There are some things that red-lipstick-wearers know to be true:
The search for that perfect shade is a Grail Quest that will last a lifetime. And as soon as you find it, they’ll discontinue it. In the meantime, you just walk around the drug store like this:
Technique. It’s a killer. Ok, so first foundation, then powder, lip liner, stain, and finally lipstick? But not from the tube. Has to be applied with a brush. Wait, was the powder supposed to come before your first application, or after? And then blott? I don’t even know anymore.
Perfection is the only acceptable paradigm. Nothing has the potential to look messier than red lip color.
Whiten those pearly whites. Red lipstick does not make your teeth look whiter. Every minute stain left from coffee, tea, or your long-gone smoking habit will be heinously highlighted. You have been warned.
Every water bottle you own is gonna look like this: No matter how many times goes through the dishwasher or soaks in the sink.
Contouring. What is this witchcraft?!
One is never enough. I have an entire make-up bag of red lipstick, lip liners, and stains. And I’m not sorry.
Friends, family, and lovers BEWARE. My kiss is deadly! Uh, well, I mean, not deadly, but definitely long-lasting.
And your average make-up remover? HA! Try a sand-blaster, my friend. That shit is never coming all the way off. Doubly true if you touch or wipe your mouth by accident. “Oh this? Yeah, I’m just not responsible enough to wear lipstick without getting it all over myself.”
In the end, it’s all worth it to apply that liquid confidence and strut your stuff. No matter if your battle armor is applied out of a tube — you rock that mutha-f*cka.
Language is a special thing to me. I’m a sign language professional and an interpreter, an avid book worm, and a writer (sort of). I love language, not only it’s nitty-gritty syntactical side, but also it’s ridiculous idiosyncratic irregularities. I love historical linguistics, I love cultural linguistics. I love phonology, morphology, and syntactical studies. And of all the quirks present in any given language, I have a special relationship with terms of venery, also known as collective nouns or nouns of assembly.
Terms of venery are entertaining quirks of language, historical hold-overs from a time when having collective nouns for groups of animals was a useful linguistic tool for hunters. In the 7th grade, my English teacher made a short lesson of collective nouns, asking for students to come up and write as many as possible on the board. There were your typical responses: a school of fish, a herd of cows, a pod of whales. When I gave my contribution — a gaggle of geese — my teacher stopped me. “That’s not a real word,” she said. “Really?” I asked. “I’m pretty sure it is.” But she had never heard of it, so it was wiped off the board. Years later, though, I ran into that same teacher who told me about a friend who had used the phrase “gaggle of geese” — thus, I was vindicated.
Since then, I’ve enjoyed learning more about collective nouns. I mean, who wouldn’t? With their often alliterative quality and poetic cadence, nouns of assembly are vivid literary tools to help the reader envision the collective which is being described. I mean, “an ostentation of peacocks” — can’t you just see that in your mind? It’s perfect!
In celebration of terms of venery, I’ve collected a few of my favorites to share with you. I urge you to take advantage of them at every available opportunity. After all, variety is the spice of life. Why say, “a bunch of spiders” when the phrase “a cluster of spiders” is available to you! (Sadly, despite what the Internet may have told you, “a nightmare of spiders” or “a nightmare of crabs” is not, strictly speaking, an accepted term of venery. Though by all accounts it should be.)
Collective Nouns to use for Winning at Life:
A watch of nightingales
A smack of jellyfish
A herd of sea urchins (This seems somewhat misrepresentative to me, given the relative immobility of sea urchins, but whatever.)
A bloat of hippos
An unkindness of ravens
A stud of mares (Is this something of a contradiction in terms?)
A labor of moles
A float of crocodiles
A hover of trout
A shrewdness of apes
A destruction of (wild) cats
A skulk of foxes
An intrusion of cockroaches (Yes, I think it’s fair to say that five or more cockroaches are intrusive.)
A boil of hawks
A kindle of kittens (This one is just fun to say. I might go to the Humane Society and adopt a few kittens, just so I can tell someone, “I have a kindle of kittens at home.”)
A murder of crows (A murder. Of hyper-intelligent black terror birds. Coming your way!)
A parliament of owls
A wisdom of wombats (Seems like this one and the one above ought to be switched, yeah? Wombats don’t strike me as being especially “wise”. But I can definitely see wombats in government.)
A business of ferrets (The first time this term was seen, in The Boke of Saint Albans, a treatise on hunting terms and other interests of gentlemen, it was a “busyness” of ferrets, as reference to their frenetic style of hunting prey. Over time, the form was corrupted to a “business” of ferrets.)
A cackle of hyenas
A mob of emus
A cluster of cats
A troubling of goldfish (Troubling, why? I’m not sure.)
A bank of swans (Swans, actually, have the longest list of collectives associated with them, including “bevy”, “drift”, “eyrar”, “flight”, “game”, “herd”, “sownder”, “team”, “wedge”, “whiting”, and my personal favorite — “lamentation”.
It’s also fun to note that collective nouns were also expanded to humorously encompass groups of humans and professions, such as “a doctrine of doctors”, “a sentence of judges”, and delightfully: “a press gaggle” to refer to an informal meeting of the press with the White House press secretary.
Tips for completing an at-home, do-it-yourself, dye job.
You will need: A box of Blue Light Special, discount hair dye in Red #44, a comb, rubber gloves, and a towel that you don’t mind staining.
Upon successful completion of this project you will:
– look as if you are bleeding from a massive blunt force trauma to the skull and/or lacerations to your upper extremities.
– have imbued your home with the intoxicating aroma of cheap chemicals.
– have an unexpected, wholly new color scheme in your bathroom.
– have an uncontrollable urge to take absurd selfies.
Ready? Let’s begin!
Step One: Make sure your children are either in bed or out of the house. This may cost you either sleep and/or the favor of your spouse.
Step Two: Assemble your tools. Clothing optional (saves on the amount of clean up afterwards and eliminates the possibility of introducing stray globs of hair dye into your next batch of laundry). Put in your contacts — ain’t no way you’re getting this done in glasses.
Step Three: Adjourn to the bathroom. Follow the instructions on the box. Carefully.
Step Four: Realize that you mixed Tube # 1 into Bottle #3 instead of Bottle #2. Quickly transfer the contents of Bottle #3 into Bottle #2. Clean up the ensuing spill and scrape the excess off the counter and into Bottle #2. Realize you forgot to put on rubber gloves.
Step Five: Wash hands vigorously before they are permanently stained orange. Finish mixing the contents of Tube #1 and Bottle #3 into Bottle #2. Apply gloves.
Step Six: Apply mixture to the roots of your hair, evenly distributing the mixture from root to tip. Avoid contact with the skin and eyes.
Step Seven: Fail to avoid contact with your skin and/or eyes.
Step Eight: Immediately develop an itch in the corner of your right eye. Locate the gloved finger that appears to have not yet come in contact with dye and scratch. Realize you were wrong about the dye.
Step Nine: Finish applying the dye to your remaining hair with one eye shut.
Step Ten: Pass a comb through your hair to ensure the dye is evenly distributed. Pile your hair on top of your head and set a timer for 30 minutes.
Begin the frantic race against time to remove errant dye from your ears, neck, forehead, cheeks, arms, wrists, shoulders and various bathroom fixtures.
Step Eleven: Fail.
Remember the dye-encrusted comb that you left beside the sink. Retrieve and give a rinse. Give up, and dispose of comb.
Step Twelve: As you begin to accept the new color scheme of your bathroom, prepare to hop in the shower to rinse out the dye.
Pro-tip: “shampoo” your hair with the dye as you hold your head beneath the running water, ensuring that the dye is thoroughly incorporated through out your roots as well as beneath your fingernails. Make sure you have color-safe conditioner at the ready.
Step Thirteen: Realize you don’t own any color-safe conditioner. Realize also that the hot water is off. Run downstairs to wash your hair in the kitchen sink until the water runs clear.
Step Fourteen: Develop a terrible crick in your neck from having your head bent over into the sink. Realize the water will never run clear.
Step Fifteen: Towel dry, then blow dry and style as desired. Or, if in the case you are tackling this project at 11pm at night, go to bed with wet hair to avoid waking your slumbering child. Sleep on old towels to avoid staining your bedding.