Only a month later, my new mother-in-law died. Needless to say, what was an immeasurably happy time became a drudgingly sad one.
Kerstin was many things to many people. Mother, model, friend, shopkeeper... She knew where in Stockholm to find the finest cakes, source the most proper furniture and get the best haircut and styling. Some of these things she told me about, some I have learnt while visiting her city to attend to the various bits of admin that surround a family member's death.
One thing I was surprised to learn from her posthumously, was the absolute right red lipstick for me. This is a close to impossible task for many women, and is something I know she would have been immensely pleased I achieved thanks to her, and the make up she left behind.
The colour is Ravish Me Red, from Revlon. I put it on and it makes not just my lips look better, but my eyes and hair too. It makes them softly kissable and has reasonable staying power.
The best thing is, wearing it I remember Kerstin. I remember the glamorous woman she was. A woman who knew about lipsticks. A woman who moved from the Swedish countryside, to Stockholm, to LA, to London... And back again. Who brought up two devilishly smart children after her husband died only a couple of years after the second was born. Who welcomed me lovingly into her family. And who had bucket loads of style. I wish I had known her as the vintage style party girl she once was. I think we'd have been friends. Friends who shared lipstick.
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