This decade, I graduated middle school, high school, and college, and started my first full-time job, so finding one item that I’ve used for all ten years seemed like kind of an impossible task. For starters, I’m nowhere near the same person (or size) I was at 14. But after Hanukkah dinner, standing in my childhood bathroom with my recently used makeup sprawled out on the counter, I noticed my oldest, most beloved product, still so much a part of my everyday routine that I had nearly forgotten I first bought it nearly a decade ago: Bobbi Brown lipstick in Blondie Pink.
I checked my Nordstrom order history and confirmed that I first picked this up in 2011. At the time, I was attending an all-girls boarding school in Connecticut, where we spent our Sundays trolling the local mall in J.Crew puffer vests and American Eagle jeans. We were all just starting to play with the idea of makeup. I hated the feeling of lip gloss — too sticky — but countless cool girls and editors in Teen Vogue and Seventeen told me I needed it in my life. Since my mother has worn lipstick almost every day for as long as I could remember, I figured that might be a decent alternative. So one weekend, I headed to the Bobbi Brown counter — which I knew was a “mature” brand because my mother and grandmother wore it — in search of the perfect first lipstick.
I didn’t want anything too flashy because I was still new to this whole lipstick thing, so I picked up a pinkish-neutral called Blondie Pink and applied it to my lips with a tiny sample brush. Immediately I fell in love. The color was subtle, but enough to slightly enhance the pink undertones in my skin. I wouldn’t call it a nude for my skin tone — it’s definitely a pink — but it didn’t look forced or like I was attempting a look too far out of my 14-year-old comfort zone. The best part was it actually felt nice to have on. The formula was creamy, and it felt like it even hydrated my lips. It wasn’t sticky or too stiff. And it was easy to apply, an important feature for a beginner lipstick-wearer. There was only one problem: It was too expensive for my tween budget, so I left the mall without it.
A couple months later the lipstick went on sale for a little over 20 bucks. I bought it and started to wear it all the time — to school dances, to the mall on weekends, even to class. By my sophomore year of high school, I had almost used up the entire tube, so I bought two more. One because I needed it, and the other in case it was discontinued. For years, Bobbie Brown’s Blondie Pink lipstick has been my go-to for major life events. I wore it to both my high school and college graduation, on my first date with my now-boyfriend of nearly four years, my first interview with my now-editor at the Strategist, and even my first day on the job. It still makes me feel the same as it did that day at the mall: a touch more polished without looking too made up. I know it will always match whatever other makeup I do and outfit I wear, and with a more elaborate eye look, it works for formal events, too. Most of the time, I don’t even notice I have it on, thanks to a long-lasting formula that doesn’t end up on my chin after lunch or coffee.
Blondie Pink was actually discontinued in 2011 (it was good I bought that extra), but I did find a good dupe in Sandwash Pink, which is perhaps a smidge lighter. And though I don’t wear this lipstick as much as I used to — a decade later, I have over 100 lipsticks instead of just one — whenever I need something reliable, I turn to Bobbi Brown. As much as I’ve changed over all these years, I still feel like myself when I’m wearing it.
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