Happy National Lipstick Day!

Because we're obsessed with lipstick, we’re celebrating this year’s National Lipstick Day with a look back at its long and amazing history.

  • In ancient civilizations, lipstick was a status symbol worn by both men and women.
  • Egyptians, were the first real users of lipstick and chose shades like purple, black and deep red. The pigments were derived from ground cochineal insects, henna and ground gemstones.
  • In early Japan, women wore dark lipstick made from tar and beeswax.
  • In the ancient Greek Empire, wearing lipstick was associated with prostitution and by law, prostitutes were required to wear dark-coloured lipstick.
  • In the year 9 AD, an Arab scientist named Abulcasis invented the first known solid lipstick.
  • In the Middle Ages, the practice of wearing lipstick was condemned by the church and fell out of fashion.
  • In the early 16th Century, lipstick made its comeback thanks to Queen Elizabeth who popularized the look of pale white skin and red lips.
  • In 1884, the French perfume company; Geurlain was the first to produce lipstick commercially. It was made from deer tallow, beeswax and castor oil and came wrapped in silk paper.
  • By 1920, lipstick became a mainstay for women. In 1923, James Bruce Mason Jr. invented the swivel up tube that we still use today. Trends of wearing dark reds, browns and aubergines were made popular by the fashion icons of the day – the silent movie stars.
  • Helena Rubenstein invented the cupid’s bow lipstick that gave women that coveted, pouty look we still love today.
  • Large cosmetic companies like Chanel, Guerlain, Elizabeth Arden, and Estée Lauder, started selling lipsticks.
  • In the 1940s Max Factor began selling lip glosses that became an instant hit with women because they had previously only been available to Hollywood stars.
  • During the years of the Second World War, the metal that was used to make lipstick cases was instead used for guns and ammunition, so metal cases were replaced with plastic and paper.
  • Women, to boost morale, were encouraged to wear the brightest shades of red and Besame’s American Beauty was one of the most sought after shades.
  • In the 1950’s Hollywood icons Grace Kelly, Marilyn Monroe, Elizabeth Taylor and Audrey Hepburn set the trends for lipstick all over the world. Estée Lauder’s Envious was one of the most popular colors of the era.
  • During the 1960s and ’70s, lipstick colors were inspired by the arts, pop culture and the fashion scene.
  • In 1973, Bonnie Bell introduced Lip Smackers which were an instant hit.
  • By the 1980s, lipstick was a bold statement. Intense red and hot pink lips became de ri·gueur for the power suit and party culture era.
  • By the 1990s, people were becoming more conscious about the environment and demanded cleaner, more natural formulas.

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