Lipstick is almost as old as time, and it is just as important for our culture today as it was in ancient civilizations. Lipstick helps get life done. Here are 3 interesting facts about lipstick.

Girl wearing red lipstick.
Lipstick makes us feel confident
Photo by Tamara Bellis on Unsplash

No matter the color of lipstick you choose or the brand you are loyal to, lipstick makes us look cheerful and feel confident. In the words of Elizabeth Taylor,

“Pour yourself a drink, put on some lipstick, and pull yourself together.”

Elizabeth Taylor

1. Guerlain Became the First Company to Manufacture Lipstick Commercially

Red lipstick tube by Guerlain.
Guerlain was the first company to commercially produce lipstick
Photo by: Neiman Marcus

While Guerlain was the first company to produce commercial lipstick, lip stains and products have been with us for thousands of years. As early as 2500 BC, women used crushed gemstones to create a stain for the lips.

Later, the Egyptians really put make-up on the map. Men and women alike donned various shades, including reds, purples, and black.  Their lipstick was made from carmine dye (I’ll let you research that ingredient on your own!).  Sometimes fish scales were used to make the lipstick more pearlescent. Make-up was not only used for its beauty properties, but for medicinal purposes, as well.  Lipstick and mascara were both used to protect Egyptians from the sun.

During the Middle Ages, lipsticks were associated with witchcraft and sorcery, and therefore banned by the Christian Church. However, by the late 16th Century, Queen Elizabeth I brought back the idea of lipstick and was known for her red lips and pale face. Her lipstick was made from beeswax and dyes made from red plants.

Most lipsticks were homemade until the late 1800s.  Then, in 1884, Guerlain produced the first commercial lipstick.  However, the tube, as we know it, was not created yet. The lipstick tube was invented a few years later in 1915.

2. The Most Popular Shade of Lipstick Is Red

Grace Kelly wearing red lipstick.
Grace Kelly donning red lipstick
Photo by: Wallpaper Memory

The most popular shade of lipstick is red. Think Cleopatra, Grace Kelly, and Marilyn Monroe. Queen Elizabeth II even uses a red-hue lipstick. She even commissioned her own color red for her coronation in 1953, called The Balmoral, and was manufactured by Clarins. The color matched the ceremonial robes. Pretty neat, huh? 

During WWII, women in Allied countries were encouraged to wear red lipstick to support the war effort. Furthermore, during the Suffragist’s Movement in the early 1900s, women wore red lipstick as a way of writing their own story and declaring their liberation. 

Today, the top brands of red lipsticks are MAC Ruby WooChanel Pirate, and Revlon Fire and Ice.

3. Lipstick Purchases Can Help Gauge the Economic Outlook

MAC's Ruby Woo lipstick
MAC Ruby Woo lipstick
Photo by: Amazon

Few make-up products can boast about having an economic term named for them, but lipstick can! The Lipstick Effect occurs when the economy weakens, and consumers may not be able to buy bigger ticket items. However, they still purchase small indulgences to make themselves happy. For example, a lovely lipstick can help a woman feel good about herself, but won’t break the bank when she purchases it. That is some economic power!

Purse with sunglasses, lipstick and phone.
The Lipstick Effect occurs when the economy weakens
Photo by STIL on Unsplash

The world has known for thousands of years that a stained lip can do wonders for the soul. Lipsticks have had the power to support the economy, boost morale during a world war, and help a queen look her best during the coronation.  

Lipstick can help a woman to accomplish great things, including securing voting rights. 

“If you’re sad, if you are disappointed in love, put on your makeup, give yourself some beauty care, put on lipstick, and attack.”

Coco Chanel