Etymology: probably from the French femme for woman, Latin femina
Definition: A lesbian who plays a female role in a homosexual relationship.
— Merriam-Webster online dictionary
Clearly, Merriam-Webster’s needs a little updating — we’ve all come a long way since 1958, baby. While in lesbian and dyke culture the term “femme” still generally indicates a more feminine outward appearance than that of boyish butches, the modern definition of femme can indicate a whole range of feminine expression. From “high femmes” who dress like proper ladies in heels and skirts 24/7 all the way to “tomboy femmes” who might wear engineer boots and lacy bras, femmes interpret their femmedom as they damn well please — including femmes of different genders.
Because, you see, when Merriam’s wasn’t looking, or maybe when they were coyly looking the other way, femmes, in all their glory, started coming in more brands than lesbian. But while this seems like a wide-ranging term, there’s one thing that ties all us femmes — boy-femmes, bi-femmes, high femmes, tomboy femmes, tranny femmes and more — together. That thing is the one essential element of a femme’s arsenal: lipstick.
Femmes are damn sexy — that’s the point of all the lipstick, the lacy undergarments, and yes, even the engineer boots and skinned knees. What keeps us our sexy femme selves when all the undergarments and boots are removed is our kissable, color swept lips — but keeping the lipstick intact is a trick in and of itself, especially when we’re favoring our lucky lovers with hot kisses, juicy pussylicking and/or a ravenous blowjob on a real or silicone cock. Keeping your lipstick perfect during oral sex is one of the femme’s ultimate challenges — and triumphs.
Those of us who are challenged to keep our lipstick on (and where it’s supposed to stay) during cocktail parties and dinner have serious concerns when it comes to giving head. In porn, they show starlets that either look like their makeup has been shellacked onto their faces or within seconds they look like a watercolor painting left out in the rain.
What the unfortunate truth is, when you go down with your usual lipstick on, you’re going to a) eat a lot of lipstick unintentionally, and b) wind up looking like you’re re-enacting JG Ballard’s Crash at the Lancôme counter.
But we need not fret, us femmes who want to look picture perfect with a mouthful of man or a toungueful of girl. Keeping your lipstick unspoiled when you go down is a snap with the latest lip technologies. Drag queens brought makeup setting techniques to the front lines, and now even the most corporate makeup companies have lipstick that can take whatever you throw at it — including a fierce blowjob or a thorough tongue-lashing.
Preparation is everything. After brushing your teeth, brush your lips a little to exfoliate the surface and remove dry skin. Let your lips dry before you put on any of the formulas I recommend in this article, and be sure not to put any lipstick bases or lip moisturizers down. Lip set and long-lasting lipstick formulas go on and stay in place for several hours, no matter what you do, so it’s important to have a clean and smooth set of lips.
Drag queens, the fairy godmothers of all-night makeup techniques, brought the technology of stay-put lip color from the theaters to the streets — and into a few back alleys as well, so I’ve heard. The best theater technique for making lipstick unmovable for hours on end is a liquid called Lip Set by Signature Solutions. Though sometimes difficult to find, look for it in beauty supply and theater makeup supply stores. Simply apply the lipstick of your choice, paint the Lip Set on top with the supplied brush, and let it dry completely.
Make sure you have your lipstick just right before you paint, and sorry, gloss on top will un-set your lips. Sweep a light coat of the clear liquid over your lips, and keep them open in an “O” shape until they dry, and your lips might tingle (it feels like menthol) for a minute. This will give you faultless lipstick that you can do anything with for four to six hours — and if you can make this stuff budge with oral sex, then you have probably the best oral sex karma in the world (and so does your giddy, smiling lover).
The great thing about Lip Set is that you can use it with whatever color you like, but the sad thing is that glossy lips are in style right now and gloss ruins Lip Set. It’s also somewhat matte, and drying. There is another type of lip set available from a different company that you can find in drug stores (identifiable by a roll-on applicator), but it doesn’t work very well at all. In Canada and parts of the UK, Lipcote is an excellent, highly recommended equivalent. However, Benefit’s She-Laq, though a similar formula, is lacking in stay-put power when it comes to lips (and is very drying).
There is a range of options at the drugstore in the form of “stay-put” or “eight-hour” lipsticks. These lipsticks come in a somewhat limited variety of colors, and you need to decide pretty carefully if you’ve got the right color before applying the instantly setting base coat on your eager little lips. Make sure you don’t buy “lasting” lipsticks that only come in the standard single twist-tube — they wouldn’t make it through a gardenburger and fries, let alone a raucous bout of cocksucking. Get the ones that have a two-step process, the lip color (base) and moisturizing top coat — ahhh, moisturizing.
Application is a bit tricky as you have to be very precise with the sponge-tip color applicator wand, but these lip colors really stay put, they’re fun, and there are constantly new colors and styles released the market, including new lines of high-gloss and frosted colors. Be sure with these, as with the other formulas, to have a clean and dry set of lips to apply to, and use the moisturizing top coat religiously (but, you know, don’t stop in the middle of the action to apply it).
All of these fabulous eight-hour formulas can be found at your local drugstore. And as far as how the individual brands stack up, or stay put, rigorous testing has its rewards. Mmmm, I love the testing and the rewards. Cover Girl’s Outlast (and the frosts, Outlast Pearls) is at the top of the heap — it really stays put. The absolute winner when it comes to staying power and style, however, is Revlon’s Colorstay. A decent selection of colors, sure, but a nice thin base of color gets topped by a thick, luxurious gloss that looks like colored glass and keeps lips soft.
Granted, the gloss will disappear once you begin your oral adventures, but the color stays right where you put it. My biggest disappointment came with Lipfinity, but than again, these lipsticks weren’t exactly formulated for the type of endurance tests that you and I relish putting them through. But maybe they should be… Imagine the laboratory; lab coats, nurses’ uniforms, rubber gloves… Happy testing!