Monday, September 21, 2009

Fashionable History: Red Lipstick

I love red lipstick! Now that the season is changing into fall, I am ready to exchange my lip gloss for the fuller look of bright red lips. Wearing red lipstick can signify many different kinds of pouts. Depending on your attitude red lips can portray strength or demure femininity; Old Hollywood Glamour or punk rock; smokin' hot bombshell or dolly clown. In today's market there are so many choices and shades but applying color to one's lips is nothing new. Women have been altering their lip color to be more feminine and sexy since Egyptian times. Egyptian Queens carried lip staining kits around with them with color made from henna and crushed beetles. Elizabethan ladies wore pale faces with lips painted red from a poisonous mercuric sulfide. And Victorian women used red crepe paper to stain their modest lips. It took the make-up company Guerlain to introduce the first wax based lipstick in a refillable tube in 1870 that catapulted lipstick as we know it, into the mainstream.

The first Guerlain bullet lipstick; Ne M'Oubliez Pas (Forget Me Not)

03.02.09 {1947 lipstick ad} by elegant musings.
Rita Hayworth in a 1940's Max Factor red lipstick ad.

Marilyn Monroe in matching red lips and nails. Classic!

Even funny ladies wear red. Lucille Ball also in matching lips and nails.

Madonna's favorite red shade in the 80's was MAC Russian Red. Still a top seller.

Gwen Stefani mixes punk rock with Old Hollywood Glamour and is hardly ever seen without her red lips.

The return to Old Hollywood Glamour. Dita Von Teese wears red lipstick impeccably.


Anonymous said...

Fabulous post! I love red lipstick, and though I don't wear it every day, I can't envisage a time when I don't have several shades of red to choose from.

Generally I favour a darker berry stain, but lately (in the past year or so anyway) I have gone all-out screaming scarlet BRIGHT RED, which has actually made people stop in the street and stare at me. Which I find strange.

I have rather big lips, which I used to loathe, but which have always attracted lots of comments. I got to my 30's and thought: Hell, if people are going to make comments anyway, let's give them something to stare at. ;)

I think I'd feel naked without some form of noticeable lipstick on. I have tried the frosted shimmers, darlings, and believe me they look *awful* on my lips. Love them on other people, but pale lips make me look sickly, like someone in the last throes of frostbite. I cannot do a 'natural' lip, either. Tried and failed many times. It's red all the way for me!

(You can see me in bright red lippy on my About Me page on my blog, if you're curious. :) )

Thank you for such a great article!

Anonymous said...

I like the matching nails and lippy:)!! Never actually worn red lipstick but I have been meaning to try it out lately... maybe I will tomorrow after reading this:)!!


Ms. B @ Millie Deel said...

I love red lipstick and and I'm working my way towards wearing more opaque shades by wearing sheer reds. Red really does tend to stand out so it takes some getting used to if you are traditionally a chapstick or lip gloss girl ;)

A said...

I adore red lipstick, too. I wish I could pull it off :)

Stephanie said...

I love red lipstick. It definitely is a huge mood changer - you definitely can't be a wallflower with it! Maybe this sounds a little silly, but I always feel sultry and a little old Hollywood when I wear it.

Great post!!

Jade said...

It was my senior formal a week ago and I decided to wear a fifties inspired leopard print dress with red accessories to match so of course I chose red lipstick with nails to match. I felt so glamorous. Every was saying I looked like an old Hollywood movie star. I was so flattered. It's amazing what clothes and makeup can do.

Unknown said...

Yes, it is amazing what clothes and makeup can do! That's why we love it soooo much! I love my "All That Red" lipstick carousel from Pin-Up Cosmetics, it gives me 5 shades for all my red pout moods. And I love Red Hot Red from Besame for nights out on the town! And it's true, beyondthepale, once you are used to lipstick it does feel naked without it!

Estrella said...

red lipstick! always a must!

Anonymous said...

This is a fun post! I know it's a few years old, but still relevant today! My favorite red lipstick comes from red apple. They are amazing!

Ruby Tuesday said...

I can't imagine wearing any other shade! Instant glamour!