Author: Cecily Kellogg

In Defense of Dark Lipstick (And Other Apparent Mid-Life No-Nos)

I stumbled across an article this morning that said women in their 40s shouldn’t wear dark or dramatic lipstick because the color can get trapped in fine lines around the lips, making them look older. I felt a flare of rebellion at the idea. In fact, right now I am wearing a deep burgundy lip stain because, well, that’ll show ‘em. Yet I chose the lip color I’m wearing because it’s a lip stain rather than a lipstick, and is therefore far less likely to bleed into those little cracks that I do, indeed, now have around my mouth.. I found myself looking online for tips to prevent my lipstick from bleeding (which is apparently a rather complicated process involving foundation and cotton swabs dipped in powder), because I don’t want to highlight my age with a bad makeup choice. It’s a delicate balance for a woman of a certain age. I don’t care how many charming articles I see declaring that “40 is the new 30.” It’s bullshit. For me, 45 isn’t graceful midlife. …

10 Years After Losing Twins, A Mother Reflects

I was almost six months pregnant with twin boys after undergoing IVF when, at a routine anatomy ultrasound, we discovered one twin had died, and shortly after we got the rest of the bad news. I was suffering from preeclampsia, a severe case, and I had to be admitted to the hospital immediately. Twelve hours after I was admitted, the doctors surrounded my bed and told me that I was going to die unless the pregnancy was terminated. Either my son and I could both die, or I would just lose my son. It was the worst day of my life. After I came home from the hospital I disappeared into grief. For three weeks I lay on my couch, watching reruns of the vampire show Angel, and listlessly eating junk food. I spent most of my time in the gray of loneliness, a hand on my empty belly, feeling terribly lost. I remember handing out Halloween candy to the neighbor’s kids while silent tears ran down my face. I remember occasionally swimming out of …

Finding My Perfect Pink

When I was 11 years old, I was standing in line at the mall when two girls in their 20s began oohing and aahing over my hair. “Those streaks are so foxy!” said one, while the other lifted my hair and began holding it up to the light. “Where did you get it done?” she asked. Well, I’d gotten it done at the pool in my apartment complex by the New Mexico sunshine. I remember feeling oddly powerful in that moment: I was just a kid, and these women coveted my hair — my normally very brown, very boring, not-quite-curly-but-not-quite-straight hair. The next week I bought a bottle of Sun-In with my babysitting money, and thus began my 35-year love affair with dyeing my hair. I lived in Michigan during high school, was poor as dirt and had all the wrong clothes. I combated this by becoming one of the lone punk rockers at my high school; I bought men’s t-shirts, hand painted them and then cut them up so badly I had to safety …