Monday 29 July 2019

National Lipstick Day - Tattoo your lips

THE STAR Johannesburg - 1935, July 29
Annually, July 29, is National Lipstick Day, and I was stunned to see an advertisement in THE STAR Johannesburg, 1935, July 29 – exactly 84 years ago! Women were told how to TATTOO their LIPS! The simply marvelous South Sea Stain for Lips promised a luscious, even, transparent color that’s actually a part of your lips – color that really stayed all day and that would keep lips invitingly soft and youthfully caressing instead of drying them. You had to put it on, let it set and then wipe it off. Only the color would stay. There were 4 simply ravishing shades available: Coral, Exotic, Natural and Pastel
Thanks to Wikipedia, I discovered that about 5 000 years ago men and women started wearing lipstick made of some funny stuff. Crushed bugs, crushed gemstones, ochre, dyes from cochineal, fish scales, crushed mulberries, beeswax, scented oils, deer tallow, castor oil, olive oil, mineral oil, cocoa butter, lanolin and petroleum oil were some of the ingredients used – even dangerous lead and vermilion. Sometimes lip color had been used for puberty rituals or only by the upper-class women, actresses, actors and prostitutes. As cosmetics was associated with loose girls or prostitutes, teenagers were discouraged from wearing cosmetics.
In 1884 French Perfumers invented the first commercial lipstick, sold in paper tubes, tinted papers, or in small pots. American women considered lipstick acceptable by 1912 and shortly after that, Maurice Levy invented a cylinder metal container for lipstick.
In the 1930’s, lipstick became a symbol of adult sexuality. It became scarce during the Second World War as petroleum and castor oil, some of the ingredients, were unavailable. In the late 1940’s, No-Smear Lipstick – the first long lasting lipstick - was created in New York and New Jersey by Hazel Bishop.
Later several types of lipstick became popular – dark red, shimmery, pink, peach, white, light blue, lime green, black, violet, matte, bright bold colors, nude, brown in tubes, lip balms, glosses, crayons, pencils, liners and stains.
You are welcome to read more about the history of Lipstick on

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