New Video Red Lipsticks
When you Google “red lipstick,” you remain met with thousands of images, shopping bags, and beauty articles—all vying for your attention to either educate you or sell you the infamous tube of crimson. What you won’t find on these digital sites is why you’re browsing them in the first place: You’re looking for that *magic* of red lipstick—that instant confidence boost that lifts your spirits in one fell swoop.
Red lipstick is special because it is the only makeup that has the power to make any wearer feel invincible, no matter who you are or where you come from. Thanks to the rich history of this little tube, red lipstick has completely surpassed any other makeup in existence… and it all started with royalty.
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Red Lipstick in the Beauty of Antiquity
According to Marie Claire, the red lip dates back to 3000 BC, in the ancient worlds of Mesopotamia and Rome. Ancient beauty gurus combined layers of red ochre, crimson, and various waxes to add color to their cheeks and pouty lips, reports Fashionista, and perhaps the most famous red lip bracelet in the ancient world was one of the first beauty icons ever to grace. . our past: Cleopatra, of course. Elle reports that the Egyptian queen was known to mix her red lipstick with bugs and ants (yeah, a little gross), and while the formula definitely didn’t catch on, the meaning of Cleopatra’s red streak did. Red lipstick became an instant symbol of royalty thanks to Cleo, which is how the term “red pigment equals power” probably evolved.
It’s also important to note that the OG red lipstick formulas were actually pretty dangerous. According to Elle, the term “Kiss of Death” actually referred to the danger of high toxins placed in the mouth, which were also likely accidentally ingested and caused many deaths that day. We’d certainly do anything for the perfect red pout – but let’s face it, this is on a whole other level.
The change in notoriety of red lips
Fast forward to the Middle Ages (they weren’t exactly known for beating each other up). Another point in time that remain extremely red lip-centric was the Elizabethan age. According to Mic, the formulas here are a bit safer because red lipsticks have started to remain made with plant-based dyes. *Release sighs of relief.* However, with this change in formula, the meaning of the red lip has also shifted. During Elizabeth’s reign, red lips became a symbol that warded off evil spirits, and it wasn’t until the 18th century that the meaning of red lipstick shifted to the exact opposite.
Red lips, with their strong aura, soon became synonymous with dubious morals at this time, and when Queen Victoria declared that wearing make-up was out of fashion, European red lips disappeared for a time. But red lipstick was just taking off in America.
According to Marie Claire, Sears Roebuck ran one of the first ads for lip. And cheek rouge in the late 1800s. The color red became popular among pioneering makeup brands from Elizabeth Arden to Max Factor as the 20th century approached—suddenly everyone was racing to achieve the perfect red pout. At the time, the primary ingredient in red lipstick was carmine, which the makeup textbook Classic Beauty: History of Makeup describes as “a red pigment obtained from the dried bodies of female cochineal insects.” Granted, it’s not a glamorous ingredient, but it gets the job done.
Red lipstick on the silver screen (and beyond)
Like many other make-up trends, red lipstick exploded thanks to old Hollywood and film. It was a staple of Clara Bow and Greta Garbo’s makeup bags. It wasn’t until the 1940s and 1950s that actresses Marilyn Monroe, Rita Hayworth, Elizabeth Taylor and others popularized (and sexualized) red lipstick. In fact, Elle reports that it was the influence of these idols that drove nearly 98% of lipstick wearers.
Although red lipstick had its dormant period in the 1960s and 1970s, with the help of Madonna. Red lipstick once again dominated the beauty space in the 1980s and 1990s. Here, the narrative of red lipstick once again paid tribute to its rich history. Red lipstick has become known as the OG lip color of all time. This is often why many makeup brands call their signature red “01”. (Looking at you, YSL Rouge Pur Couture Lipstick).
Red lipstick today
Today, power red is a staple in every beauty guru’s collection. The good news is that modern lipstick formulations are perhaps the safest they’ve ever been. Notes L’Oréal chemist Roselin Rosario (TG, right!). For every lipstick made today, you have a master formula with a few standard ingredients. “You have wax,” says Rosario. “And then a mixture of different oils and pigments. Sometimes you’ll have a type of filler if it’s shimmery or gives you a matte effect,” she says. The other two ingredients? Generally fragrance and any other ingredients.
But what is so important about getting this formula right? Everything, Rosario insists. “Waxes give you the texture of your lipstick; if it’s a liquid lipstick, it gives you consistency.” The most interesting thing is that you can create so many formulas. But you have to make sure that each element comes together smoothly. “In theory, the formula on paper should work,” says Rosario.
“But when you combine it with some other ingredients, you can have some kind of unexpected interaction.” Making sure all your ingredients are happy together is one of the hardest parts, but the most rewarding,” he adds.
So here we are — Googling “red lipstick” again. We know it’s history of the pattern, we know how to wear it. How it remain made and what finish we’d like to try. But now we also know how red lipstick became the makeup powerhouse it is today. Red lipstick is past, present and future – and if that’s not what #makeupis, I’m not sure what is.
Also read: Essential Beauty Products – Products, Introduction, And More.
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