No make-up is complete without adding a dash of colour to the lips, and in fact, it is the one thing that enhances a person’s looks. The use of lip colour has been around for centuries, though not in the form that it is now. Now there are different kinds and they all come under one name – lipstick. On National Lipstick Day, which is marked on July 29 every year, we take a look at how it has evolved over the ages. Also Read - National Lipstick Day 2018: History, Celebrations And All You Need to Know About The Special Day
Lipstick, a word which originally described the product within a tubular container, comes in many shades and is made of various pigments, oils, waxes, and emollients. Apart from enhancing a person’s looks, it is also used as a protection for the lips and comes in the form of lip balms that add colour and hydration. Also Read - Mariah Carey 'always had low self-esteem'
It is believed that ancient Sumerian men and women were the first to come up with the lipstick, which was about 5,000 years ago. Their method, however, involved crushing gemstones and using the powder to decorate their faces, mainly the lips and around the eyes. The colouring of the lips in ancient times was done to show social status rather than gender.
The first lipstick that was made of beeswax came from the Chinese some 1000 years ago, and it was used to protect the delicate skin of the lips. In the UK, lip colouring gained popularity in the 16th-century during the time of Queen Elizabeth I, and the product was made from a blend of beeswax and red stains from plants. But again only upper-class women and male actors wore it as it was not considered acceptable in Britain for respectable women.
The manufacture of lipstick kicked off at the end of the 19th century, when Guerlain, a French cosmetic company, began making it. Perfumers in Paris, France had invented the first commercial lipstick in 1884 and it was covered in silk paper and made from deer tallow, castor oil, and beeswax.
The use of lipsticks in push-up metal containers was first recorded in Europe in 1911, and by 1915, lipstick was sold in cylinder metal containers invented by Maurice Levy. The first swivel-up tube was patented by James Bruce Mason Jr. in 1923 in Nashville, Tennessee. The first long lasting lipstick, called No-Smear lipstick, was invented in the late 1940s by Hazel Bishop, an organic chemist.
Since then there have been a number of companies that have come up with various kinds and colours of lipsticks, most notably Elizabeth Arden, who introduced different lipstick colours in the early 1930s. Other brands that are associated with lipsticks are Max Factor, Lakme, M.A.C, Maybelline, L’oreal Paris, Revlon, NYX, Chambor, Elle 18, etc.