When I’m having a blah day, red lipstick is the cure to make me feel more like myself. For generations, women have relied on lipstick to be more than just a fashion statement. Woman wear lipstick because of the feeling it evokes when they wear it. That tiny tube of rouge has the power to make the wearer feel bold, confident, sexy and ready to conquer the world.
Since the 1940’s, red lipstick has been the symbol of feminine glamour. Consider Marilyn Monroe without her crimson pout. In recent years, the color has returned to the spotlight with celebrities such as Gwen Stefani, Taylor Swift and Dita Von Teese calling it their signature makeup look.
However, through history there has been a love/hate relationship with lipstick. In celebration of National Lipstick Day on July 29th, below are some fascinating facts on lipstick.
Lipstick was first invented and worn by women around 3000 B.C. Ancient Mesopotamian women used crushed gemstones to decorate their lips.
Famous Egyptian, Cleopatra VII, created her signature red shade by crushing ants and carmine in a base of beeswax.
Red lipstick according to the Greek Empire signaled that a woman was a prostitute as most women of that time did not wear makeup.
During the Roman Empire, lipstick was worn by both men and women to indicate their social status and suggest their rank.
In the late 1700s, the British Parliament passed a law stating that women who wore makeup were witches who attempt to lure men into marriage.
George Washington was known to wear both lipstick and makeup along with his powdered wig.
In 1915, the first metal lipstick tube was invented by Maurice Levy making it available to women for on-the-go application. Within years, major beauty brands such as Chanel and Estée Lauder started selling lipstick.
All makeup except lipstick was rationed during World War II. Winston Churchill kept lipstick in production because he felt it had a positive effect on morale.
By the 1950s, Hollywood stars began wearing the shade making it even more popular. Elizabeth Taylor is said to have had some diva moments about her red lipstick demanding that she be the only one on her movie sets to wear it.
Prior to her 1952 coronation ceremony, Queen Elizabeth II commissioned a soft red-blue shade of lipstick to match he coronation robe.
New pastel and nude colors of lipsticks emerged in the 1960s and 1970s, with black and purple hues emerging during the punk movement.
Today, red lipstick is still a classic. And it’s clear that the red lip with its powerful effects are here to stay. In the words of Elizabeth Taylor, “Pour yourself a drink, put on some lipstick and pull yourself together” in celebration of National Lipstick Day.