10 Fascinating facts about lipstick
It’s National Lipstick Day on 29 July 2023, so let's take a moment to celebrate this much-loved make-up item.
A stick of lipstick can work wonders, it can elevate a look, perk you up, and make a statement. With names such as Wine N Dine, Snow Queen, and Rose Flower Pearl, lip colour can bring a smile to your face in more ways than one. Not only that, lippy has a rich history with its use dating back to early civilisations and it has since been a firm favourite with queens and movie stars such as Marilyn Monroe.
Here are 10 fascinating facts about lipstick – and accompanying tips to ensure a perfect pout…
1. Lipstick has been worn for thousands of years. Archaeological records dating to about 2,500 BC from Mesopotamia (now known as the Middle East) document a queen wearing lip colour made of ground stones.
Tip: Before applying lipstick, prep your lips with a lip scrub to smooth any dry patches.
2. The Egyptians, including Cleopatra, wore lipstick that got its colour pigmentation from beetles. It’s estimated that 70,000 beetles were needed to produce one pound of the carmine dye that the beauty-loving queen used to paint her lips. It’s believed she associated lipstick wearing with power.
Tip: Thankfully, these days vegan beauty options are widely available, and we’re proud to say we have plenty of choice here at Libre London.
3. Queen Elizabeth I popularised lipstick during her reign over England from 1558 to 1603, and wore red lipstick to ward off evil spirits. However, given that the red shade she wore was lead-based, it’s more than likely she gave herself lead poisoning through daily wear.
Tip: Apply a thin layer of lip balm before applying lipstick to moisturise your pout and ensure staying power.
4. There’s no proof red lippy will ward off wicked ghouls, yet according to science it can make you more attractive. Scientists at the University of Manchester tracked the eye movements of 50 men as they viewed different images of women, and found they spent longer looking at women wearing red lipstick.
Tip: If you want a more subtle colour, dab lipstick on with your finger.
5. While lipstick was popular in the Georgian era (1714 –1830), you may have noticed Netflix binge-worthy period drama Bridgerton nods to this, laterly the Victorians were not fans and they favoured a ‘natural look’. Indeed, Queen Victoria believed make-up belonged on the stage and her subjects should avoid it! Thankfully readers, her views did not stand the test of time.
Tip: Forgot your blusher? Apply lipstick onto your cheeks to give a pinch of colour.
6. The first lipstick was made in 1870 by French beauty brand Guerlain, they commercially produced it in 1884, and it came in a tin tube. Modern swivel lippies didn’t appear until 38 years later in 1922. Before this new-fangled packaging was invented, make-up for lips was stored in a small glass jar.
Tip: Lipstick tends to last for 1-2 years, while lip gloss lasts for 6 months – 1 year, throw away old make-up to avoid germs and irritation.
7. The Guinness World Record for the most people applying lipstick is 6,900 and was achieved by Vice Cosmetics (Philippines) at the Ganda for All Music Festival at Araneta Coliseum in Quezon City, Manila, Philippines, on 9 September 2018. Men, women and children participated and the message of the event was, ‘Beauty for all.’
Tip: To make any lipstick long wearing, apply lip liner over the whole lip first.
8. H Couture Beauty’s diamond lipstick is the most expensive in the world at $14 million, the packaging is made of 18k gold encrusted with almost 200 diamonds, hence the mind-boggling price tag.
Tip: It might seem like a thing old Hollywood movie stars would do, but try blotting lipstick with blotting paper and reapply for a lasting look. It works!
9. It’s been noted that in times of recession and economic stress, the ‘Lipstick Effect’ kicks in where people splash out on small luxuries for a boost. The concept was coined by economics and sociology professor Juliet Schor in her 1998 book The Overspent American. She discovered that when the pennies are tight, women would splash out on luxury lipstick to keep up appearances.
Tip: Use a lip brush to apply lipstick for a precise pout.
10. During the early 20th century, red lipstick renewed its association with power when the suffragettes in the UK, US and other places, wore it as a secret symbol of female strength.
Tip: Apply foundation to lips as a base to really make a red lipstick pop.
Happy National Lipstick Day!