He saw red!

September 4, 2012

Last week I was attending an event and saw a very attractive baldheaded gentleman standing across the room. I went over, smiled and introduced myself to him. He smiled back and made a sweeping gesture with his index finger across his teeth and said, “Do this.” Yes, you guessed it — I had lipstick on my teeth! Talk about embarrassing! Instead of dazzling him with my smile – he saw red! Red teeth that is!! I was caught with lipstick smeared on my teeth! Not the impression I was trying to make. Especially in a business setting!

Even though I was mortified, I was also grateful that he felt comfortable enough to tell me that I was walking around with lipstick-smudged teeth!

If you encounter someone with lipstick on her teeth, return the favor. Discreetly inform them of the smudge.

How to avoid the colorful smile

First impressions are important, especially if you’re in a business setting. My advice, to avoid being left “red-in-the-face” when meeting with a new client or mingling at a networking event is to take a few moments and do a mirror check before you enter the room. Check that there’s nothing stuck in your teeth, and test to make sure your lipstick isn’t going end up on your teeth!

To ensure that you haven’t applied too much lipstick – which is the main reason we end up with some of it smeared on our teeth – you’ll need to perform the Finger Test. Follow these steps before you leave the house!

  1. Wash your hands with soap and water.
  2. Stick your index finger into your mouth as if you were pointing to the back of your throat.
  3. Close your lips around the base of your finger.
  4. Pull your finger out of your mouth while keeping your lips pursed around your finger.
  5. Wash your hands.

This is a really common technique for making sure that excess lipstick doesn’t migrate to your front teeth.

So, how do we avoid getting lipstick on our teeth, ladies? I’ve also hear that applying a thin layer of petroleum jelly works. What do you think? Do you have a trick?

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Posted by Margaret in Business Etiquette and tagged , .


2 Responses to He saw red!

  1. Shaila: September 6, 2012 at 3:27 pm

    Turn it into a lip stain. Apply a thin layer or lip balm to keep lips moisturizer. Dab, do not swipe red lipstick, purse lips onto a thin tissue to remove excess, dab second layer, do the same. Then dab third layer, then purse lips on tissue paper very lightly. That should do the trick for long lasting lipstick and stain-free lips.:)

  2. Margaret: September 12, 2012 at 10:25 am

    Shaila, thanks for the comment and for the tip! Sometimes just taking that extra time when you apply will save you the embarrassment later!

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