never acknowledging that one is good-looking. All the while, I was battling with peers who, at the height of puberty, were exploring our own physical expressions. Being beautiful was a necessity for popularity and approval. Like all little girls who played princess games, I wanted 'it', but it was made very clear I didn’t have ‘it’: the kind of perfection and beauty that my own best friend, a gorgeous blonde who’d always been the apple of everyone’s eye, seemed to be born with. The more I tried, the more effort I put into fixing my hair, my clothes, my overall look, the more judgment and criticism I invited. So unless one already has 'it', it was pathetic to try to get 'it'.

Little changes, over time, lead to radical results.

My first full-blown medical cosmetic treatment appointment left me feeling even more pinged into shame and guilt. When the appointment was over, a wave of worry and imposter syndrome drove me down to the seafloor of my emotions and tossed me for a few days, until I got used to looking in the mirror and new enhanced features. Until I could see them as part of me. Until I could see being and feeling beautiful in a way I'd self-defined was a constant. Learning a new object permanence with my own reflection. No longer something I was attempting to be, but was for good.

There is much talk and controversy over cosmetic procedures, even as we normalize them on social media. We still judge and criticize to the point of zooming in on celebrities' ears, the marks of work done, yet still expect perfection and flawlessness. As if perfectionism and flawlessness have to come with zero effort. But what of this world comes with no effort? What flowers are born without rain? 

But Lindsey doesn’t see things this way. It's not about perfectionism or beauty standards at all. It's more playful than that. She saw my desire for perfect brows as a simple favor to myself. And she saw her work as an expression of love, and artistry. Time with her feels connected and calming, rather than judgmental or as if we were sharing a mission to ‘fix’ me.

When it came time to prepare for my wedding, our long-standing conversation about whether to go all in on lip blushing (a procedure of essentially tattooing on permanent lipstick) became more serious and substantial. My first excuse was the convenience factor to justify this self-indulgence. It was my wedding season. Of all the times in a heteronormative woman’s life, surely this is the time, right? Surely, one’s wedding is one of the few times a woman can admit she wants to feel beautiful, and finally spend money on her beauty without guilt, right? 

best lip blushing in LA

Again, not to Lindsey. To Lindsey, it was my body. My own canvas, my own painting, my own work of art. To do with, decorate, and honor as I pleased. She, in turn, treated it the same. Meticulously mapping my lips, the symmetry or lack thereof of my features, color-matching my favorite liner.

I trust Lindsey deeply. Not just for our friendship but for her work ethic. For her perfectionism, her willingness to map my face, and her plan of action for as long as it took to get it exactly right. If I can recommend one quality in a permanent makeup artist, it is perfectionism. I’ve now spent hours in her chair, letting her take a tattoo machine to the most delicate parts of my face.

Because of its permanence, I could not doubt my deservingness. I deserved to feel how I wanted to feel: beautiful. Zoomed out: I deserve a life where I can spend money on myself in any way that feels right for me. On anything that made me feel the way I wanted to feel.

Where To Find Yourself

I now see my choice to make my makeup routine simpler as a subtle nod to my own self-respect, despite living in a society that tells me wanting to feel beautiful is only a swallowing of the poison of impossible beauty standards.

As we all must, I have defined for myself what is the standard. Where the line between feeling like I must be fixed, or must be perfect, and my own natural desire to feel confident is in the sand. Dissecting what has been shoved down women's throats, and where feminism's sometimes false empowerment resides, telling us that any desire to look pleasing is toxic. We are still hunter-gatherer minded. The strongest, fittest, and best-looking still seek out their match for the most part in an equally strong and good-looking partner to mate with. And whenever I look at my beloved, I think I've done well to have taken care of myself.

I could have stood up for all the natural beauty I was given and risen against impossible beauty standards of our culture by not indulging, but I choose to honor instead what I feel is beautiful, and what I feel I deserve. Rather than taking one of two polarizing sides: that beauty is either oppressive or self expressive, I chose to find my own line to tow. My own definition of what is healthy confidence and what is fueled by the pressure of others. I choose myself. I choose to trust what feels right for me in a world constantly telling me what to do, how to look, and who deserves what. 

Am I saying everyone should get lip blushing in LA? Of course not. I'm saying: define your own beauty standards. If that includes cosmetic procedures, now you know where to find:

or microblading, or tattoos, or just a fun damn time. Tell her Rachael sent you.


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