People have always said that straight men don't like to kiss women who wear lipstick, to which I have always said, who the fuck cares? Women will wear whatever they want and kiss whoever they want, within reason. It is not on us to worry about what sticky gloss might come off on your face, or which rich red might transfer onto the pressed collar of your white shirt — and besides, it'll all come out in the wash. Only recently have I started to think of my own lipstick choices in terms of kissing. But it's not my boyfriend I'm so worried about: It's my dog.
As adorable as my 70-pound baby looks with a poppy-red lip print in the pale scruff on top of her head, I find myself wondering whether the products I wear on my face could be harmful to her. The possibilities are endless and terrifying; they keep me up at night. (The book I've been reading before bed every evening, about the assassination by poison of Russian FSB officer-turned-British secret agent Alexander Litvinenko who effectively solved his own murder, has nothing to do with that.) This, I think, is exactly how Jessica Alba must have felt before she started the Honest Company, hoping to create natural, non-toxic products that were safe for her children and children everywhere. Exactly like this.
But without the disposable income and potential investors to help me establish a safe-for-dogs health-and-beauty empire of my own, I'm doing the next best thing by wearing makeup that's natural and safe enough for my dog to lick off my face. Is that weird? Probably, yes, but she is a big dog with a big tongue and moves very quickly, so these things do happen. Fortunately, when they do, I'll be wearing Context's Nude Balm, an excellent sheer, creamy, shiny lipstick-balm hybrid that I can't get enough of right now. It's conveniently made with candelilla wax, watermelon extract, and vitamins C and E, and without parabens, sulfates, and phthalates. (The brand is also cruelty-free, which is good, because I would not want any animals harmed in the making of a product that's safe for my animal.)
Really, maybe I'm the one who should be more concerned about safety — I'm the one letting a dog that eats sticks off the ground and dust out of corners lick my face. But you know what? Love is love, baby, and good lipstick is good lipstick. We should all be so lucky as to have both... and dogs. Everyone should have a dog.