Today marks National Lipstick Day - which, if you are anything like me, means a lot! The origins of red lipstick hark back to the Mesopotamian era way back in 3500 BC when red rocks were crushed and made into a paste and put on the lips to provide a reddish tint. Ancient Egyptians were also red lipstick fans and Cleopatra was said to wear a divine mixture of crushed insects to create that vibrant hue we all love today. They even stored their pastes in little pots for handy access.
However the modern 'bullet' lipstick that we recognise today with its neat twist up mechanism was created by James Bruce Mason Jr in 1923, when modern make-up as we know it was in its infancy.
Every decade has had its own social discourse around lipstick: the specific hue, who wore it, and why they wore it (think of those Georgian fellas and their penchant for makeup!) It has been a marker of seduction, wickedness, immorality, as well a symbol of female independence, beauty and confidence.
Throughout the eras - from the early 'talkies' to today's Insta makeup movement, red lipstick has always been synonymous with beauty, style and confidence: think Louise Brookes and her deep plum lips, Lana Turner and Betty Paige with their bright coral tones, and Marilyn's rich scarlet colour. They evoke a strength and beauty all of their own. Pretty neat for a little bullet of wax and oil.
Vintage makeup may have been the forerunner of today's lotions and potions, with their moisturising and age-defying capabilities, but one thing we know, red lipstick remains a true symbol of femininity. Long live the lipstick!
So, what colour should you wear for your skin tone? Read our Guide to the right red lipstick for you and if you are after more vintage makeup know-how, have a look at our Vintage Makeup finds and if that's not enough inspiration, you can have a go at the 1930's Makeup Tutorial from The Blusherettes...