From ancient Egypt to the Madonna: the history of red lipstick

From ancient Egypt to the Madonna: the history of red lipstick

Red lipstick has a very rich history. This is perhaps one of the most famous symbols of female beauty and sexuality in the world. Despite his controversial reputation and a lot of controversial issues related to its production in the past, women still can not resist the alluring scarlet color on your lips. We decided to tell you the story of lipstick from the very beginning until today.

An ancient civilization

Many historians agree that the inventors of the lipstick were the Sumerians, while others believe that the first lipstick appeared in ancient Egypt, where men and women applied to the lips of a mixture of red ocher, carmine, wax and grease. In ancient Greece, women did not have the social freedom allows them to wear red on the lips in public, only the girls of easy virtue were allowed such liberties. While the lipstick made from elements such as red paint, sheep sweat and excrement of crocodiles. This fact is connected, and the world's first law banning the priestesses of love to go without lipstick, so as not to undermine the social status of girls from decent society.

In ancient Rome, the situation was quite the opposite. The red color was a sign of high status, luxury and wealth. Despite the huge amount of toxic substances, which are made of lipstick, it wore, both men and women, emphasizing their social status.


In the Middle Ages the color red on the lips was considered inappropriate, for religious reasons. Scarlet lipstick looked defiant for ministers of faith. But at the same time, lipstick determined belonging to a certain social class. In Italy, in 1200 AD, pink lips were representatives of high society at the time, as the lower layers could be purely purple.


From ancient Egypt to the Madonna: the history of red lipstick

So far, the British pastors 1500 years have tried to brand the red as "diabolical", Queen Elizabeth I was not afraid to use a mixture of cochineal, Arabic gum, egg white and fig milk, to create a bright-red lips that are the quintessence of her royal style. In 1600 - church officials continued to struggle with sin color, and citizens had different shades of red to determine their social status.


In the 18th century, the British government finally banned the red lipstick as using it to provoke and seduce women of respectable men. At this time, wearing a red lipstick it was considered proof of the witch hunting. Following the British, some American states have also decided to make a stand for women, to protect them from witchcraft and manipulation. In this regard, a law was passed allowing the man to break the marriage with a woman who could afford to wear red lipstick at the time of the publication. Fortunately, women of pre-revolutionary France did not have to fight for the right to wear bright red lipstick to enhance the beauty of porcelain-white skin.


Through the influence of Queen Victoria, the red lipstick out of fashion and was forgotten during the entire 19th century. But, as some historians say, in the 1860 red lipstick is back as a challenge and confirmation of the cosmetic industry. In 1870, the Parisian cosmetic brand - Guerlain first successfully released for sale lipstick made from grapefruit, oil and wax. Since the use of lipstick was still considered something underground, actress Sarah Bernhardt caused grave scandal by their appearance in public with a provocative red lips in the late 1800s.


At the dawn of the 20th century make-up finally became socially acceptable. According to Madeleine Marsh - author Compacts and Cosmetics, the most famous manifesto of red lipstick was associated with the emergence of the suffragettes in the streets of New York City with bright red lips. After many centuries of male superiority, social, moral and religious persecution, the red color became a symbol of women's freedom and the struggle for equality.

In 1915, Maurice Levy introduced the world's first lipstick in a metal tube, which we know today. But despite such progress in the cosmetic industry, the ingredients of which are made lipstick, still contain toxic substances, plus the color itself does not keep long. Up until 1938, the government has not taken any effective measures to protect consumers from harmful cosmetics.


From ancient Egypt to the Madonna: the history of red lipstick

With the development of cinema ban on bright red faded into oblivion. On black and white screens began to appear more and more stars with incredibly dark lips. The appearance of the lipstick to the movies has greatly increased the popularity and demand among ordinary people. In 1939, Vogue announced lipstick "the most important element of women's cosmetics," which served as a clear evidence of the growing interest in make-up, despite the Great Depression of the 30s. At this time, the concept of "lipstick effect", which economists explained how the need for people to buy products such as lipsticks, to facilitate the existence of the crisis.


During the Second World War, lipstick advertising reached a new level, promoting win limited edition lipsticks such as "Victory Red". This advertising campaign was designed to encourage women in their desire to wear red as a triumphant symbol of civic duty. Lipstick will win. And this is another symbol of the struggle for women's right to remain beautiful and feminine at all times.


Revlon introduced its "Fire and Ice" popular advertising company, which in 1950 was a huge success and went down in history of the cosmetic industry. Advertisement consisted of two pages and includes tests of fifteen questions, showing the ratio of readers to bright-red lipstick, which was advertised model Dorian Leigh. To add more fire to the popularity of bright lips actress like Elizabeth Taylor and Marilyn Monroe always left imprints of their red lips as a signature. So they wanted to make a bright lipstick desirable and relevant to women of that time.


1960 brought a decline in the popularity of red lipstick because of the new fashion trend, tending to the natural color of the lips, which has become popular due to the hippie culture, and continued until the 70th. At the same time, some feminists denied lipstick as a phenomenon, designed to please men. In the late 90's, they change their position, pushing the red lipstick as a symbol of femininity and sexuality that women should not be ashamed.

With the advent of disco and glamor, shiny cherry lips are back in fashion. Glam and punk rock culture also contributed to raising the demand for bright lipstick, both men and women. And there is nothing surprising, because Egyptians used it long before David Bowie.


From ancient Egypt to the Madonna: the history of red lipstick

In 1980, the incredible popularity enjoyed bright colors, it is worth recalling the Madonna at the origins of her work. Nevertheless, the end of the 90 showed a strong tendency to soft, pastel shades. But with the onset of the 2000s, women began to choose lipstick exclusively on mood, without giving up the bright colors.

Our days

Today, cherry lips look as elegant, like many years ago. Fortunately, the content of harmful substances has been reduced to a minimum. Now women around the world can afford to bright red to express themselves without fear of any moral or gender bias. The only question in the choice of modern lipstick - a search for the perfect shade.