Red Lipstick

The History of Red Lipstick

Pink is the color for girls, but red, red is for women. For a while now, red lipstick has been a mean for women to accentuate their femininity. Red lipstick reflects a woman’s strength and courage, we don’t say for nothing that you have to be bold enough to pull it off. Red lipstick has been present as a women’s weapon of choice for beautifying for centuries, but it hasn’t always been viewed the same and had the same shape we know off today. What do you say? Are you ready to embark in the marvelous time-travel to find the very roots of red lipstick and its journey to ours vanity cases?

1. The Egyptian “Kiss of Death”

First traces of using red lipstick trace back to Mesopotamian women and men who adorned their lips with crushed semi-precious stones. Classy, ha? Famous Cleopatra used crushed beetles and ants to achieve the perfect scarlet shade for her seductive lips. Egyptian women usually used toxic mixture of bromine, iodine and fucus-algin to create red lipstick, and this mixture often lead to severe illness and sometimes-even death. That’s how we got the expression “Kiss of Death”.

2. The Sixteenth Century Pale and Crimson

By the sixteenth century lipstick has fulfilled some basic safety standard. It was the golden era for pale women who tried to accentuate that paleness even more and to create the conspicuous contrast between the absence of color on their face and crimson lipstick created by mixing of plants and beeswax.

3. Anti-cosmetic of eighteenth century

In England 1870s brought intolerance for cosmetics, especially lipstick, and the women wearing it were labeled as prostitutes. On the other hand, France had something different to say about it. Women belonging to upper class were allowed and encouraged to wear cosmetic, while women wearing no makeup were working women and prostitutes.

4. The Full-of-opposites Late Nineteenth Century

In England, Queen Victoria labeled makeup as impolite, and during her reign it wasn’t popular. Yet again, French women prone to appreciating beauty more than others, have pushed the border. French actress Sarah Bernhardt wore red lipstick all the time. By the end of the century, lipstick has found its way to US. In that time it was colored with carmine dye from cochineal insect scales.

5. Lipstick as we know it – 20th Century

From the early years of the century red lipstick has regain its popularity, and in 1915 it was invented the lipstick as we know it in the metal tube. By early 20s, companies such as Chanel, Max Factor and Rubenstein started to produce lipsticks. Movie stars from black and white films used the darkest shade of lipstick to mimic the redness of the lips on screen. Then came the glorious 50s where we had Marilyn Monroe, Ava Gardner and Elizabeth Taylor, which rocked, out red lipstick the best way possible. In the decades to come, red lipstick was pushed out of the spotlight, by the new shades such as beige, purple and even black. Luckily, red lipstick is stubborn and Madonna was one of the emeritus of its comeback in the 80s.

6. The Present Time

Today, we have thousands of shades of red lipstick, so any woman can wear some of them, appropriate to her complexion. Current trend is to wear conspicuous red or matte red on full lips. As every lady isn’t blessed with full lips, there is also a trend of lip fillers Perth, Sydney, Melbourne or any other major city’s cosmetician or clinic can offer you. The champions of red lipstick today are Lady Gaga, Taylor Swift, Emma Stone, Gwen Stefani and Dita Von Teese.

From all you’ve red so far, you can see red lipstick will never be outdated. So, don’t wait a second further to pick your own shade of red.


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