FUN FACT: The XO offices are on the same block as the Museum of Sex.
UN-FUN FACT: We, like, never hang out there. Wussup widdat?!
My neighbor-friend Sonny just happens to be the buyer for their artsy-meets-horny gift shop, so she kindly invited me to an event in what can only be described as the museum's dungeon, celebrating the launch of Periel Aschenbrand's new memoir, On My Knees. Coincidentally, the book had just been sent to Emily and I'd seen it on her desk, so I actually knew what Sonny was talking about.
If you're not familiar with Periel, she's a badass author and the creative director of House of Exposure, an online boutique selling limited-edition art, clothing, housewares, etc. As of writing this, she's also in her, like, fourth trimester. YOU GO, GIRL.
So, when the night of the event rolled around, I took the exhausting walk 40 feet down the sidewalk and entered into the museum's ground floor, which is where the shop is. And what a shop! The inventory is a combination of sleek sex toys, erotic books, vintage Playboy, and body-celebrating decor. And it was while I was perusing pre-event that I came across a display featuring this stunning picture of hasn't-aged-since-ever Jenny Shimizu.
No, that's not the world's biggest vibrator she's holding on her shoulder, I realized. It's lipstick! And that's when I noticed the photo was surrounded by dozens of little black boxes of the not-actually-gigantic lipstick.
I asked Sonny about the display, and--between laments about how her extremely enviable vintage skirt from Berlin had a hole in it--she told me that Jenny Shimizu, Poppy King of Lipstick Queen, and guest of honor Periel came together for House of Exposure to launch Helmut Red, a limited-edition red lipstick inspired by the photography of Helmut Newton.
Ironically, most of Newton's beautifully erotic photos were in black and white, but somehow it makes perfect sense that a red lipstick would be crafted in his honor. Red lipstick is confidence; it's the possibility of sex hinted at in the classiest way.
So, I bought it--duh.
Welp, I'm already bummed that it's limited-edition, because this my new favorite blue-undertoned red lipstick.
Actually, I don't even have an old favorite blue-undertoned red lipstick, being the orange-red doctrinaire that I am, so this is my first favorite blue-undertoned red lipstick. (Also, for the record, "undertoned" is not a word.)
It manages to be super-smooth and moisturizing without slipping away within a few minutes, thanks to its pigment load. (Heh heh... load.) It has no fragrance, thank Himeros; and most importantly, it just looks really good.
If you happen to be in New York, go get it at the Museum of Sex and take a tour through their insanely interesting current exhibits: My Life Ruined By Sex: The Works of William Kent; Universe of Desire (all about how the internet and digital communication technology has opened up a whole new world of lust and fetishes); and The Sex Lives of Animals (dolphin blowhole sex is a thing, you guys).