pink lipstick: why I love my 30s (vol. 2)

It’s my 31st birthday and the perfect time to pick this series back up. (Part one: true #squadgoals.)

So many people fear their 30s, like it’s some space-time continuum that magically causes all metabolism and fun to close up shop. But I’ve had a year in this new decade and would pick who I am now over who I was at 20 any. day.

These are the reasons why.

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If you didn’t know, tomboys are just called low-maintenance when they’re 30 and (mostly) past the days of skinned knees and jumping out of trees. While I’ve been through many, many, many phases in my life, that’s who I am at the baseline: The girl who lives in a ponytail or topknot, can tell you more about RBIs than eyeliner, and, for the most part, would rather spend her morning minutes writing another chapter than curling her hair.

(To my friends and the moms at my kid’s preschool who are perfectly coiffed and wearing real clothing every time I see you before 8 a.m., I admire you.)

The difference between 20s Laurie and 30s Laurie? I now know the true value of running a curling iron through my hair, the extra pep in my step when I replace my usual T-shirt and yoga pants for a dress.

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It started with pink lipstick.

I admired the bravery of other women to add a bold red or pink shade to their daily routine, even when going to the grocery store or shuffling kids to volleyball practice. In them, I saw fierceness and femininity. I didn’t own a single tube of lipstick.

That all changed when my best friend and lifelong authority on all things girlie visited a few months ago. I watched as she snapped open the visor mirror next to me and reapplied a pop of pink.

“That’s a little out of my wheelhouse, right?” 20-year-old Laurie would have assumed before scolding herself for using the word wheelhouse. “That will make my teeth look yellow. Most reds don’t even work with my skin tone anyway. Low-maintenance people like me don’t draw attention to themselves like that.”

When you’re 30, you grab life by the tube and wear it — for you — because it brings out the fierce and flirty and feminine that’s already in you. If you fancy that little something-something, you drive to the closest drugstore and buy the reds and corals and pinks your best friend picks out for you. Not for anyone else.

Okay, the fact that it wows my husband and adds approximately 50% more fancy to date night doesn’t hurt. But to all of the people who actually knew me in my 20s, this is a different thing than my chunky glitter eyeliner phase. I promise! It’s more of a mentality than an attempt to prove something to others or add perceived value to my life.

The ability to be comfortable in my own skin wearing yoga pants and no makeup isn’t mutually exclusive with the wish for a little glam sometimes in the form of pink lipstick and glitter nail polish. I wish I could tell 20s Laurie that’s not even close to what beauty and value are all about. Those are the things you already possess that no crow’s feet or cowlicks, no magazines or mean girls can ever take away.

That’s another blog post entirely, however. And don’t even get me started on the improved, more flattering muumuu, the T-shirt dress.

Whether you’re 20 or 200, here’s to finding your shade and owning it if that’s your thing. Here’s to knowing that, with or without it, you are lovely in every way.

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