The Motherlode Lipstick Combo

I have always wondered about secret family recipes. Where do they really start? If they’re as old as most mothers suggest they are, how did they initially get clocked? More pressingly, how does the initial pass down begin and most importantly, is the interpretation, ostensibly littered by subsequent generations, ever as good as the original masterpiece-so-to-speak was?

I ask because my mother has been making a traditional Persian rice dish with cinnamon and carrots and sometimes chicken for as long as I’ve been able to chew and it is, she says, the best thing her mother gave her. Ask any of her three sisters to expound upon this idea of best-heirloom-ever and without argument, they will agree. The problem is, all three of them make the same dish. I’ve tried them all and it must be said: never ever do any of the four respective iterations taste at all like each other.

In fact, you’d never even know they’re using the same recipe.

My grandmother no longer lives which makes consulting her palette difficult if not impossible but I digress. My point is about recipes. How they get started, how they get passed down and whether or not something gets lost in translation.

But I don’t cook. So when I’m ripe enough to start passing anything down, it likely won’t be nutritious — not traditionally, anyway. No. So I’ve been thinking about the recipes I have accrued. Some are of the style variety. If you’re wearing denim cut offs, offset their boyish nature with a pair of espadrilles. If you want to wear a beach dress, throw your spectators off with a pair of sneakers or constructed, inappropriate-for-anything-but-pavement sandals. But these are subject to change.

Other are more tricks and tips than they are recipes: forgo throw pillows and win at least three minutes of your day back, everyday, or use dry shampoo instead of showers when you’re really, really tired.

And recently, I’ve come upon what I want to call The Motherlode Red Lipstick Combo and I want to call it the simplest recipe I will ever pass down. It only takes two ingredients and like, three smears across your top and bottom lis et voila, there you have it, a really good shade of red lip, well-textured and all.

You start with Dior’s Addict Fluid Stick, which is transparent, glossy, and red enough to call itself a stick but clear enough to wear beachside and tell people you woke up like that. I’ve been using #551. It is vaguely orange and makes the second/final step, Armani’s Lip Maestro in “Hollywood” (it is deep and “demure” like an actress or literal red carpet) –which when worn alone can be quite thick, dark and dry — a little lighter and softer and more playful.

Apply the fluid stick over the Lip Maestro should you please, or simply for a touch up to create a sandwich. And just like that, it really is a secret family recipe. I’m glad I shared with you.

-Leandra Medine

Photos by Krista Anna Lewis

  • I get what you mean. My mum makes a killer fesenjan & kuku. The weird thing is that everyone makes it differently. You’d think a particular dish would taste similar, but go to a restaurant or a relatives house, & each one doesn’t taste the same. :] // ☼

  • juju

    I love your outfit. what is it?

  • Looks delicious. How long does it bake for?

  • I love how you write so much! <3

  • Dominique
  • There should be an MR meet and greet wherein this rice dish is served.

  • My “family recipe” is a Polish coffeecake. My great grandmother made it, and passed the recipe down to my mom…who claims she won’t pass it down to me (something about skipping generations). I just think she’s worried I’ll tweak it (which is half the fun of handing down recipes…for me anyway). 🙂

    Thanks for sharing your recipe! Sounds like the easiest red lip ever!

  • Molly

    Where is that lovely top from?

  • Michelle Glassow Schroll

    A red lip just always looks classic and fabulous! 🙂

  • GapToothedGirl

    It’s nice and not so strong…

    I’ll try this recipe!

    XOX, Gap.

  • Actually! A fun series for MR would be family recipes every once and a while. I am sure all of your families have amazing, diverse recipes.

  • Andres Poiche
  • Elizabeth

    Please please I need to know what that ring necklace is obsession created in about 15 seconds.

  • Interesting post! I like the sound of the mother lode stick combo as well!

    The Velvet Black // UK Style, Beauty and Lifestyle Blog

  • Love that color on you!! #redcarpetready


  • Francisc

    Your lipstick looks so chic, I love this red!

  • Mints

    where’s your jewellery from leandra? loooove it.