>Last week, I entered enemy territory. I traversed the block between Amsterdam and Broadway, then I turned right on the corner of 76th Street, walking less than half a block. I took a deep breath. Then, trying to be brave, I pushed open the glass door. Before I knew it, I was in Sephora.

Some friends at school convinced me to wear lipstick. As I crept down the florescent aisles of Sephora, squinting at the prices in the blinding light, I doubted myself. This shit was expensive. I approached a salesperson with a headset.

"Hi, do you have any lipstick under $15?"

"Sure," she said and smiled. She was probably thinking, cheap bitch. She pointed me to a display case full of Sephora-brand cosmetics, then started to walk away.

"Uh, can someone help me pick out a color? I haven't bought lipstick since 2000." (Which, incidentally, was when I bought two Clinique Chubby Sticks for my wedding. I have plenty left of both and still wear them once in a while.)

She gave me a funny look, and called for reinforcements on the headset. Another black-clad headset wearer approached. She squinted at my face the way I did earlier at their prices, then handed me a brown lipstick on a cotton swab. I wish I could say that I applied this sample with grace, but somehow it wound up all over my teeth. I'm still not sure how that happened. Then I tried two lighter colors.

I walked out $14.01 lighter in the wallet and heavier in the sparkly pinkish lipstick that smells like grape Bubblicious department. I'm surprised at how different I look wearing just a little lipstick. It makes me nervous. If I cave on lipstick, will I suddenly find myself spread on the waxer's table? It's a slippery slope, I tell you. Slippery.

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