My grandma Mary was the most sassy, prideful woman I've ever met, and she had a really specific look—no makeup except for a very strong lip. She didn't believe is covering up her skin since that's your natural beauty, but back in her day, wearing bold lipstick was a feminist statement. Grandma Mary didn't have a million brands to choose from in her small Alabama town, but they had a local Avon lady, so her lipstick was always Avon. I remember borrowing tubes to play dress-up and trying to mimic her posture, leaning over the bathroom sink with an arched back, to put my lips on. I even tried to emulate her look in David Lynch's Wild at Heart. I still keep a few Avon True Color lip balms in my makeup drawer, and I recently found my 12-year-old daughter, Jaya, in my room applying a vibrant pink. I told her that Avon was the first lipstick I ever wore. Jaya never met Grandma Mary, but she worships her because she know how much she meant to me and there are pictures of her all over our house. She's a legend in our house because of how she taught me to be comfortable in my own skin. We have to honor the women who made us fierce.
Avon True Color Lip Balm in Pink Pucker and Coral Crush, $4 each; avon.com.
Dern with her grandmother, circa 1971.