I have a weakness for lipstick. If I could only wear one beauty product, lipstick would be my desert island choice.
And my lipstick of choice? Make mine matte.
What is it about these tubes of colour that is so enticing?
In the 19th century, Queen Victoria (1837-1901) considered makeup vulgar, and impolite.
The Saturday Evening Review declared that cosmetics were insincere and a form of lying. Thus the beauty renegades of the day could not be caught buying cosmetics and even applied them secretly. These girls were adept at the no-makeup-makeup look. During this period, pale skin was a sign of nobility: the well-to-do were not required to work outdoors, and thus their skin remained untanned. To emphasize their porcelain complexion, a light dusting of powder added a healthy glow.
To most Victorians, make-up was considered the domain of only two classes of women: lowly actresses and prostitutes.This notoriously negative assessment did not, however, stop a lady — or her maid — from whipping up a batch of cheek rouge or scarlet-tinted lip salve at home using either the cochineal insect or the alkanet root. In fact, these natural concoctions were relatively simple to create. Here is a recipe from the 1892 book, Perfumes and their Preparation:
Referred to as the most famous actress the world has ever known, and named The Divine Sarah by her fans, French stage and early film star, Sarah Bernhardt, scandalously applied lip rouge in public and wore lipstick both on- and off- the stage.
Winston Churchill considered lipstick as a marvelous morale booster and refused to limit its production during WW11.
Elizabeth Arden created a wartime lipstick specifically for women in the armed forces named after the first line in the Marine Corps Hymn, Montezuma Red, a shade that perfectly matched the red in their uniforms. (The line was released to U.S. consumers in 1944 and included nail polish, and rouge as well.)
RED remains the most popular selling lipstick color.
THE 10 BEST SELLING LIPSTICKS OF ALL TIME
MAC Ruby Woo; YSL Rouge Pur Couture #19 Fuchsia; Dior #999; Chanel Rouge Allure, Pirate; Clinique Almost Lipstick, Black Honey; Tom Ford Private Blend Lip Colour, Bruised Plum; NARS, Schiap; Revlon Super Lustrous Lipstick, Fire & Ice; L’Oreal Colour Riche Lipstick, Fairest Nude; Dolce Gabbana Classic Cream Lipstick, Scarlet
ONE OF MY FAVS: BOND GIRL Charlotte Tilbury Matte Revolution Lipstick (Here)
POST PHOTO: By Rene R. Bouché, Vogue, March 1958