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History and Evolution of Lipstick

Long ago, lipstick had a long and illustrious history. Although lipstick is not a recent invention, certain formulas could be. They have advanced to the point that we can now customise our appearance to match different skin tones and hues. To get the ideal pigmentation and hues, several brands underwent numerous processing steps. Modern lipsticks, as opposed to the lipsticks of the past, contain a variety of fruits and tastes, essential oils, and other ingredients to hydrate, nourish, and prepare your lips for a pout. Additionally, a broad variety of lipstick colours, from bold red to neutral, are offered on the market. In order to maintain their radiance or match skin tone, they also come in matte or shimmering finishes. To learn more about their development, keep reading!

Ancient History of Lipstick

Lipstick may have been created and used for the first time by ancient Sumerian men and women around 5,000 years ago. They utilised crushed gemstones to adorn their faces, mostly on the lips and the area surrounding the eyes.

Women in the Old World (Mesopotamia, South Asia, Persia, Afghanistan, Pakistan, India, and Ancient Egypt) tinted their lips crimson for beauty from 3000 BC to 1500 BC. However, rather than just for beauty, Ancient Egyptians used lipstick to demonstrate social standing. Cleopatra and other ancient Egyptians crushed bugs to make crimson lipstick for their lips. Fish scales that had been crushed were added to the mixture to create a pearlized appearance.

A Status Symbol

Makeup was a status symbol in ancient societies, and both men and women participated in using it. In addition to being attractive, cosmetics also had therapeutic value. The Sumerians are recognised with being the first civilisation to utilise lipstick. Naturally occurring ingredients like fruits, henna, clay rust, and of course insects were used to obtain the stain. Women in Mesopotamia were a little more affluent and utilised ground valuable stones to give their lips colour and sheen.

Perhaps the first true fans of lipstick were the Egyptians. Black and purple were frequently used as striking colours. They obtained its colour from a variety of fairly intriguing sources, such ground cochineal insects that were used to make carmine dye. In truth, lipsticks and other items still contain carmine colour. However, the Egyptians employed poisonous materials like lead and a bromine mannite and iodine combination that may cause fatal illnesses.

Women also wore heavy makeup and black lipsticks made of tar and beeswax in Japan. Only in the Greek Empire were dark lips required for prostitutes by law, and using lipstick was seen as a sign of prostitution.

The solid lipstick was created by an Arab chemist named Abulcasis sometime about 9 AD. He first created a stock that could be pressed into a mould and used to apply scent. He developed solid lipstick using the same technique but with different hues.

Middle Age and Lipstick

As Christianity and puritanical ideals spread, the church forbade the use of lipsticks and other cosmetics in general. Women wearing lipstick were thought to be sorcerers and witches since red lips were thought to be related with Satan worship. No self-respecting woman, aside from prostitutes, wore coloured lips. But lip balms were well-liked and accepted. In order to make their lips look redder, women therefore covertly put colour to salves or turned to pinching, biting, or rubbing lips with various materials.

Queen of England in 16th Century

During England’s reign under Queen Elizabeth, the lipstick reappeared. She made light white complexion and red lips fashionable, although even those features were only available to noblewomen or theatre players and actresses. Actors and prostitutes continued to have access to lipstick for almost three centuries after that.

1884 AD

Lipstick was initially produced commercially by the French fragrance business Guerlain. They used castor oil, beeswax, and deer tallow to make their lipstick, which was then wrapped in silk paper.


Maurice Levy is credited with creating the cylindrical-shaped lipstick.


By 1920, women’s daily life included lipstick on a regular basis. James Bruce Mason Jr. invented the swivel-up tube in 1923, giving us the contemporary lipstick we use today. Movie actors from the silent era served as the era’s fashion idols, and their black lips were imitated. The most sought-after hues throughout this time period were plums, aubergines, cherries, dark reds, and browns. It was mass made and reasonably priced. Magazines urged ladies to dress in fashionable hues, and they obediently followed this advice.

The cupid’s bow lipstick, created by Helena Rubenstein, promises to give lips the desired form. To give their lips the appropriate cupid’s bow shape, women frequently utilised stencils. The first wave of feminism, which saw women seek additional rights, including the ability to vote, also emerged in the 1920s. At the time, lipsticks were truly seen as a feminist symbol.

Rouge Baiser, a claimed “kiss-proof” lipstick created by French chemist Paul Baudercroux at this time, was swiftly pulled off the shelves because ladies found it impossible to remove. Lipsticks were first offered for sale by companies including Chanel, Guerlain, Elizabeth Arden, and Estée Lauder.


The depression at this time did not stop people from loving lipstick. According to a poll, half of teenage girls and their parents quarrelled about lipstick (Mitchell, Claudia; Jacqueline Reid-Walsh) (2007-12-30). Girl Culture: A Reference Guide. Greenwood Publishing, Connecticut, p. 396-397. The 1930s were the decade of beautiful, matte finishes following the jazz baby era of the 1920s. Max Factor began offering lip glosses, which quickly gained popularity among the general public as it had previously only been used by Hollywood actors. Because of the depression, lipstick was a luxury that ladies could afford. During this time, deep plum and burgundy were among the most popular colours.


Women in the 1940s began working hard occupations alongside men on the front lines of battle as a result of the dangers of the Second World War. All materials were in short supply, and for lipsticks, plastic and paper tubes temporarily substituted the metal ones. The shortage of supplies forced makeup artists to be inventive and free-spirited. In order to raise spirits during the depressing war, women were really urged to wear the reddest of their lips. American Beauty by Besame was one of the most widely used red hues.


Hollywood glam superstars like Grace Kelly, Marilyn Monroe, Audrey Hepburn, and Elizabeth Taylor were influencing fashion throughout this time period. Lipstick was more fashionable than ever, and women wanted to appear like their favourite Hollywood stars. Women in the 1950s embraced the trend of bright red lips, which were particularly popularised by Marilyn Monroe and Elizabeth Taylor. One of the most popular colours was Envious by Estee Lauder. According to a 1950s poll, 60% of young females wore lipstick.

During her coronation in 1952, Queen Elizabeth II invented her own shade. The Queen’s favourite cosmetics company, Clarins, created the colour, which they named “The Balmoral.” The shade went well with her coronation gown. Hazel Bishop also developed a successful “kiss-proof” lipstick around this time. Once “Revlon” developed their own line of smudge-proof lipsticks, the battle between the brands officially begun.


Lipstick pulled design cues from the arts and popular culture, as many hues came and went from the runway. Everybody may find anything that suited their preferences. The flavor-infused lipstick known as “Lip Smackers” was first created by Bonnie Bell in 1973. The younger crowd took to these right away. Some of the defining hues of the time included corals like Maybelline’s Orange Danger and Aerin’s Rose Balm Lipstick in Pretty.


In the 1980s, everything was about shimmers and gloss, even lipsticks. Bold red lips became once again a statement when the idea of power dressing emerged. It was usual and fashionable to match your lip colour to your clothing. In line with the era’s dance party lifestyle, hot pink lips became all the rage. There were certain alternative subcultures where goth lips were fashionable.


The makeup was straightforward because it was the grunge period. Demand for natural, chemical-free lipstick formulae increased as people’s environmental consciousness increased. It was becoming more and more common to acquire a lip tattoo or semi-permanent lip colour. However, if the 1990s are regarded as the decade of lip liners. Nothing more screams the 1990s than lighter lipstick paired with a darker lip liner. Brands like Mac and Urban Decay entered the market.

2000 Onwards

Britney Spears, Christina Aguilera, and Paris Hilton dominated the 2000s Lip glosses were once again a popular accessory since shine was fashionable.

Now, the selection of lipstick colours and formulations is mind-boggling, to put it mildly. In the United States, women spend more than $3500 on lipstick on average over the course of their lifetimes, according to a poll.

The recent debut of Kylie Jenner’s collection of lipsticks by the youngest member of the Kardashian-Jenner family and social media star was maybe another important turning point in the history of lipsticks.

Lipstick now comes in a variety of colours, from neutrals to pink to even crazier choices like yellow or green.

You are, we are certain. Indeed, lipsticks have experienced a significant shift throughout time. We now have access to a large variety of lipstick hues and tones thanks to manufacturers. These goods are offered in a variety of textures, polishes, and forms to suit our particular requirements. We’re confident that the next time you see the lipstick in your purse, you’ll think about its remarkable journey and development.

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