Your makeup regime wouldn't be complete without a slick of lipstick. A made up face is incomplete without a tint of colour on your lips. There are many different types of lipstick from matt to gloss, liquid to balms and a plethora of colours to try. But, have you ever wondered how this famous cosmetic item came in to being? Well, here is an insight in to the history of lipsticks.
History of the Lipstick Colours:
Natural products like fruits and minerals were the earliest ingredients that women used to prepare their own makeup. Colouring lips was also a common practice. As for the origin of the lipstick, it is a contradictory topic.
A blend of white lead and crushed red rocks was used to make lipstick as early as 3500 BC. It was used and made popular by the Sumerian Queen Shub-ad. Even though it was poisonous, the women used it to colour their lips.
In Greece, prostitutes used lipstick to distinguish them from the âgoodâ women. This was in the 1000 BC Grecian Empire. By 700 BC, all women used it, irrespective of their caste and rank. Seaweed, crushed berries, crocodile dung, red ochre, flowers, various resins, and other such strange and weird ingredient were used for preparing the lip colour.
In Mesopotamia, women used finely crushed semi-precious jewels to prepare lip colours around 5000 years ago.
The Egyptian women were totally crazy over colouring their lips. Red ochre, carmine, and several other kinds of dyes were used to create different shades. Harmful and toxic bromine mannite was mixed with iodine to create a dark purple colour. They were toxic enough to even cause death, leading to the phrase âkiss of deathâ.
Queen Cleopatra was renown for her beauty. She used blended beeswax with carmine or crushed ants to colour her lipstick. For a shiny gloss, she used fish scales. This was safe and non-toxic - although not as cruelty free as I would like my products to be!
The women of Rome needed a manager for a team of cosmetic slaves. They were totally into their cosmetics. Even men wore lipsticks. The different shades indicated their social status.
An Arab cosmetologist by the name of Abu al-Qasim al-Zahrawi was the inventor of the first solid lipstick. These were rolled perfumed sticks.
The church banned lipstick in Europe, in the medieval age. People who wore lipsticks were considered to be an incarnation of âSatanâ, and cosmetics were used only by prostitutes.
Queen Elizabeth I loved lipstick, besides the other kinds of makeup. She used egg whites, cochineal gum Arabic, and fig milk. The first lip liner was also invented in her court.
In the 17th century, makeup was considered to be a âwork of the devilâ. In 1770 AD, a law was passed by the parliament to consider every woman who wore makeup to be witches, and burn them to death. This made women wear makeup secretly.
Queen Victoria was averse to makeup, so women in her reign had to smuggle cosmetics and look for other ways to do their makeup.
As for USA, Martha Washington loved makeup, and she used ingredients like raisins, beeswax, lard, almond oil, sugar, wax from sperm whalesâ heads, and balsam to make her lipstick..... all I can say to that concoction of ingredients is yuck !
Evolution of the Lipstick:
By 1850, the attitude towards cosmetics started changing. Vermillion and lead were ingredients that caused harm to health. So, if in 1850 we were aware that lead caused harm to health, then way on earth is it still an ingredient that is used to make lipstick today ?
In 1884, perfumers in Paris made the first modern lipstick. It was made with castor oil, beeswax, and deer tallow, and wrapped in silk paper.
Makeup was declared legal by 1890, and lipstick tubes were found in every place by 1915.
The swivel lipstick was introduced in 1923, which made it easier to use. Women started expressing themselves in different thrilling ways by using lipsticks. Almost in every decade, the lipstick fashion kept changing. Women with slender and boyish features used lipsticks for delicate lips.
Clara Bow, Theda âThe Vamp, Bara, and other silent movie heroines used rich garnet or black with a cupid bow shaped lips.
By this decade, the way of using makeup changed. The lips moved from the small delicate ones to more square and elongated style. A reddish brown shade was used for the lips. Max Factors, Tangee, and such brands were popular in the 1920s and 1930s.
With the Great Depression, women could not afford expensive cosmetics. So, they used Tangee or Tattoo lipstick tubes which were cheaper.
With World War II breaking out in this decade, women were encouraged to use lipsticks in order to boost the morale spirit. As such, it became a necessity. The first kind of tube rotated lipsticks came during this time.
Rita Hayworth, Joan Crawford, Bette Davis, and other Hollywood stars used bright lipstick for inspiring the nation during the crisis.
By late 1940s, a formula was finally found out by Ms. Hazel Bishop for a long lasting lip colour. She was an organic chemist who tried more than three hundred experiments.
In this decade, there were a number of Hollywood divas, who made lipsticks very popular. Conventional rules of makeup were changed by them.
This decade gave more importance to defining the eyes, and gave the lips and subtle and soft look. Soft colours were only used.
By the 1970s, the hippie culture became prominent. Black and purple shades were used by the rebels, glam rockers, and new romantics. Glossy red or burgundy was used at disco clubs. There were feminists who protested against lipsticks, too.
The 1980s gave the men the chance of wearing lipsticks. Black, red, and even metallic and neon shades were used in this decade.
The 1990s saw a boom in the makeup industry, leading to a much higher demand for lipsticks. All kinds of colours ranging from bright to light to flesh and brown lipsticks were used. To suit the different skin tones, a number of different shades were invented.
With the new millennium, new trends and styles were invented to accentuate the lips. Matte, sheer moisturising, creamy, and every other type are now available to suit every skin tone. You even get double shaded lipsticks called duo chrome lipsticks.
Lipsticks with a neon shade are also in fashion these days. You get green, blue, hot pink, orange, purple, and every such colour.
Choose your favorite colour in the market, and flaunt your lips in style. A tip to become gentle on your lips is to stick to toxin free botanically based lipsticks.
Which is your favourite lipstick ? And what is the colour you just couldn't live without ?
Welcome to your guide to beautiful skin. I'm a cruelty free hair and makeup artist, skin expert, nutritional therapist and advocate for gorgeous glowing skin !