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Perched on a cushy cloud high above the madness and the mediocrity of Planet Earth, we find a blessed body of beauty known as, well, what else? Angel.


The first and last thing you need to know about this winged lovely is that she looovves lipstick. With those perfect cupie doll lips why would you not want to pamper them with sexy kissable colors? It should also be noted that Angel's a loving housewife that hails from the United Kingdom. Unless that leather whip tucked under her arm is to keep the birds away from her cloud, Angel apparently likes to play naughty. And who says lacy corsets and thigh-high boots aren't all the rage up in Heaven now? Blame it on the Renaissance artists for painting all those angels and saints in big, bulky, loose-fitting drab frocks! One would have to assume God has a MUCH better fashion sense than that!

(Psst! Someone take a look. Is God finding any of this humorous? PLEASE tell me he is!)

Speaking of lipstick, I was a bit surprised to hear that 92% of the female population refuses to leave home without a tube of lipstick. Wow! Not only that but the average woman will use four to nine pounds of the stuff in her lifetime! Incredible! Want some more semi-useful trivia on these celebrated sticks of red wax? Well, ancient Egyptians (and not just the women!) used to embellish their cake holes with a purplish red henna made from a plant dye called funcus (oh yummy!). The stuff got a bad rap though, and the English even considered lip painting "the Devil's work". British Parliament went so far as passing a law condemning the use of lipstick, threatening that "women found guilty of seducing men into matrimony by a cosmetic means could be tried for witchcraft." Egad! And all this time we've been depicting witches as hideous creatures with bad skin! But it was as recent as World War II that lipstick finally gained mass acceptance. Yeh. Lipstick was used by stage and screen actors long before that, but during WWII it was considered a gesture of strength and solidarity for every woman to "Put on a happy face" for the boys fighting.

Where did I get all of this decorative data from? Why, a tremendous book called Read My Lips: A Cultural History of Lipstick by Meg Cohen Ragas and Karen Kozlowski. I recently skimmed through my friend's copy and suddenly found myself taking in the entire book in two sittings (quickest book I've ever read, believe you me). I figured since lipstick has much to do with each and every one of my Toil Girls, it's a subject I should bone up on. Glad I did.

Now back to our lovely cloud tomato Angel. Doll face, if you're out there reading this, thanks a million times over for coming up with such a sweet concept. But thanks even more to you and your husband for being such appreciators of my art for as long as you have. You and your cloud will forever sit nicely in my gallery.




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