Final Exam

The History of Lipstick


My earliest memory of lipstick stems from watching my mom apply her red Revlon Moon Drops Lipstick from that ever so familiar green lipstick tube. Ever since seeing that, i’ve been in love with lipstick. As soon as I got old enough, I bought a red Revlon lipstick and wore it almost daily, just like my mom. For me, lipstick has been around since I was four, but this makeup product has actually been around since 2500 B.C. which is about 5,000 years ago. That is quite a lifespan for lipstick and it makes this beauty product ever so interesting in it’s long history. And who were the inventors of lipstick? Women of course!  Proof that women will find ways to play up their features and stand out.

Lipstick Through History

Between 2500 B.C. and 100 A.D., Mesopotamian women would use fruits, crushed jewels, carmine beetles,dust, clay or mud and mix a combination of a few and make their own colors which could include shimmer and shine if these women included the body of the beetles. Unfortunately, lipstick formulas that were created at this time poisoned women and led to serious illnesses. It wasn’t until the start of A.D, that the world finally saw a solid lipstick that was actually perfume scented! This day in age, red lipstick is the most notable and women are always on the hunt for that perfect red lipstick. But it wasn’t always this way.

Lipstick’s Rise to the Top

During the 15th century, red lipstick and lipstick in general was banned in churches and was seen as a symbol of Satan worshippers. It wasn’t until Queen Elizabeth wore lipstick, which at this time was formulated from plants and beeswax, that it’s popularity shot back up. Not a lot of people know of the history of lipstick so when they learn of lipstick’s evolution, how could they not become appreciative?

My sister, for example, is an absolute lipstick lover and I barely ever see her without wearing it. She has some words to say about lipstick and to the women who created it.

Men’s Help in the Evolution of Lipstick 

Men also had a hand in helping what lipstick is today! Fast forward to 1915, lipstick finally has a home in those hygienic metal tubes which were invented by Maurice Levy. I don’t know how lipstick could survive in our purses without the help of Mr. Levy! Before his invention, lipstick was applied with a brush and I would imagine, a messy application. And you know how our lipsticks swivel up and down? The inventor of this little convenience was James Bruce Mason Jr.. Mr. Mason gave women an easier way to apply our beloved lipstick!

Lipstick, a Girl’s True Best Friend

What is Marilyn Monroe synonymous for, apart from her flawless beauty and fashion? Red lipstick always seems to be just a reach away. Rarely did we see Ms. Monroe without that red lip. It was her who really made red lipstick what it is today. Women really are just trying to find that lipstick that makes them feel invincible! I have more lipstick in my makeup collection than any other beauty product. Below is a video of all of the lipsticks I have and swatches!

From reds, to mauves to nudes, lipstick is the one thing that really makes me feel like my look is complete. I have lipsticks from brands like Revlon, E.L.F, Wet N’Wild, NYX, Limecrime, Kat Von D and countless others and I can’t see the end to my lipstick purchases. If i’m not wearing lipstick, I have one in my bag just in case I change my mind. Lipstick is like an accessory that truly ties a look together and ignites such a confidence in women and I can’t thank those Mesopotamian women for inventing this perfect makeup product.