Oct 21, 2013

Read My Lips: Lipstick History and Fun Facts


      Even though most women use lipstick (80 % of women in the US, 70 % in France) and some are even "addicted" to the colorful sticks (over 25 % of them won't leave their house without wearing one), I can't say I'm one of them. I was a bit of a tomboy and I always rubbed my eyes and my whole face, so it took me a really long time to get used to putting eye makeup on and I forced myself to buy my first foundation at 25, but lipsticks... No. I draw the line when it comes to lipsticks. If you like to drink and talk as much as I do, you really can't live with war paint smeared across your main portal of liquid and words. But they do look pretty and I do own a few (although I rarely wear them) so this post has been on my mind for quite some time. Despite the girlie content overload, I have discovered - much to my surprise (and enjoyment) - that lipsticks go (or went) hand in hand with prostitutes and men, but I'm getting ahead of myself.
      Lipsticks have been around for a very long time, about some 5000 years ago women in ancient Mesopotamia used to grind precious gems and prettify their lips with the colorful dust. Cleopatra in ancient Egypt was no exception - to get the red pigment she crushed carmine beetles and ants (or better yet she had other people crush them for her). But Greek and Roman women avoided wearing any form of pigment on their lips because prostitutes wore heavy lipstick. The interesting fact about this is why they wore it. When it comes to prostitution the key component of the job is moisture - at least if you want to be any good at what you do. That's why they "moisturized" their lips and made them richer in color for their clients' certain body parts to slide in and out of their mouth with greater ease and to signify the plumpness and moistness of their bottom labial counterparts. Clever, huh? What's even more interesting is that the idea that a woman wearing bold (red) lipstick is more appealing and inclined to sexuality (whether that's true or not) still hasn't gone out of fashion, which just goes to show how much the male psyche has evolved from those days.
      After the prostitutes, another stigma haunted lipstick. In the Middle Ages it was believed (and I'm sure men instigated that notion) that a woman who painted her lips worshiped Satan, was destined to hell and could bewitch men and trick them into marriage - in other words, a lipstick wearing woman had to be a witch. But then Queen Elizabeth I started wearing lipstick (god knows why) and it became a huge trend amongst the English and French aristocracy; men, women, everybody wore lipstick and instagramed their lipstick-laden selfies daily. Even George Washington wore lipstick on the other side of the pond. But then the European commoners had enough and rebelled against the lipstick bourgeoisie and during the French revolution (between 1789 and 1799) wearing lipstick could get you killed since that meant you were siding with the aristocracy.
      Even after all the French revolution dust settled down, the times were still hard for lipstick lovers. If you wore it, it meant you're either an actress or a prostitute and the terms were often interchangeable. But then the two professions slowly started to go their separate ways and more and more women wormed up to the idea of a lip enhanced face and thus in 1923 the first swivel up lipstick was born! But not just actresses and women, everyone jumped on the lipstick-wagon, even politicians. During the Second World War, Winston Churchill... Wore lipstick? No, at least not in public, who knows what he did or didn't wear privately, but he did say no to rationing lipstick (although the production and use of all other makeup products was restricted) because its "positive effect on morale". Maybe these positive effects explain why statistically speaking lipstick sales do better during rainy, gloomy days.
      But be the day rainy or not, women love their lipstick. More than 32 % of American women say they have more than 20 lipsticks. 20? Really?! When you consider that 5 % of the product ends up on the cutlery, 5 % on glasses and cups, 15 % goes down the drain when a woman washes her face, 5 % ends up in a woman's stomach and 10 % ends up in the dumpster because you can't use all of it anyways, you can't help but calculate how much money goes to waste. At least that's my perspective. Another thing you can also calculate is how much lipstick does a woman eat during her life - in a lifetime, 5 % of product amounts to 1,5 kg or 3 lbs on average. Maybe lipsticks are the answer to world hunger... But before we start shipping them to all the starving people, let's reconsider: Aside from beeswax, natural oils and ground fish scales (to add the shimmer, what else), lipsticks tend to be full of chromium and manganese which are great for generating cancer and poisoning your nervous system - so smear away and eat up!


If you want to see some really nice lips, check out Moiminnie's.
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      Peet

34 comments:

  1. cool !
    follow each other ?:)
    let me know ! :*

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  2. Who knew lipstick could be so interesting?! I don't have 20, but I have a few favorites at home... (maybe 5 or 6)

    http://naomemandeflores.com/en

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  3. Prostitute or not, I love me some lipstick! I'm bad. I know. Can't help it! It's so pretty and if I don't feel like doing a full face of makeup, it gives me enough oomph to not look dead. Long live the lipsticks!

    xo Ashley
    thetiniestfirecracker.com

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  4. This was such a cool look at hte history of lipstick!
    Personally I don't wear it too often, just now and then. I love the look of red lipstick :)

    The Dragonfruit Diaries

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  5. I'm also not that lipstick kind of girl! specialy in trong colors...I like some lip gloss and that's all! but I like to see you with black one!
    muah*
    mariana

    http://asouthbreeze.blogspot.pt/

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  6. I agree with Ashley .. long live lipstick!!

    Monica, www.pear-shaped-gal.com

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  7. Well this was a fun read! I honestly never thought of googling the history of lipstick, so thank you for summing it all up here for us lazy asses haha :) Although you described yourself as a bit of a tomboy, I have to say these colors look darn good on you, especially red and black!
    PS. I was pleasantly surprised when I saw my name at the bottom, so thanks for the shout out, it's much appreciated :) x

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  8. I think I might be one of those women with the 20 lipsticks but they were all pretty cheap and on sale so it shouldn't hurt lol, I don't know why but lipstick is the easiest way to add that needed enhancement to my face without me doing a full face beat down lol, great post on lipstick history by the way
    Deejay Speaks

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  9. I rarely wear lipstick myself. J. Edgar Hoover, the former head of the F.B.I. allegedly wore lipstick too (see an image of J. Edgar Hoover in makeup here) although the allegations are disputed and denied. I didn't know George Washington wore lipstick but I knew a number of men in that era wore silk stockings and powdered wigs. I also suspect that a large percentage of our male politicians have at least some makeup on for the TV cameras and some of it is noticeable.
    Eeewww. Some of those ingredients ar grotesque. I wonder if there was anything like that in the makeup I wore on so many Halloweens long ago? A number of cosmetics brands claim to make lipsticks that are vegan and cruelty free. I've read it's difficult keeping track of what ingredients are in what products.
    Your lipstick looks pretty but you look pretty scary in that that knife-clenched-in-the teeth photo.

    http://www.full-brief-panties.blogspot.com/

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  10. Ive only recently felt brave enough to wear lippy but I totally always fuck it up by drinking and eating lol I love the Revlon Lip Butters cos they are like a lippy and a lip balm in one whoo hoo!xx

    www.hausofsarahrachel.blogspot.com

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  11. You got me on google reading about lipstick!
    www.helloitsoceane.blogspot.com

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  12. OMG!!! You look great in these lipsticks, Will rather say SUPER SEXY! I was seriously enjoying your lipstick post,until when i got to the last part of it that says,what lipstick contains (chromium and manganese) Mannnn.... You got me so scared, I am not really a lipstick person but i love rubbing at least 3 times in a week.The story behind this lipstick is super amazing,I never knew all these,thanks for sharing babes. The impression of girls wearing heavy lipsticks and referring to them as prostitutes still very much exist,especially when you see a lady with a very heavy lipstick at a early morning farm market. People will def stare and see her as awkward.
    Do have a very sweet day.
    Kisses..

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  13. wow i loved reading this post!! so interesting to learn the history of lipstick!! and wow i didnt know the statistic for women who use lipstick was so high! i totally feel you though, i touch my face and rub my eyes a lot so it's difficult wearing makeup. I still dont wear that much. but anyways, you look so gorgeous in these photos!! :D

    katslovefashion.blogspot.com

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  14. I love that you've given us a fairly comprehensive history of lipstick. As an actress, I have to wear lipstick, but I like to wear it during my normal days as well. And I'm pretty sure when people are worried about chromium and manganese causing problems, you would have to ingest a lot more lipstick that any one person does normally.

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  15. The first pic is soooo halloween!
    Anyway, back to the post. As someone who wears only certain lipsticks (allergic to very very many - boo) & someone who likes to read loads of history (cuz i have no life?) I knew about most of these facts - good to have a quick fact/brain refresh. The Medieval times for some reason are the ones which always haunt me: no matter what women did, they have always been looked at objects who are closer to satan rather to god. I mean c'mon! She drinks herbal tea? Witch! Lipstick? Clearly a Satan-lover! Puts blusher on her cheeks? A loose woman (aka also Satan-lover).

    It's interesting how this all quickly finished during the renaissance period :)
    Oh wait... are you snoozing already? ;)

    Edita
    www.pret-a-reporter.co.uk

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    1. I'm noooot!!!!:D I love FUN and INTERESTING historic facts in general. The renaissance was weird, a lot of things changed for no apparent reason... But I'm sure it's just not apparent from where we're standing. And the treatment of (beautiful) women throughout history is just appalling.

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  16. Lipstick looks so good on you! I also have the same feelings about it though.

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  17. Great lipstick colors, the last picture is pretty (I mean so are all of the other ones) :P

    http://petitemaisonoffashion.blogspot.com

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    Replies
    1. Meh... I'm actually not a fan of these pics, but I "had to" post them because I didn't have the time to shoot new ones. But thanks for the compliment, dear, maybe they're not that horrible...

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  18. i love red and purple lipstick!

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  19. Haha, another great post dear. Do you have all this information in your head or do you google it? It's probably in your head because you seem like the type of the person that has probably googled this at some point. I'm not saying that's a bad thing, I'm that type of person, too. I once spend a whole afternoon reading about the praying mantis. Sometimes you just get stuck on THAT side of the internet.

    I'm not a lipstick person at all. Nope.

    Corinne x

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    Replies
    1. I read bits and pieces here and there and then I decided to make sense of them.:) And praying mantis are cool. EXTRA COOL!

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  20. Stunning photos, and I really enjoy to read this post !!!
    xoxo
    Christy

    http://www.am2pmchic.com/

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  21. i feel naked if i don't have my lipstick on , loving the photo with the ombre lips !!!
    xoxo

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  22. I wish I was the kind of woman that wore lipstick all the time, but I just end up with waxy teeth and a red-smeared boyfriend :/ LOL

    http://thepersephonecomplex.blogspot.co.uk/

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    Replies
    1. Waxy teeth.:D Those are even worse than a lipsticated boyfriend. Or is it the other way around??:)

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  23. Well I'm pleased to say, based on your last sentence in particular, that I rarely wear lipstick, it just seems like a lot of hassle and if I'm honest I'm yet to find a colour that really suits my skin tone. You on the other hand appear to have a versatile skin tone because every colour here suits you. Your lips look smoochable in that last picture!

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  24. As a total lipstick junkie, this post was right up my alley. Love those vibrant lips on you! xo

    -Jen

    www.vibrantbeautyblog.com

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  25. Gorgeous facts, I learned so much new stuff :D That with the prostitutes is really interesting indeed!
    Also I love the shades of lipstick you used. I have a few myself but rarely wear them as well... I just have my hands in my face like all the time xD
    xx

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  26. 20 lipsticks really? Where do they put so many colors? There is almost one for each day of the month. It's crazy.
    I I have 3. And I hardly ever wear them ... only for photographs ^ ^
    You can not eat, can not drink, can not kiss ... what is supposed to be the good thing?

    And we really eat 1.5 kg of lipstick? Then they`ll say colon cancer is because transgenics ...
    This post and that about food, make me don't want to buy anything anymore.
    Please do not bring dirt on anything more (specially clothes!!) or I will finish world capitalism

    I LOVE the first photo. Seriusly.

    XXX
    http://muerdelaespina.blogspot.com.es

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  27. This "story" seems to be plagiarized from another source. Interesting that you mention Eliz I and then George Washington. And the ingredients and colors and class structures of Egypt and Greece, worded very similarly to another, aka, original source. What's your source for all this? Especially the very specific George Washington citation? Care to share? Or be part of a plagiarism lawsuit? Or would you rather bypass this and just take this down before it gets ugly?

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    1. The title of the post is '... History ...' so sure I got the raw data (and quotes which really can't be re-written) off of various Internet sources, but the piece is old so I have no idea what those are/were, if you found them feel free to share them yourself and I'll put them up, I seriously couldn't care less since I'm not getting any money or readers via this particular article (which should make you feel a whole lot better ;)). So cheer up and cheers!

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