The resurrection of lipstick.
Lipstick is without a doubt firmly back on trend. Thanks to Kylie Jenner’s plumped-up-pout and the nudes of the nineties making a come back, we have more colours, shades, and textures than ever before.
But it was not always so prominent. Believe it or not, there was a brief lipstick hiatus during the time of lip gloss, paw paw ointment, or even the dreaded Blistex that swept through schools yards around Australia and seemed to burn your lips on application. At least this was the case for those of us who grew up in the naughties. For a long time, for me, lipstick seemed to only be for my mum, aunties, or grandmas. It was something that women of another era wore, older women. It was not for me and not something I knew about or thought I could pull off. And the colours they wore were always some shade of red. Whether it was pinky-red or orangey-red or peachy-red, it was the traditional colour, the done thing.
But recently I’m feeling a shift. The lipstick is back, and in a big way. So at Easter, the time of rebirth and resurrection, I thought we would celebrate another sort of resurrection and the closest thing to a messiah that we at Lou Lou Lips subscribe to: lipstick.
And how better to celebrate this wondrous item than with a look back into how this cosmetic came to be.
Lipstick has been around for a long time. A really long time. Back before Cleopatra, although she did popularise it, back around 5,000 years and you’ll be somewhere in the vicinity of when the concept of lipstick was invented. Think any sort of natural-dirt-type colouring that people, men and women, could smudge on their lips. Now jump forward to Cleopatra, she was using ground up bugs to ‘develop’ new colours (please note we have not followed these methods). Bees wax began to be used some time after this and from then you pretty much have the form of the lipstick as we know it today.
Skip forward to the 1920s and you’ve got all the dark red you could ever want. Flappers specifically wore red lipstick to signify their independence - our kind of women. Lipstick had always been linked to sexuality but it was in the 1930s that this idea was really solidified, lipstick was now firmly set in people’s minds as a symbol of adult sexuality. Teenage girls saw it as the ultimate mark of womanhood and when they wore lipstick adults often viewed this as an act of rebellion. Outrageous.
Then came the 1940s with the beginning of the iconic housewife, think suppression and all things proper, and lipstick represented everything that society didn’t think women should be or do. It was associated with loose women and prostitution. Women were told that men liked natural women and because a woman’s sole goal was to bag a husband she shouldn’t dare think about wearing lipstick.
Then came the years where, thank lipstick, things start changing. We are given Goddesses likes Marilyn and Ms Taylor who showed the world that sexy isn’t a negative concept for women. While they brought back lipstick it was still the classic bright bold red, other colours remained a rarity. The 70s however did bring a slight variation in colour with browns and oranges becoming popular, but it was from the 1980s onward where we saw the biggest colour growth.
With the eventual development of the punk and goth sub-cultures we began to see some real variation in colours. Women were rocking blacks, browns, greens and mood lipstick – it changed with your mood much like the mood ring. Now that is what some would call innovation. Others might suggest it stay in the 90s. The jury's out for us.
And then somewhere after all this we had the development of the gloss. First it was glossy lipsticks, then gloss on its own. Now there’s nothing wrong with a good gloss but it doesn’t have the depth, richness, or oomph of a lipstick.
So we for one and very happy that now, after a few years of glossy pinks, peaches and clears, we’re back with bold lips. Nude, burgundy, pink, red, peach. Whatever your colour, whatever your feeling there's a lipstick out there for you, you just need to discover it.
With love, Tory - Lou Lou Lips marketing manager