History of Lipstick

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By Hella Goode

I remember as a girl, my mother refusing to leave the house without “putting on her face.” Who would want to see their mother without a face? I waited patiently for her to make herself into her version of beautiful.

Have red lips always been a sexy, fashionable feature? Most of us picture a healthy face as one with rosy pink cheeks and soft, red lips. Subconsciously these tones indicate a young, fertile glow. That’s right-good old animal instincts at it again. So, when did we start to add these alluring traits artificially?

One might be surprised, but it turns out we’ve been staining our silverware and shirt collars for centuries. Ancient murals depict Egyptians as having very colorful faces, thus, leading to the theory that they used makeup, including a primitive lipstick. Many centuries later, Geisha of Japan painted their faces white and made their lips into a small, bright red pout, much like a doll’s mouth in order to show their status above the everyday woman. Elizabethan times called for ladies of class to powder their faces white and then add red to their mouths.

Later, these activities became scandalous and red lips, or what was considered too much make-up became the mask of the undignified woman, or prostitutes.

Historically lipstick was made from fatty oils, dyes, and even insects. Today ingredients have changed for many reasons. Some ingredients of the past involved cruelty to animals or required animal testing to ensure safety before being allowed on market. Many women today want safe products for themselves and animals, and will only wear make-up that has not been tested on animals.

Nonetheless, make-up naysayers, and supporters of cruelty-free make-up still seem to have come to the same conclusion. A little makeup, applied the right way can be just what a girl needs to look her best.

Footnote: Dallasites can learn more about how lipstick is made by visiting the Mary Kay Cosmetics headquarters, museum, and factory located at 1330 Regal Row and I-35 to see how an everyday lady created one of today’s greatest make-up empires and made women all over the country and the world self-sufficient, proud women. Call ahead for tour times 214-638-6750.

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