Style & ShowbizBeauty

Lipstick lowdown

Lipstick lowdown

On 29 July ladies (and men!) around the world will be celebrating National Lipstick Day. If there was ever a better time to paint on a pout, than this is it. Red, pink, purple or black, whatever your shade of choice, wear it with confidence today.

From Marilyn Monroe to Gwen Stefani, the humble lipstick has become embedded in pop culture, but the make-up product actually has a pretty interesting – and diverse - history. We take a look at some fascinating facts concerning our lippie.

Lipstick is actually a part of history, with the first wearers thought to be ancient Sumerian men and women, who also likely invented it 5,000 years ago. However their lipstick was a little different from ours; they crushed gem stones and wore them on their face, mainly on their lips. Festival chic was born!

Lipstick was also a favourite of the Ancient Egyptians, who wore it as a symbol of their status. It was applied with wet sticks of wood and their colours of choice were magenta, red, orange and black-blue.

When the Ancient Greeks got their hands on it, it was mainly used by prostitutes and fell out of favour with the elite.

In Tudor times red lips were all the rage thanks to Queen Elizabeth I’s use of the bright colour on a pale face. She knew about make-up statements long before trendsetters began to write about it.

Back in the olden days, lipstick, or their version of lip stains, were made out of ingredients like sheep fat, mashed red roots, lead and fucus (brown algae). Not something we’d want anywhere near our mouths in this day and age, but back then that was the norm.

Fast forward to more modern times and after a blip where female suffragettes painted their lips as a symbol of emancipation, lipstick soon became the height of fashion. The first commercial lipstick was created by the stylish French, and by the 1920s make-up pioneers like Elizabeth Arden and Estee Lauder began selling lipstick in their salons.

Since then we’ve never looked back. Studies have shown that men love women in lipstick, with research from the University of Manchester finding men look at women wearing lipstick longer than bare lipped ladies, with red being the most powerful colour.

It’s also been estimated women spend an average of $15,000 (£11,241) on make-up during their lifetimes, with $1,780 (£1,334) of that going on lipstick.

So ladies, paint on that pout and smile!

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