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Can a Lipstick Lift Seasonal Depression? Um, Yeah!

Who needs sunlight when you've got bright, pretty lipstick? Not me.
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I'm currently in the midst of a wretched (and OK fine, entirely undiagnosed) bout of S.A.D. -- that unfortunately/hilariously acronym-ed disorder that afflicts those of us with senses of self so weak, the loss of a few hours of daylight is cause enough for our lives to fall into complete disarray. I know there are those lamps that supposedly help, but realistically, why would I want to make my apartment even brighter when I can just stay in bed sulking and hibernating until the warm weather decides to finally return? I think it's a valid point.

The S.A.D.ness hit me particularly hard last week: I woke up, looked in the mirror and was suddenly four shades closer to 'ghost' on the drugstore foundation scale than I'd been a day earlier. It was the last straw. At a bar over Thanksgiving, a guy I hadn't seen since high school asked me what'd happened to my 'cute' freckles because he'd "always thought of [me] as having freckles."

He was right: My visage had become a pasty, translucent shadow of its former sun-kissed self. I obviously needed a change, and I wasn't about to run over to Home Depot for a new lamp -- um yeah, way too cold out for that. Instead, I decided to get proactive within the realm of my apartment: I switched out my wintery jazz Pandora station for some decidedly un-seasonal Lana del Rey, lit my fav summery-scented candle that's practically burnt out because I apparently light it every freaking time I'm feeling bummed, and started rummaging like a mad woman through my overflowing yet fully neglected makeup bin.

I was on the hunt. The hunt for ORANGE LIPSTICK.

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See, I've been stuck in a matte red and merlot lipstick rut for a pretty long time now, and despite it being the middle of January, I just felt the need to have something citrusy on my face. Plus every fashion person in the world right now is of the orange-lipstick-is-the-new-red state of mind -- forget the fact that the only true-orange lipstick I've ever owned has never not looked horrible on me, tan or no tan. When I was little, I'd always beg my mother to buy me apricots at the market (cutest fruit EVER, don't deny it), but I'd gag every time I actually had to eat one. Guess some things never change.

Long story short, I never did find that horrid orange lipstick (maybe I'd tossed it once in a moment of clarity, IDK). But I DID find this: An unopened tube of Cargo Essential Lip Color in the blissfully named shade 'Palm Beach.' It was love at first swipe. Picture a lipstick lovechild between orange and hot pink that grows up to be way more attractive than either of its parents and somehow possesses the unparalleled ability to transport its wearer from her dust bunny-laden Astoria one-bedroom to an all-inclusive tropical resort with bonus snorkeling package thrown in for good measure: That's Palm Beach.

Since I started wearing PB (yes, we're on a nickname basis now), I've gotten more compliments than I ever have from wearing any other single product in my life. I swear there's something magnetic about it. On a recent afternoon, two work colleagues individually commented on its amazingness, my guy friend asked if he could borrow it for his upcoming drag show (damn right I'm counting that as a compliment) and the cashier at Urban Outfitters commented on how awesome the bright coral looked on me. A middle-aged man actually stopped me in Times Square because of my pretty lipstick in the most un-creepy, actually flattering way that a middle-aged man can do such a thing. Alright, so maybe it was a little creepy. But I wasn't mad at all.

It's weird, but catching a reflection of myself with this stuff on -- be it in a mirror or the window of Chipotle (no shame) -- actually does seem to improve my mood. And obviously, the influx of compliments doesn't hurt either. At this rate, I'll be needing a few more tubes of PB by the time it's actually getting warm out again and my S.A.D. subsides. Or maybe I'll just get a grip and buy one of those lamps...

What beauty product do you use to lift your spirits when the weather outside is frightful or otherwise?