Ms. Russian Red

This morning it occurred to me that my previous post about lingerie in Paris came just a tad too early to be considered a proper Valentine’s Day post, no matter how appropriate the subject matter.  And it probably wouldn’t be good form for a man-shopper to keep silent on V-day.  So in honor of this red, pink, white and chocolate Hallmark holiday, I will regale you some of my thoughts about…

… RED LIPSTICK.

Right.  So I do realize that many of the lads have mentally checked out by now — as if I’d said that I was going to discuss the finer points of the women’s shoe industry.  But that’s fine.  You boys probably had way too much fun with the lingerie blogpost pictures anyway.

So, for those of you who are still interested, here’s my skinny on the skinny bitches in Paris and their red lipstick…

Parisian women LOVE red lipstick.

No reason why they shouldn’t.

THEY ROCK IT.

They rock it so hard that reality ripples around them as they walk.  Red lipstick parts the sea of men as if it were Moses’ staff itself.  It’s uncanny.  And it is beautiful to behold.

Let me paint a picture for you.

Stick-thin parisienne.  Always in black.  Loose, often unflattering clothing.  (Olivier over at Stuff Parisians Like has a theory that it’s because they are terrified of being perceived as slutty… I tend to agree.)

But regardless of the season and of the time of day, you will always see a significant number of women sporting a red, red, pouty lip.  The ensemble is mysteriously elegant.  And they walk the street as if it were their runway.

I believe a few key factors enable the red-lipped parisienne to pull this off with such confidence and panache:

  • In the spirit of runway modelling, she is probably half-starved anyway.
  • She is likely wearing some kickass matching lingerie set (see previous posts about lingerie).
  • Like many parisiennes, she is a queen bitch.  She knows it, she doesn’t care, and she owns the sidewalk, dammit.

My newest — albeit completely unfounded — theory is that the determining factor is the red lipstick.  Sure, with the above three factors alone in play, the parisienne has a certain je-ne-sais-quoi about her.  But in my opinion, the red lip catapults her from the confident elegance of a slightly snobby parisian lady to confident elegance of parisian queenbitch-vixen.

And we love it.

By “we,” I refer to both men and women.  Men seem to be mesmerized.  And we women love the way that it makes us feel when we wield so much power with just a smattering of rouge.

But with such great power comes great responsibility.

When a lady wears red lipstick in Paris, she must comport herself accordingly:

  • She must always pout and pucker in order to show off the red lip and cultivate the bitch-vixen persona at all times.
  • She must avoid grinning like an idiot or even smiling with teeth.  The red lip is more powerful when it’s uninterrupted with teeth.  Besides, seeming warm and friendly ultimately undermines the bitch-vixen image.
  • Since she must limit the range of movement in the bottom half of her face, all meaningful communication must be achieved with her eyes.  Seduction.  Mirth.  And especially… repulsion and distaste.  Glare, bitch.  GLARE.
  • A true parisian bitch-vixen does not sweat and above all, does not look unkempt, so a perfectly crisp red lip must remain perfect at all times.  Therefore, she must limit eating, drinking, and smooching.  (I suspect that this is one of the reasons why parisiennes are rarely seen eating or drinking in public.  It’s also probably one of the reasons why they are often accused of being frigid.)
  • On the other hand, smoking is permitted because it actually enhances the bitch-vixen image.  And it suppresses the appetite, which feeds into this cycle of self-deprivation.

That being said, I am not against red lipstick.

On the contrary, I love it!  (I’ll admit that I’m just not too keen on many parisian bitches.)

Even though, on me, the effect is a little reminiscent of a geisha, the red lip is saucy and sassy.  I really do feel like a vixen with Russian Red on my kisser.

So, no matter where you are, dear lady readers, I personally recommend that you follow the example of the red-lipped parisienne and find yourself that ideal shade of red.  Not just for Valentine’s Day, but for life.  For you!

Find a little bit of that incorrigible parisian bitch-vixen inside you and let her loose on the general population.  Go on, see what happens!

As long as you’re not actually frigid, withholding and starving, I firmly believe that the red lip is a GOOD thing.

Just don’t forget to remove it before making out with anything.

(When it’s not on my lips, Russian Red can be a messy business.)

Happy Valentine’s Day, dear readers.

You love me, and you know it.

Side note: I found my red lip right here in Paris thanks to Claire Sulmers, fashionista, fashion blogger of The Fashion Bomb fame, and my dear friend.  (She posted pictures from our MAC adventure here.)

9 Comments

Filed under Misses

9 responses to “Ms. Russian Red

  1. Claire

    YAY! I love red lips. Rock on girlfriend.

  2. Zoë Blue

    Happy V-Day, gorgeous red-lipped Man Shopper. I think you’re turning into a vixen with your newly-acquired lingerie (that’s undoubtedly put you into a bit of debt) and shiny red lipstick. So perhaps I should say “Happy Vixen Day”? Because you are. But I won’t tell anyone if you won’t, since part of your charm is your adorable awkwardness.

    Also, I’m totally jealous since I not only think your V-day blog post is far cuter than my V-day blog post, but because you’ve also apparently learned how to use MS Paint. I need to get on that, pronto.

    • Happy Vixen Day to you too! I think that between the lingerie and the lipstick, I am going to bundle it all into my re-branding campaign. Man-shopper for Queen Vixen 2011. I want your vote :)

      By the way, Paintbrush rocks. Hours and hours of procrastinatory potential… I highly recommend!

  3. I LOVE red lipstick! You can also get away with less makeup on the rest of your face. Unfortunately, I hardly ever wear it because I am almost always going to be eating or drinking something at some point and it just turns into a big smudgy disaster that looks less bitch-vixeny and more hot messy.

    But now you’ve inspired me to break out my tube of red and wear it like a proud, bitchtastic Parisian.

  4. Work the red, girl!

    I’ve had great luck with my Russian Red so far, no smudging or runniness while eating and drinking. It only escapes the confines of my lips if I rub at it. It’s actually kind of a pain to remove!

  5. Well I think we can both agree that I look 100% ridiculous in Russian Red lipstick.
    The one and only night I wore it out, we ended up at a bar with what I can only assume was a very confused Brazilian man. Not to mention the elderly Parisian who literally tried to purchase me at that mixer.
    I don’t know what either of them were thinking, but I do know this:
    I look like a clown in red lipstick.
    You’ve seen it, you know it’s true.
    You however, look fantastic in it, so keep rocking it.

  6. Pingback: Ms. Mantissa and the Russian Red | Man-shopping in Paris

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