Down the mouth”, Aunty’s mum says when stray sauce or food pieces are displayed on the face where they don’t belong.  This is a great service she provides and, whenever I eat now, I hear her words.  If I am dining with someone, I purse my lips up and ask if I have food around my face.  A quick check in the mirror or on the Smartphone camera does the same job if I am eating alone.

I am quite sure most people suffer anxiety when their dining companion has a hunk of avocado on their chin oozing there like a big green spot.  Is it socially okay to say, “Down the mouth” and point to the offending food lump or is it better to avert your eyes and hope it dries out a bit and falls off on its own?  I think the kind thing is to say something and save that person looking odd all day.

Lipstick sticking where it shouldn’t be is just as odd.  Before you head out, check your lipstick isn’t all around your face making you look like Jack Nicolson’s Joker.  Pink lipstick teeth are not attractive because you will look like you have just done a ‘plaque test’.

Your lipstick can look nice and fresh all day.  First, draw a pencil line to define where your lips are.  This will give you a line to colour in to and this is why colouring-in is an essential life-skill learnt when you are a kid.  As you get older, the lip line gets harder and harder to see.  By the time you are Aunty’s age, you will to keep the light on in the bathroom and the old people glasses on your face.  Even then, I just draw the line where I think my lips used to be.

The second step is to colour in the line with a nice long-lasting lipstick.  Do this twice so you haven’t missed any.  The long-lasting lipstick makes your lips feel dry and crunchy.  You have not finished at this point but check now that you haven’t gone over the line or got any on your teeth.  If there is lipstick on your face or your pearly whites, remove this with a tissue.  Now, finish with a lip gloss, sometimes provided with the long lasting lipstick.

Lastly, grab the lip pencil and redefine your lips one more time.  Check your face and lips throughout the day and eat with people that love you enough that they will tell you when you suffer from “down the mouth”.

Don’t have lipstick on your teeth.