THE JOURNEY OF LIPSTICKS
The recent launch of our ultra pigmented, comfortable Modern Mattes Lipsticks has got #teamfae wanting to take a stroll down memory lane and discover how lipstick (a cosmetic once considered “uncouth” to then becoming extremely sought after) stood its ground through the ages. What we found during our research has us feeling like the story of the evolution of lipsticks is more than worthy of a netflix docuseries. Let’s dive into it:
ONE FOR THE HISTORY BOOKS
We found that the first instance of lipstick being used was about 5,000 years ago, making it the first cosmetic to ever be used. Ancient Sumerian and Indus Valley men and women among the first to invent and wear it. Sumerians used crushed gemstones as a means to decorate their faces (VERY fancy). Egyptians like Cleopatra, an icon really, crushed carmine bugs to create a colour of red on their lips (something that’s still used in the production of non vegan cosmetics today, EW). Ancient Egyptians wore lipstick as a show of status rather than gender. Yes! ancient Egyptians really said ‘Gender roles who? We don’t know her’
Thank god for technological advancement because I would absolutely not put dead bugs on my face. Fast forward A LOT of centuries and by the end of the 19th century, Guerlain, a French cosmetic company, began to manufacture lipstick. It was covered in silk paper and made from deer tallow, castor oil, and beeswax. And that’s how“Ne m’oubliez pas” (I don’t know how to pronounce it either) became the first modern lipstick in history.
THE POLITICS OF LIPSTICK
Lipstick was seen as a symbol of adult sexuality. Teenage girls believed that lipstick was a symbol of womanhood, yet adults saw it as an act of rebellion.(I meaann what’s new?) In the early 19th century, Despite the increased use of cosmetics, lipstick was still associated with prostitution. Teen girls were discouraged from wearing cosmetics for fear that they would be mistaken for "loose" girls or prostitutes. (Yes, lipstick was cancelled too)
Between the 1950s and 1960s, Lipstick started to gainpopularity again (let’s just take a moment to thank Marilyn Monroe) to the point where women who did not wear lipstick were suspected of mental illness. Now that’s a tad bit extreme don’t you think?
THE MODERN LIPSTICK
Today lipstick is not considered gender specific and all individuals (regardless of what gender they identify as) enjoy wearing makeup and specifically lipstick (That’s not to say that we don’t have a really long way to go when it comes to people of all genders feeling comfortable wearing cosmetics, but thats another story) Lipstick today is available in a variety of shades that flatter all skin tones (FINALLY?!) which was not the case until as recent as 10 years back!
Humble, or simple looking as it may be, the lipstick it is a powerful tool of self expression and self love, and individuals around the world use it as a quick and effective pick-me-up.
Untill next time,
Stay Curious, Stay Freequal.