Monday, September 17, 2018


by Paula Gail Benson


My dear blogging partner, Linda Rodriguez, I’m thinking of you and the lessons in courage you have taught me as I write this post.


It’s always fascinating when the universe seems to have found a common thread, sending multiple messages along the same wavelength.


Carl Jung called the idea “synchronicity.” Wikipedia explains it as “a concept . . . which holds that events are ‘meaningful coincidences’ if they occur with no causal relationship yet seem to be meaningfully related.”


Take for example some recent events that happened just as, this month and next, the Stiletto Gang celebrates its new logo, featuring bright red stilettos. (Thank you, Bethany Maines!)


In August, Aretha Franklin’s body lay in state in Detroit. She had several outfit changes, but according to the New York Times, “For the first open-casket viewing, Aretha Franklin was dressed in a lacy crimson gown and towering scarlet Christian Louboutin heels, with cherry-red lipstick and nail polish to match.”

At the beginning of September, the FBI revealed that a stolen pair of ruby red slippers worn by Judy Garland in The Wizard of Oz had been recovered through a sting operation. These were the shoes worn for “close up” shots, the “clicking your heels” sequences. (Does that remind you of a segment we feature here at the Stiletto Gang on a regular basis?)


I think it’s interesting that red (and pink, if you’re a Legally Blonde Elle Woods fan) signals and symbolizes empowerment for women. Aretha’s ankles were demurely crossed, but those red shoes made their statement. She was a lady to be reckoned with. Dorothy’s red slippers started her on her journey to self-awareness and brought her home to the knowledge that she had the power within herself.


This year, I’ve had my own experience with red as a fashion statement.


My main make-up is lipstick. Previously, I’ve stayed with more neutral and natural looks. Then, a friend of mine, the lovely Cortlin Collins, began selling LipSense products by SeneGence. She posted the bright reds on her Facebook page, Your Face First with CortlinPlease check it out if you have an interest. Cortlin’s a sweetheart.


I was intrigued by the deep garnets and how the appearance could be changed by combining colors or applying a gloss. Fly Girl was my first purchase, quickly followed by Roseberry. I remember wearing the colors for the first time at church, fearing I had perhaps been a little too bold. Three gallant gentlemen independently stopped me to compliment my appearance. The next week, my female co-workers told me they admired my new look. I was sold and haven’t looked back.


Speaking of synchronicity: as Hurricane Florence aims for the Carolinas, what is my new lipstick for this fall? Hurricane.


And, to further validate the power of red lipstick, here are a few words of wisdom from women who know:


Andie MacDowell
“During my forties, I thought I couldn’t wear red lipstick. I thought it was too much and I couldn’t do it anymore. I don’t know why. But now, I’m going to wear red lipstick for as long as I want.” -- Andie MacDowell


Chloe Sevigny
“I discovered red lipstick when I did the Oscar season: Chanel sent me one and I realized how classic and glamorous it can be.” -- Chloe Sevigny


Gwyneth Paltrow
“Beauty, to me, is about being comfortable in your own skin. That, or a kick-ass red lipstick.” -- Gwyneth Paltrow


Taylor Swift
“You got that James Dean daydream look in your eye. And I got that red lip classic thing that you like.” -- Taylor Swift


“If you’re sad, add more lipstick and attack.” -- Coco Chanel


Coco Chanel
So, let’s celebrate our new logo with a signature vermilion shade for the lips. Display your inner femme fatale!


  1. Thank you, Paula! You know I'm a fan of a good red lipstick.

  2. Linda, I have come to love it, too!

    Bethany, it's my new mantra! Go red!