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Thread: Lipstick and Brass Playing

  1. #1

    Red face Lipstick and Brass Playing

    Usually after concerts I would a few pictures or meet up with some of my friends (like people usually do) but during the concert some of my makeup, especially any type of lip product (well duh) comes off. I've been looking around for different types of lip stains, "24 hr lipsticks", etc. but I haven't found a REALLY great one. If you have any experience with this topic, what would you suggest?
    Natalie Colegrove
    Kanstul 975 Euphonium
    Honor Band of America 2019
    @euphieslife

  2. Is there a reason that you couldn’t play the concert without lipstick and apply after the performance before taking pictures/meeting with friends? (Or play with lipstick and simply reapply after the concert?)
    Last edited by cochranme; 04-28-2019 at 06:59 PM. Reason: Added extra sentence

  3. #3
    I had the same question as Martin. Given the moisture, vibration, and pressure involved in playing, I would think keeping any extra "material" off your lips would be good, and possibly a health factor. Lipstick has no doubt been tested in "normal" use, but not with the conditions we go through. But I suppose if you could rub lipstick over an open cut or something like that, it would be safe. Just speculating.

    My personal lifestyle and self image would not call for me to wear lipstick, so I can't speak from experience. However, on this forum and in other places players have discussed the difference in gold and silver plating on a mouthpiece, and how gold feels more slippery. If you practice without lipstick and perform with it, do you feel a difference in how the mouthpiece adjusts to your lip movements?

    In any case, I would keep lipstick off until after the performance. In my case, whenever I have a solo out front, I do a lot of adjustments before the concert. I clear my pockets of any unnecessary clutter (my pockets are my purse, so... there is a lot of clutter) and on short-sleeve occasions I sometimes take off my watch. Before going out with friends, I will have to do some putting-back-together activity to get ready.
    Dave Werden (ASCAP)
    Euphonium Soloist, U.S. Coast Guard Band, retired
    Adams E3, Denis Wick 4AL (classic)
    Instructor of Euphonium and Tuba
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    Owner of TubaEuph.com, DWerden.com

  4. #4
    Quote Originally Posted by cochranme View Post
    play the concert without lipstick and apply after the performance before taking pictures/meeting with friends?
    This is a very valid point. Some people use chapstick and such that helps them adjust easier or just pure saliva so lipstick is not really that necessary. When I play with lipstick, after the concert only the outer section of my lips has the product still on and it looks pretty funny. I was wondering if there was anything like a tinted chopsaver or something that will really stick on (maybe made for brass players?).
    Natalie Colegrove
    Kanstul 975 Euphonium
    Honor Band of America 2019
    @euphieslife

  5. #5
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    I'm assuming that you want or need some sort of lip stuff either for moisturizing purposes or for cosmetic purposes.

    If simply for moisturizing purposes, then certainly a clear substance such as chapstick, chopsaver, etc. should do the trick.

    If for cosmetic purposes, that's tricky because almost anything will smear from the mouthpiece pressure and movement. I'm not sure that anything will withstand that stress, but I also don't think the the guys (who typically don't use lipstick) on this forum will provide much insight.

    I do wonder whether one of the high-end (and more expensive) lipsticks or glosses (like Ulta's Stila Stay All Day) might do the trick. But I'm skeptical of this.

    It's a real bind -- because the substances that will stay on and not smear are substances that don't actually moisturize and provide flexibility.

    I think the real question is whether you REALLY need the colored stuff on your lips while you're playing. It seems unrealistic to expect to play a performance (of, say, over an hour) and have ANY visible lip coating still intact.

    In terms of a true solution, I suppose you could consider tattooing your lips the appropriate color -- but that of course (aside from the cost and discomfort of the procedure) would require a permanent commitment to a specific color -- which is a pretty heavy commitment and trade-off.
    Gary Merrill
    Wessex EEb Bass tuba (Denis Wick 3XL)
    Mack Brass Compensating Euph (DE N106, Euph J, J9 euph)
    Amati Oval Euph (DE N106, Euph J, J6 euph)
    1924 Buescher 3-valve Eb tuba, modified Kelly 25
    Schiller American Heritage 7B clone bass trombone (DE LB K/K9/112 Lexan, Brass Ark MV50R)
    1947 Olds "Standard" trombone (Olds #3)

  6. #6
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    There are actually lots and lots of tinted lip products. If you’re in the US you can find racks full of tinted lip “treatments” in the pharmacy/personal care departments at Walmart, Target, or any large drugstore. Some contain extra emollients or other soothing ingredients in addition to they typical beeswax or petroleum based base AND some pink or rosy tint as well.

    That said, I’ve never known anyone who successfully used real lipstick while playing any wind instrument. One benevolent old professor used to say that using lipstick made the reeds of woodwinds rot much faster than deterioration from plain saliva.

    Fortunately for most of us, the joyful and engaging act of playing a favorite wind instrument tends to raise the endorphins and provide a natural “blush” for the performer!

  7. #7
    Here's a link with some discussion about your question.

    https://talk.collegeconfidential.com...entalists.html

    One thing to think about is most lipsticks contain mineral based pigments such as metal oxides or mica. These are very small particles that may get into you valves and gum things up. No one is looking at your lips while playing. Save the lipstick until after the performance.

    Mike

  8. #8
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    Quote Originally Posted by mbrooke View Post
    (snip) No one is looking at your lips while playing. Save the lipstick until after the performance. Mike
    Bingo! I like this answer.
    Rick Floyd
    Miraphone 5050 - Warburton Brandon Jones sig mpc
    YEP-641S (on long-term loan to grandson)
    Doug Elliott - 102 rim; I-cup; I-9 shank


    "Always play with a good tone, never louder than lovely, never softer than supported." - author unknown.
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  9. #9
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    Quote Originally Posted by RickF View Post
    Bingo! I like this answer.
    Pretty sure I know at least one woman who doesn't believe it for a moment. But she plays flute rather than euphonium, and so the problem isn't quite as severe.
    Gary Merrill
    Wessex EEb Bass tuba (Denis Wick 3XL)
    Mack Brass Compensating Euph (DE N106, Euph J, J9 euph)
    Amati Oval Euph (DE N106, Euph J, J6 euph)
    1924 Buescher 3-valve Eb tuba, modified Kelly 25
    Schiller American Heritage 7B clone bass trombone (DE LB K/K9/112 Lexan, Brass Ark MV50R)
    1947 Olds "Standard" trombone (Olds #3)

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