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Know how lipsticks came into being

The origins of lipstick lie in the mists of time; in the beginnings of human civilization in fact. Let us find out more about this...

Lipsticks are known as a woman's best friend. No matter what, you are sure to find one of these hidden in every woman's handbag or closet. We have seen it on almost every woman. We place it on our lips and it does make us more attractive, sophisticated in fact more woman. It is one of things we declare that we are ready to become women.

This cosmetic has been with mankind for quite a while. However, one thing to be noted here is that it did not begin in the early twentieth century or the century before that. The origins of lipstick lie in the mists of time; in the beginnings of human civilization in fact. Let us find out more about this...

How lipstick evolved?

It is believed that ancient Mesopotamian women were the first women to invent and wear lipstick. According to the belief, they crushed semi precious jewels and used them to decorate their lips. Following this tradition, women in the ancient Indus Valley Civilization applied lipstick to their lips in order to decorate their face.

Ancient Egyptians also extracted red dye from fungi called as fucus-algin and added 0.01% iodine, and some bromine mannite. However this resulted in serious illness. Cleopatra made her lipstick from crushed carmine beetles, which gave a deep red pigment, and ants for a base.

These lipsticks underwent lot of changes following this. They were made shimmering with the help of a pearlescent substance which was found in fish scales.

During the Islamic Golden Age, the notable cosmetologist, Arab Andalusian Abu al-Qasim al-Zahrawi (Abulcasis) invented solid lipsticks, which were perfumed sticks rolled and pressed in special moulds.

However, in Medieval Europe, lipstick was banned by the church and was thought to be used as an 'incarnation of Satan' and reserved such cosmetics for prostitutes.

In England, lip colouring again started gaining popularity in 16th century. During the reign of Queen Elizabeth I, bright red lips and a stark white face became a style statement. By this time, lipstick was made from a blend of beeswax and red stains from plants. Lipstick use was restricted to upper class women and male actors who wore makeup.

Later in 1770, a British law was proposed to the Parliament that a marriage should be annulled if the woman wore cosmetics before her wedding day and post this throughout the 19th century; the use of cosmetics was not accepted in Britain.

By the end of the 19th century, Guerlain, a French cosmetic company, begin manufacturing lipstick. In 1884, the first commercial lipstick was invented, by perfumers in Paris, France. It was covered in silk paper and was made from deer tallow, castor oil, and beeswax.

Later in the same century, lipstick was coloured with carmine dye. Carmine dye was extracted from Cochineal, scale insects that lived on cactus plants. Cochineal insects produced carminic acid which was used to deter other insects. Carminic acid was mixed with aluminium to make the carmine dye.

This lipstick did not come in a tube; it had to be applied with a brush. Carmine dye was expensive and the look of this lipstick was unnatural. So this lipstick was not perfect for everyday wear.

By the middle of the 1930s lipstick became available in various colours. During the 1940s the rotating push up lipstick was invented. By the end of World War II, lipstick had become one of the most widely used cosmetics.

Lipstick today is made out of many ingredients. There are now in organic types made of castor oil, beeswax and other various natural oils. To many, the history of lipstick seems to have gone full circle.

The history of lipstick has been noted for various innovations in ingredients and contents. There many types of lipsticks today.

Tags :     lipstick     cosmetics    


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