A Question For You
Whenever I am in a decent branch of Boots or Superdrug and I have five minutes spare, I make sure that I go and look at the Nail Care section, just to check up on things. I love the fact that while Chanel nail polishes are a somewhat steep £16.50 each, there is always a carnival of super-cheap buffers and strange nail hardeners and a never-ending parade of multi-coloured (yet always agonising) toe separators. I love this stuff. I will never tire of it. It reminds me of growing up and spending my pocket money for the first time. It reminds me of spending evenings with my mother, earnestly discussing which product might be best for my needs. (She was very patient, and always took me seriously. Which should come as no surprise). And it reminds me of evenings I now spend with my sister, watching trash on telly and painting her nails for her.
But there is one product in the Nail Care section that never fails to fascinate me. Half the time, I just go to check that it is still there. It has never not been there since I began buying nail products. And it has no place there, as it is not for one’s nails.
It is Lipcote.
My amazement that this product is still for sale is as strong as my memories of trying to use it in the early nineties. It was a make-up rite of passage. First of all, you brushed your lips vigorously with a toothbrush to ensure they were silky smooth. Or, if you were super-cool, you might use some Body Shop Lipscuff. Then you applied some lip balm and waited for it to sink in, while nonchalantly flicking through a copy of Just 17. (NB ‘applied’. One did not ‘put on’ lip balm in such a context). Then the Heather Shimmer was applied and the lips were blotted on a tissue. (Never loo roll. Never, ever loo roll). Finally, the Lipcote was painted on. Yeah, painted on. Eeeeeww.
My recollection is that Lipcote was an utterly useless product that started to peel off your face almost immediately. It left me looking like a combination of Count Laszlo de Almásy and someone who had been licking Elmer’s glue from a saucer like a thirsty kitten. As far as I was concerned, its sole purpose was to imply that my whirlwind lifestyle of endless supping from cocktail glasses and kissing of suitors rendered it an essential tool. This was not the case.
Did anyone else have the same experience? Does anyone still use it? Does anyone know anyone who still uses it? Why is it still there? Why is it sold in Nail Care?
Honestly, I’d love to know.
Filed under: My Mother, Why, why, WHY? | 23 Comments