20 Interesting Facts About Lipstick

You’ve applied lipstick countless times in your life. But although you know which tones are right for you, how much do you really know about lipstick? In this article, Beauty and Tips uncovers 20 interesting facts about lipstick.

Lipstick. Lippie. You love it. We do, too. Perhaps you’re a sucker for red lipstick, or maybe you wouldn’t be caught dead on a night out without pink on your lips. We all have our favourite (right now we can’t get enough of nude lipstick). But while you’ve probably got a fair few funny lipstick stories to tell (remember that time you wore purple lipstick?) and know how to work your lippie like a lipstick queen, there are no doubt so many things about this makeup essential that you didn’t know. So sit yourself down, pucker up and read on as you get ready for another night out with your BFF (your lipstick, duh! not an actual human).

Lipstick Has Been Around For Like Forever

Okay, when we say that lipstick has been around forever, we don’t mean that it was one of the elements in the beginning of creation of the universe (although a lipstick comet would be totally amazing now that we think about it). But lipstick has certainly been around for a long, long time. In fact, history’s first ever beauty queen – Cleopatra – was a big fan. Yup, Julius Caesar’s ex-wife was so keen to impress him that she ordered that her slaves mash up some ants and beetles and turn them into lip-smacking lipstick for her. It worked and – allegedly – her rosy lips looked amazing. We just hope she didn’t ever reveal to Julius that he was actually kissing dead ants and beetles. We dread to think what he’d have done to her …

Ancient Egyptian Men Had A Fondness For Lipstick

Having made that quip about Cleo and Julius Caesar, we must also make an important point: It wasn’t just women who applied lipstick in Ancient Egypt. Men had a fondness for it, too. Of course, this doesn’t mean that the Roman Emperor Julius ever applied lipstick (and we’re not for one second suggesting that he did). But we’re having great fun picturing a scene in which Cleopatra and Julius argue over who gets to apply the last bit of lipstick before the only tube left in the palace runs out. Chuckles.

The Romans Loved Their Makeup, Too

Roman women had a penchant for makeup. Unlike the Egyptians, who mashed insects to create their beauty products, the Romans made theirs from vermilion, fucus – and lead. As you know, lead is dangerously toxic and can cause severe illnesses and conditions, such as nausea and blindness. It can also cause death. Of course, the Romans didn’t know this. Back then, they still worshipped a deity called Mars. However, wealthy Roman women were well looked after, and had their own cosmetics team to apply their lipstick for them each day. This team – known as cosmatae – also included makeup artists and hair stylists.

Poor Roman Women Had To Improvise When It Came To Lipstick

The poor Roman women still deserved to look good. Unable to afford authentic lipstick made out of toxic lead and not to be outdone, they found an imaginative way to apply their own brand of “lipstick” – red wine. Of course! We reckon people still do this today. And not only was red wine a convincing substitute for the real deal, it was also a lot less poisonous.

Lead Is Still Used In Lipstick

Don’t think we’re so much more advanced today with our lipstick’s. Some companies still use crushed beetles in their products, while some companies continue to use traces of lead. The amount of lead used in lipstick today isn’t enough to kill you, but the fact that companies persist with it is worrying. In fact, there are possibly other toxic ingredients in your lipstick, too. Not cool.

Women Spend A Lot of Money On Lipstick

“How much did you spend?” asks your boyfriend. You knew the question was coming, but you were really hoping he wouldn’t be waiting at the door as you returned home with seventeen shopping bags and a new friend. We like to shop. You like to shop. Women like to spend money on looking good. Hey, what’s the point of money if you can’t even spend it? The problem is that sometimes our spending gets a little bit out of hand. Especially when it comes to makeup. Indeed, it’s estimated that the average woman spends $15,000 on makeup during her life, with almost $2,000 of that going on lipstick.

Um. Just one second while we empty our online cart …

Lipstick Used To Smudge

Imagine if lipstick always smudged? So that, each time you kissed someone, you’d be left with lipstick all over your face? (and so would they) Or what if you couldn’t help touching your lips during the day, but even the slightest of touches smudged your lippie, totally ruining your first date? Annoying! Fortunately, lipstick these days is smudge-proof. But it never used to be. Nope, until the second world war, girls had to deal with lipstick that smudged easily. It took a chemist by the name of Hazel Bishop to develop a formula for lipstick that lasted longer.

Thank you, Hazel.

Did Silent Film Actresses Really Love Black Lipstick?

Ah, silent films! Ask anyone to name a silent film star, and they’ll probably struggle. “I wanna say John … ?”

The usual names eventually pop up – Oliver Hardy, Stan Laurel and Charlie Chaplin.

Silent film actresses? They’re a lot less easier to name. They include Mary Pickford and Gloria Swanson, the latter going onto achieve huge fame in talking Hollywood movies. But how come these women alway wore black lipstick? Was it hugely popular back then? In the silent film era, the film stock was still really sensitive colour. When an actress was wearing red lipstick, it came out looking black. As it turns out, red lipstick was just as popular then as it is now (remember Snow White?).

But …

White Lipstick Hit Its Heyday In The 1960’s

Ever worn white lipstick? It’s not something most of us think about. We either apply red, nude or possibly black, right? It’s hardly surprising. White lipstick is linked to the alternative subcultures, such as the goth culture. It’s also linked to the mod culture of the 1960’s. And, indeed, it was this anti-hippie culture – which took off in Britain in the sixties – that got white lipstick trending. Mods wore white lipstick, rode Vesper motorcycles and listened to music like rock band The Who. Ask your parents.

This Is What Happened To Women In The Middle Ages Who Applied Lipstick

If you lived in England during the Middle Ages and were a woman who wore lipstick, you’d have been accused of being in a witch. Hmm…

Is The Lipstick Effect True?

According to a study known as the lipstick effect, people are determined to still spend on luxury goods during an economic downturn. Of course, they can’t buy super expensive goods – such as fur coats – and so instead buy less expensive but still luxurious goods, such as lipstick. The reasoning behind this (according to the study at least) is that people still want to look and feel good turning economic recessions. And because – allegedly – women worry that there won’t be as many quality males around, they make sure they still look good with some amazing lipstick. Interesting. But is it really true?

Queen Elizabeth I Was Obsessed With Lipstick

The English monarch was so obsessed with it that she wore it on her deathbed and even allowed it to be used as currency.

When It Rains, We Buy Lipstick

What is it about the rain that makes us feel so gloomy? Is it the overall oppressive atmosphere? Is it the fact that we can’t go to the beach? Is it the noise of the rain bouncing off the concrete? Is it the pervasive greyness? Perhaps it’s all four. For those who suffer from SAD, rain can have a massive dampening effect on their mood. It makes them feel super, super miserable. It can wreak havoc with their motivation. It can make them pine for sunshine and happier times. Maybe that’s why a number of women feel compelled to buy lipstick when it rains? Indeed, on rainy days, lipstick sales shoot up! You can’t really blame us. The weather is making us feel rubbish, so we need something to make us feel fabulous. It’s actually raining here right now. Where’s the lipstick …

Lipstick Expires

Still using the same lippie after three years because “lipstick never goes out of date”? Contrary to popular belief, lipstick does actually expire. Two years is the maximum you should keep a tube for. After which, it will probably start to smell.

Lipstick Is The Key To Eternal Youth

Okay, before you get too excited, it actually isn’t the key to eternal youth. But if you want to look younger, you should always apply lipstick. Why? Because we have a tendency to associate contrasting features with youth. Of course, you should also eat lots of fruit and veg and avoid smoking to stay looking younger.

Who Wears More Lipstick? American Or French Women?

According to legend (okay, movies), the French love their lipstick. Like, all French women wear lipstick at all times (apparently). American women on the other hand? Not so much. At least this is how it tends to be portrayed in the entertainment industry. However, the reality – as ever! – is a bit different.

In fact, more than 80% of American women admit to wearing lipstick, which is a higher percentage of the population than French women. You go, girls!

Lipstick Was Banned In Some States

Although most American women freely apply lipstick these days without even thinking about it, it was only a hundred years ago when it was banned in some states. Back in 1915, for example, the state of Kansas outlawed it to women under the age of forty-four. Why? Because it “creates a false impression.” Your guess is as good as ours!

In The 1700s, The Wrong Lipstick Choice Could Have Costed You Your Marriage

They had some balmy customs in the 1700s. In Tudor England, it was apparently okay for the King to chop his wife’s head off if she didn’t give birth to a boy. Strange. Even stranger was the law that, if a women wore lip rouge during her courtship with her husband, he had every right to annul his marriage!

We’re kinda glad this rule doesn’t exist anymore. On the other hand, it’s such an easy way out of a marriage. Not liking all this football he’s watching? Time to get the lip rouge out!

The World’s Most Expensive Lipstick Is …

Ever wondered how much the world’s most expensive lipstick is? While you probably spend less than $10 on new lipstick, anyone who wants to get hold of Guerlain’s exclusive KissKiss Gold and Diamond Lipstick will have to pay as much as $62,000. No, the lipstick won’t transform you into the world’s most beautiful woman (though we think it really should for that price). Instead, you’re effectively paying for the tube, which is made of 199 diamonds (why not 200?) and 110g of gold.

It makes the average $2,000 we spend on lipstick throughout our whole lives suddenly seem reasonable. Maybe you should mention this the next time your partner tells you you need to reign in your spending on makeup.

You Ingest A Lot Of Lipstick

It was once rumoured that the average woman eats 7 pounds of lipstick over the course of her life. That’s not quite true. But the brutal reality is that we ingest 4 pounds of the stuff. It’s a crazy world.

Stay beautiful!

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