When Beth Engerson and her husband had their lip prints read by a certified Lipsologist, they discovered that they were remarkably similar. Looking at the prints side-by-side, the reader actually found it difficult to discern whose lip print was whose. "She was like, 'You guys are meant to be together!'" Engerson said, the excitement clear in her voice. That reading was part of what sparked Engerson's interest in the practice of Lipsology, the art and science of lip print reading.
Lipsology is based on the studies of Jilly Eddy, who spent nearly 30 years amassing and analyzing a collection of lip prints. In the 1970s, Eddy purchased a book of celebrity lip prints, which inspired her to go out and gather more. At the time, she was driving a limousine, and her passengers began to give her lip prints along with her tips. One day, she picked up a particularly famous passenger at a Holiday Inn in Bellingham, Washington. When he offered his autograph, Eddy told him that she'd rather have his lip print.
And that's how Eddy added Johnny Cash's lips to her personal collection.
To form the basis for the readings, Eddy inspected more than 10,000 lip prints, including, of course, the one that Johnny Cash gave her. Patterns began to emerge, often showing an unmistakable link between certain features of the prints and the personality characteristics of the people who made them. Eddy organized her findings into 25 broad categories of lip prints and over 100 sub-categories. Her theories are based on a number of different things, from the position of the prints on the paper to the shape of the subject's lips. Lipsology also has roots in the much older practices of palmistry and handwriting analysis.
As of now, there are only eight certified Lipsologists in the entire world, a title which Engerson holds proudly. She studied under Ariana Lightningstorm, the first certified Lipsologist and the very woman who had conducted those readings for Engerson and her husband. The certification process took six months and involved a heavy amount of memorization. "It was actually as much work as my graduate degree from New York University," Engerson said. "I would have to analyze the lip prints in writing, so I was doing ten page papers every week."
"It was actually as much work as my graduate degree."
Now, Engerson has been doing lip print readings professionally for about a year and a half, offering her services at events, with individuals, and over the internet. A reading with Engerson can take anywhere from a couple minutes to almost an hour, depending on the circumstances, but the overall process is the same. The subject will apply a heavy amount of lipstick, ideally in a very bright or very dark color. Lip glosses and long-wear lipsticks won't work. After putting on a sufficient amount, the person kisses a piece of paper or a card, and the heart of the process begins.
I chose a red lipstick for my own reading. While kissing a piece of paper felt kind of awkward, I was immensely curious to find out what my lips would reveal. Engerson told me that the reading would mostly be focused on the here and now, rather than glimpses of the past or predictions for my future. She said that she'd be able to see details about my personality, my preferences, my health and more.
To my surprise, most of what Engerson said about me was spot-on. I had expected to hear a few vague comments that nearly anyone would be able to relate to in some way, but Engerson didn't shy away from the specifics. She knew that I was a spiritual person, she correctly stated that I wasn't particularly stressed at that moment in time (even though I was working), and she identified my need to overplan aspects of my life.
At a few different points throughout our session, Engerson revealed the science behind her analysis. "Do you have an injury on the lower right-hand side of your body?" she asked, in what was perhaps her most specific conclusion during the course of the reading. I actually do have a right hamstring injury, so I obviously had to inquire about what part of my lips revealed that. It turns out that neither of my prints (I kissed the card twice) had picked up the lipstick on the right side of my bottom lip, which translated to an injury in that part of my body.
It was tough for me to believe that this was just a coincidence, but whether or not you fully buy into Lipsology, getting your lip prints read is unquestionably a lot of fun. Parts of the reading definitely served as a nice ego boost, and Engerson also offered me some helpful advice based on what she saw. And for some people, a lip print reading ends up being a very meaningful experience. Engerson's background is in counseling, so people often feel comfortable enough with her to open up about the things revealed in their prints.
During her time working as a certified Lipsologist, Engerson has seen a lot of excitement surrounding the art of lip print reading. "Because it's so unusual and interesting, people want to try it for themselves as soon as they hear about it," she said. If you're dying to find out what your lips reveal about you, you can find Engerson at events in the New York City area or book her for an individual reading or your next party.
And in the meantime, we're pretty sure we can guess your favorite lipstick color based on your food preferences. Let us know if we're correct!
See more related Circa stories:
These flower jelly lipsticks tint your lips different shades of pink depending on your pH level
This makeup artist takes glossy lip art to another level and it’s mesmerizing
This guy owns a shop with the largest collection of maps in the U.S.