Fifty Shades Of Red - The History Of Lipsticks

lipsticks
@MALUSE (31637)
Denmark
November 2, 2015 2:42pm CST
The lipstick as we know it has more than a century under its belt or rather cover. Yet, women’s desire to paint their lips is much older. Thanks to the diligent work of archaeologists we know that already 5000 years ago rich women in Mesopotamia crushed semi-precious red jewels and smeared the stuff on their lips. In Ancient Egypt a purplish red dye was extracted from focus-algin, iodine and some bromine mannite. Unfortunately this mixture wasn’t healthy and many women became ill. Cleopatra preferred natural ingredients: crushed carmine beetles for the deep red pigment, ants for the base, pearlescence, a substance found in fish scales, supplied a shimmering effect. (Eek!) Queen Elisabeth I made a powdered white face and bright red lips fashionable. To get that effect she used a blend of beeswax and red stains from plants. The Czarina Catherine the Great of Russia didn’t even trust natural stuff. She commanded her ladies-in-waiting to suck her lips to make them full and red! Why have women always painted their *lips* red and not, say, their noses or their ears to attract attention? I found the following explanation on the net: “During arousel in mammals the sex organs fill with blood and are flushed red.…This flush of red is simulated in the use of …lipstick. The reddening of the face symbolises youth, sexuality and fertility.” Well, well. In 1883 two Frenchmen had the brilliant idea to make the red paste easier to use. Castor oil was added as well as beeswax and deer tallow to make it firmer and then the substance was *rolled into small sticks* and wrapped in tissue paper, the first lip*sticks* were born! They were presented in Amsterdam at the World Fair in 1883, but women didn’t take to them at first. They were called ‘saucisses’ (little sausages) which sounded nice but they were very expensive, they melted in the handbags and looked too much like children’s crayons. The women’s attitude began to change when in the 1920s film stars painted themselves small, dark red mouths, the most famous one being the actress Sarah Bernhardt who used to call her lipstick ‘stylo d’amour’ (love pen) because of its phallic shape. In later years film stars painted themselves wide, bright red lips and the female fans followed again. The final breakthrough came when the retractable lipstick tube was invented which found its way from America to Europe after the Second World War. In the 1960s warm, radiant colours were fashionable, the 1970 saw candy and pastel tones, and in the 1980 neon pink and even black came on the market, nowadays anything goes. When film stars started using lipsticks, it was first the women of the lower strata of society that copied them. For a long time elegant ladies found it vulgar to have too much colour on their faces. In 1912, however, American suffragettes painted their lips bright red when marching in the streets claiming their voting rights, their red lips emphasised that they wouldn’t keep their mouths shut. According to a German author, lipsticks are ‘loud cosmetics’, they don’t work clandestinely like powder or concealer. Painted lips are like an exclamation mark on a woman’s face telling the world that here’s a woman who isn’t afraid of uttering her opinion. A woman can’t use lipstick hoping to become more self-confident, that doesn’t work. It’s self-confident women who use lipsticks. --- If you find this text on another site, it has been plagiarised.
17 people like this
16 responses
@Asylum (46793)
• Manchester, England
2 Nov 15
It is only a couple of hundred years since this was common practice among men as well. I am grateful that I did not live in those days because wearing such stuff must be uncomfortable.
1 person likes this
@troyburns (1478)
• New Zealand
2 Nov 15
I suppose that depends on where you wear it. I didn't know it was common practice Barry. Was that just among the dandified upper classes?
@Asylum (46793)
• Manchester, England
2 Nov 15
@troyburns yes, along with the wigs and laced shirts etcetera.
1 person likes this
@celticeagle (114097)
• Boise, Idaho
3 Nov 15
@Asylum....Lets not get into lace and wigs. LOL
@troyburns (1478)
• New Zealand
2 Nov 15
Terrific article @MALUSE - I learned a lot, though not enough to make me start wearing it!
1 person likes this
@MALUSE (31637)
• Denmark
2 Nov 15
Thanks! -- Are you also an ex-bubbler? I seem to remember your pic.
1 person likes this
@troyburns (1478)
• New Zealand
2 Nov 15
@MALUSE - Yes, I am. I was Scootermac there. I think we were connections for a while.
@celticeagle (114097)
• Boise, Idaho
2 Nov 15
Why don't you have a copyright written on this? I always put that on something special that I write. Just wondered. Very interesting about lipsticks.
@MALUSE (31637)
• Denmark
2 Nov 15
I've seen members use the copyright sign and have always found this very optimistic.I don't think that it'll prevent any baddies from stealing a post.
2 people like this
@celticeagle (114097)
• Boise, Idaho
3 Nov 15
@MALUSE .... You may not. Then again it might deter some.
@LadyDuck (118232)
• Switzerland
3 Nov 15
@MALUSE I confirm, the copyright sign does not prevent plagiarists to post your content. I have stopped using it.
@Auntylou (4410)
• Oxford, England
6 Nov 15
A very interesting and informative piece as usual! Thanks
@rakski (2585)
• Philippines
5 Nov 15
So I do not have self confidence eh? lol. I am not fond of using lipstick, really. For one, I do not like their smell. When I smell them on my lips, I want o puke(sorry, just being honest). though there are times I want to use it, I choose a lipstick which smell I can stand without allowing myself to puke.
@garymarsh6 (12100)
• United Kingdom
5 Nov 15
There was a singer in the UK called Kathy Kirby who I always associate with big red lips and lipstick. The Queen always wears the same bright red lipstick so that she can be seen.
@BelleStarr (30999)
• Portland, Connecticut
4 Nov 15
I never use lipstick because my husband doesn't like it and that is fine with me. I will use lip gloss once in a while.
@PainsOnSlate (19008)
• Canada
3 Nov 15
That was amazingly interesting. I never even wondered about the history of lipstick. I don't wear it either, but I did when I was younger. First of all even if I was a queen I can't imagine putting crushed bugs on my lips. And its interesting to know it was the movie star that made it so popular. I kept seeing Elenore Roosevelt when you were going through the history. She was a favorite of mine and I don't remember ever seeing a photo of her with lipstick on. (maybe most of the photos are black and white.
@JESSY3236 (4885)
• United States
3 Nov 15
That's interesting how red lipstick was made. I hardly wear lipstick anymore. I have to wear lip balm when I play my clarinet.
@boiboing (12524)
• Northampton, England
3 Nov 15
I've never been a lipstick user. The stuff just seems to slide straight off me.
@LadyDuck (118232)
• Switzerland
3 Nov 15
I suppose that I am not a self-confident woman, I like to wear make up, I use eyeliner, eye shadows and mascara, but I cannot stand the lipstick.
@Rollo1 (16681)
• Boston, Massachusetts
2 Nov 15
I was always partial to red lipstick, but nowadays, it's a bit brighter than my face can support. I think lipstick was a very clever invention.
@jstory07 (56907)
• Roseburg, Oregon
2 Nov 15
I just learned something that I did not know before. A good history of lipstick.
@suziecat7 (3462)
• Asheville, North Carolina
2 Nov 15
What an interesting post! Czarina Catherine's method was a bit freaky though.
@Freelanzer (6413)
• Canada
2 Nov 15
I agree it takes a confident woman to lather on the lipstick which means in part that she is not afraid of being noticed.
• Thiruvananthapuram, India
2 Nov 15
I didnt seen in any website on this . So don't worry my friend your article is not plagiarized. Indeed nowadays lengthy articles are not much to see.