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April 20 2014

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Reminiscing With…Norma Kamali

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Beauty Nostalgia is a new weekly column on Beauty Counter in which we ask influencers, tastemakers, and some of our favorite industry experts to wax poetic on the sticks, salves, and sprays that helped shape who they are today.

The Pro: Norma Kamali, fashion designer

The Product:“I remember my mother putting on red lipstick in the bathroom. I remember the sound of the metal top placed on the porcelain sink, the slide of the tube, and then the purposeful stroke on her top lip—one half to the left from the center out, and one half to right from the center out—followed by the stroke on the bottom from left to right. The blue-red lipstick color and even the scent of the lipstick are unforgettable. I was young, very young, and I looked up at my mom with total awe and desire to do theses very female rituals. She would pull a brush through her hair and then off she would go.

When I was 19 and on my first trip to Paris in the sixties, I noticed that so many women all wore red nails and red lips—the very same amazing blue-red color. I was fixated on it, and in a short time I was wearing Yves Saint Laurent red number 36 lipstick. I wore it for years, even after they no longer made the color. I mixed my own version and wore it with red nail polish. My dark hair, red lips and nails, and lots of vintage costume jewelry became my trademark. But most of all, that lipstick is part of my history and described who I was at the time.”

Photo: Evan Agostini/Getty Images

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  1. nhughey1 says:

    Love the story, but am amazed at how good this woman looks!