clock menu more-arrow no yes mobile

Filed under:

Absolutely Fabulous star Joanna Lumley's secret to fabulousness: lip liner and shoplifting

Constance Grady is a senior correspondent on the Culture team for Vox, where since 2016 she has covered books, publishing, gender, celebrity analysis, and theater.

Absolutely Fabulous star and generally fabulous human being Joanna Lumley stopped by The Tonight Show on Monday to share her rules for a fabulous life with all we lesser mortals. They are as follows:

  1. Use lip liner to draw an enormous mouth for yourself, up to your nostrils and down to your chin, and fill it in with bright red lipstick. Now you look fabulous, darling!
  2. Start every conversation by telling the other person they look fabulous, no matter how they actually look. They, in turn, will be forced to tell you that you look fabulous.
  3. Cultivate fabulous friends. Give them money if necessary, or ask them to live in your house.
  4. Always wear very bright colors.
  5. Never pay for jewelry. Borrow it. Or if you have to, pick it up in a store and just put it on and walk out, and if someone tries to stop you, yell, "It’s mine!" Lumley wisely points out that this will stop any overzealous store security in their tracks, "because you’re looking fabulous and you’ve got the huge red mouth." (Vox does not endorse shoplifting.)
  6. Keep a scriptwriter with you at all times. Whenever a conversation flags, poke the scriptwriter with a pen until they write something amusing for you to say.

Lumley stops her advice there, lest we surpass her and become more fabulous than she. "Probably not possible," she muses, "but just in case." Not possible at all, Joanna Lumley. Not possible at all.

Sign up for the newsletter Today, Explained

Understand the world with a daily explainer plus the most compelling stories of the day.