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A little bit about Lipstick!

A little bit about Lipstick!

This painting of my daughter when she was around 6 years old is about the fascination we have with makeup especially lipstick. The innocent way children apply lipstick haphazardly across their face that they quickly learn to perfect is a treasured moment I think most parents can recall with fondness or hilarity! This painting is the basis for a range of merchandise called ‘Lipstick Girl’ and can be seen here LIPSTICK GIRL MERCHANDISE  on


The use of lipstick dates way back to ancient times and were made from a variety of things, my favourite being Cleopatra’s crushed carmine beetles which gave a deep dark red colour hence the name carmine red. Some additives like ants and even fish scales for the pearly effect sounded terrible. In the 1850s the use of lead in lipstick caused women to get sick and its amazes me that even today we still put some dubious sounding products on our faces!

These days we wear makeup freely, even bright red lipstick is normal, but once upon a time it was frowned upon and only actors were permitted to wear it on stage. Bright lipsticks were seen as only worn by prostitutes not respectable ladies, the darkening of lips seen as a sign of arousal so seen as trampy and garish to be wearing in public, gosh things have changed now haven’t they! The first commercial lipstick was created in 1885 in Paris, made from deer tallow, beeswax and castor oil.

The fancy metal tubes we see lipstick in now, didn’t come into play until 1915 which saw a little lever on the side of the tube that needed to be pushed up with your fingernail, as the swivel tubes we have now were not invented until 1923, before metal tubes lipstick either came in paper tubes or small pots and were usually applied with a brush, to get the best effect it pays to still use a brush but it’s not uncommon to use it directly from the tube to the lips. I have a lipstick that is applied like a lip-gloss with a sponge tipped applicator, it glides on wet and glossy and dries to a long lasting matt colour that literally stays on for hours, a divine creation for someone like me who forgets to reapply or check my makeup more than once a day!

It pays to use a lip liner with your lipstick if you want to good finish, and always use a matching colour, the dark outline around a paler lip colour is not attractive, it makes you look like you got dressed in the dark and don’t care about how you look. Lip liner outlines your lips neatly and prevents the lipstick from bleeding into the tiny lines around your mouth, so well worth the extra expense and effort to do the job properly.

Another interesting lip product is a lip stain. This literally adds a stain of colour to your lips which when dry you top up with a clear gloss and means you don’t need to reapply all day, be aware of applying too much and also try to use a lip scrub prior to use to prevent it being trapped in areas of dry skin and looking uneven and patchy.

I have many lipsticks in all sorts of shades but my favourites would have to be first up a Revlon Colourstay Ultimate liquid lipstick in ‘Top Tomato’ which is a bright sexy red with slightly blue undertones that work with my skin colour. I also have this in ‘Best Bubbly’ which is a more natural colour that I wear when I don’t feel like wearing bright red. Another favourite is Mac’s ‘Myth’ a beautiful nude shade that looks natural and can be worn with anything.

What your favourite lipstick brands and shades are too, please feel free to share?

Posted: Friday 6 April 2012


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