For some it meant a chance for divinity, for others a reason for divorce or even a risk of death. For lipstick to be triumphant, it truly had to run the gauntlet. In the end though, it won over women’s lips and hearts.
The tradition of lip decoration is an age-old one: the ancient Mesopotamians were the first women to adorn their lips, and did so with crushed gemstones. During excavations in the Sumerian city of Ur, researchers uncovered a kind of lip ointment from 3500 BC. This is the oldest such find to date.
Whether warriors or queens, the ancient Egyptians also decorated their lips to resemble their gods. For upper class Roman and Japanese women, lip colour was even mandatory as it distinguished them from commoners. Conversely, the ancient Greeks saw nothing noble in make-up. In their culture, red lips were also a form of social segregation, but here it was artists and prostitutes who had to wear make-up so that they could be easily distinguished.
While ointments and waxes were initially used, the use of sticks was introduced in the Baroque era. Coloured particles, often acquired from crushed red cochineal insects, were mixed with ground alabaster or plaster to form a paste. This was rolled into shape and dried in the sun. Catherine the Great was even more innovative and chose a brand new kind of beauty regime: the Russian Empress commanded her serving ladies to suck as hard as possible on her lips and lightly bite them. This enhanced their blood circulation and made them look visibly swollen.
Few men could resist sensual lips. In 1770, the British parliament therefore intervened and ruled that women who lured men with red lips and trapped them into marriage were liable to prosecution. All marriages based on such situations could be annulled. During the French Revolution, this beauty regime not only made women liable to prosecution but also put their lives at risk; anyone with red lips was exposed as an aristocrat, with the possible sentence of death by guillotine.
The turning point
100 years later the turning point finally came: in 1883, the lipstick was born. A Parisian perfume manufacturer presented the Stylo d’Armour made from beeswax, castor oil and deer tallow at the world exhibition in Amsterdam. As it was extremely expensive and only wrapped in tissue paper, it was initially ridiculed as a ‘Saucisse’ or little sausage. Despite this, the French actress Sarah Bernhardt openly used the lipstick in public and actively advertised the cosmetic utensil.
In 1948, the lipstick finally gained its practical metal sheath with a slide mechanism and became a basic commodity. After more than 5,500 years, the application of lipstick is today the a make-up ritual that is publicly acceptable everywhere in the world according to rules of etiquette.
Lipstick – Make-up tips from Karim Sattar
What should I consider when applying lipstick?
Smile wherever possible – tightening the lips makes it easier to apply lipstick. I also recommend that you use a lip brush. This is not just for hygiene reasons and more precise application but also because the resulting colour is far more intense.
How should I choose a shade of lipstick?
The fabulous thing about Dr. Hauschka lipsticks is that they look different on different people. That means that even if your best friend is wearing the same lipstick as you, the colour will appear different. Lipsticks can therefore be freely selected to meet your taste or match accessories such as jewellery, a handbag or a scarf.
How can I achieve longer lasting lip colour?
Apply the lipliner and lipstick as usual then press a tissue between your lips. Next, use a powder pad to dab your lips with Translucent Face Powder loose then reapply the lip products.
Hydrating and moisturising slimline lipsticks that give colour, care and antioxidants! Lippy ingredients just don’t get much better than this…
Precious Argan oil, Jojoba oil, Castor seed oil, Beeswax, Rose wax, extracts from Wild Carrot root (rich source of pro-Vitamin A), Rose hip (rich source of Vitamin C), Rose flower and Anthyllis.
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