Fashionable History: Red Lipstick


I love red lipstick! Now that the season is changing into fall, I am ready to exchange my lip gloss for the fuller look of bright red lips. Wearing red lipstick can signify many different kinds of pouts. Depending on your attitude red lips can portray strength or demure femininity; Old Hollywood Glamour or punk rock; smokin' hot bombshell or dolly clown. In today's market there are so many choices and shades but applying color to one's lips is nothing new. Women have been altering their lip color to be more feminine and sexy since Egyptian times. Egyptian Queens carried lip staining kits around with them with color made from henna and crushed beetles. Elizabethan ladies wore pale faces with lips painted red from a poisonous mercuric sulfide. And Victorian women used red crepe paper to stain their modest lips. It took the make-up company Guerlain to introduce the first wax based lipstick in a refillable tube in 1870 that catapulted lipstick as we know it, into the mainstream.

The first Guerlain bullet lipstick; Ne M'Oubliez Pas (Forget Me Not)

03.02.09 {1947 lipstick ad} by elegant musings.
Rita Hayworth in a 1940's Max Factor red lipstick ad.

Marilyn Monroe in matching red lips and nails. Classic!

Even funny ladies wear red. Lucille Ball also in matching lips and nails.



Madonna's favorite red shade in the 80's was MAC Russian Red. Still a top seller.



Gwen Stefani mixes punk rock with Old Hollywood Glamour and is hardly ever seen without her red lips.



The return to Old Hollywood Glamour. Dita Von Teese wears red lipstick impeccably.