I’ll never forget the day my friend Winona pulled a tube of hot-pink lipstick out of her bag. I watched from across the table as she slowly glided it along her lips, where it left a trail of neon fuchsia in its path. It was transformative, unapologetic, and about the shade of pink you might imagine Jem would paint her kitchen. Clearly, I had to try it.
Now, I’m no stranger to the bold-lipstick club. I already owned MAC’s Ruby Woo and had gone through tubes and tubes of Revlon’s Cherries in the Snow (and even read Emma Forrest’s novel of the same name) — but Schiap was different. It gave me an immediate feeling of confidence, of conviction, a certain kind of cool.
After I bought my own tube and started wearing it everywhere, I began recognizing it on other women, too. I learned it was one friend’s “show” lipstick for whenever her band played; another told me it was the color she reserved for dates; and everyone else swore by it for just about any major life event. Schiap represented something specific to each of these women, but with one unifying factor: It was the go-to for when they wanted to feel like their very best, coolest self. And the women who loved it seemed to have something else in common, too; they were all badass, strong, independent women. Schiap was, I realized, a lipstick for the bold.
Schiap represented something specific to each of these women, but with one unifying factor: it was the go-to for when they wanted to feel like their very best, coolest self.
But since I didn’t have a background in fashion or beauty, one thing about it was lost on me: the name. It wasn’t catchy or cute like the names of other NARS lip colors, like Funny Face or Dolce Vita. And why was it so hard to pronounce? What was a Schiap, anyway?
I soon came to find out it was named after acclaimed fashion designer Elsa Schiaparelli, who was famously associated with the same bright color, referred to as “Schiaparelli pink.” Schiap, as she liked to be called by friends and family, famously designed clothes for women “with a strong and independent personality.” So, it makes sense that a lipstick named after her would attract the same type.
Are you in the Schiap club? Let us known in the comments below.
NARS Semi Matte Lipstick in Schiap, $28, available at NARS.
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