Beyond its esthetic qualities, lipstick also has a nostalgic quality about it. We have many memories of applying our mother’s lipstick while her back was turned or of purchasing our first tube of luxury lipstick in our favorite shade.
Yes, lipstick has been our greatest beauty ally for as long as we can remember.
Nowadays we have the luxury of playing around with colors, selecting hues that suit our mood, an outfit or an occasion. But that sort of freedom wasn’t always an option for lip color lovers out there. In fact, lipstick shades have had quite a rocky history.
Throughout the 20th century, colors were very limited and the times and places one chose to apply them were often scrutinized. For instance, in the 1920s it was the deep dark red shades were by far the most coveted, drawing cupid’s bow shapes over their lips, an ode to the era’s popular silent films. Lipstick was now officially regarded as a symbol of womanhood and maturity.
Later, in the 1930’s, more cosmetics brands began to emerge and with that came a new selection of lip colors. The new lighter shades made it easy for teenage girls to find age-appropriate colors while more mature women stuck with their beloved dark red tones.
The 40’s saw the arrival of safer and quality ingredients as well as the very first tube of long-lasting no-smear lipstick developed by Hazel Bishop.
Red lipstick came back with a vengeance in the 1950’s thanks to Hollywood legends Marilyn Monroe and Elizabeth Taylor sporting it in some of their biggest blockbusters and public appearances. The cosmetics industry was booming and with that came new shades including shimmery pinks, peaches and lavenders. The pale hues continued into the 60’s where even white lipstick became a leading trend! In the 70s and 80s, darker tones – as in black – started flying off the shelves due to dramatic changes in popular culture. As we know, the 80’s were all about drama and glamour.
Today, we can walk up to a beauty counter and easily find the perfect shade - whether you are looking for a 1920’s red, a 1980’s black or something in between – the perfect lipstick is out there for you. Brands have numerous texture options and new shades are introduced with every change of season and collection.
I saw this and had to post it. I love Shu Uemura and thought this was really interesting. Enjoy!