on 06/01/2014 | 20:46
“Classic red lips are always the highlight of glamor and the most elegant beauty statement a woman can make.” – Dita Von Teese. Red lips are one of the oldest and most unbeatable weapons of a woman. Stars like Marilyn Monroe then and now Gwen Stefani, Dita von Teese, and Christina Hendricks make this unmistakable beauty statement popular to this day. We take you on a journey through the history of red lips and reveal what other women made this sexy pout so popular. You can also dive into our image gallery to admire the most beautiful red lips ever.
Regardless of whether you choose light or dark undertones, if you combine a lot or a little eye makeup with it, a perfect red pout is often the only accessory a woman needs. After all, this indicates effortless beauty and sensuality. A beauty secret that was already known in ancient Egypt.
It all started with Cleopatra
Cleopatra, the dream woman of ancient times, was the first woman, along with Queen Nefertiti, known to emphasize her lips. At that time, the colored mass was composed of ocher and pressed reed, so the use of cochineal is known to obtain the red pigments. The lip color was stored in small jars and carefully applied with a brush. In ancient Japan, however, the lip color consisted of a mixture of honey, wax, and pigments, which is very close to today’s composition, which includes lanolin, beeswax, and carnauba wax.
In the ancient Greek and Roman empires, makeup was a huge taboo because it was only used by artists and prostitutes. After a long absence of red lips, Queen Elizabeth I returned to popularize cosmetics in general around 1560. She relied on the contrast between her pale, powdered face and a bright purple on her lips. In the Baroque era it was also believed that makeup and cosmetics could prevent death. While makeup in any form was frowned upon in England in the 18th century as it was associated with prostitutes, there was a different way of thinking in France: upper-class ladies wore makeup every day, as this was considered a luxury and thus they stood out from the crowd. Working class women took off.
The secret of retro beauties
At the beginning of the 20th century, red lips were reborn, thanks in particular to silent film stars like Clara Bow. She was known for always applying the darkest lip shade she could find to mimic red lips, as the actual red was not visible on the black and white canvas. Around 1915, Maurice Levy created the first lipstick in a rotating metal tube as we know it today. Before that, the colored pomade was laboriously wrapped in tissue paper. Soon after, the starter lipstick was patented and companies like Helena Rubinstein, Elizabeth Arden and Chanel also began creating their own inner lip shades, from which the cosmetics market benefited and flourished. Marilyn Monroe, Elizabeth Taylor, and Rita Hayworth made sensual red lips the absolute beauty ideal of the late 1940s and 1950s. No self-respecting woman left the house without her cherry red pout, because this was part of the pin-up look at the time, as was the wasp waist, petticoats, and neatly wavy hair – the perfection of head to toe.
Red lips have come to stay
After nude lips in connection with smoky eyes dominated beauty looks in the 1960s and ’70s, stars like Madonna, Cindy Crawford and Tina Turner brought red lips back to the spotlight in the’ 80s. With the grunge movement of the nineties, the darker tones are also installed, with a tendency to violet and brown tones. The variety of colors within the red palette increased, making various makeup color trends trendy in one season for the first time.
Today, prominent women like Gwen Stefani, Sofia Vergara, and Dita von Teese are ambassadors for this timeless lip color, which has become their personal brand. Sofia Vergara once said: “If I leave the house without putting on lipstick, I feel naked.” In this age, when new trends are inspired by looks from the past, it is difficult to imagine life without red lips. While in the fall / winter 2013 season, in addition to the classic cherry red, a daring burgundy tone became fashionable, a bright tangerine, which we saw at Rag & Bone, for example, will be one of the hottest trends of summer 2014.
Stars like Blake Lively, Scarlett Johansson and Amanda Seyfried show us the versatility of this beauty statement: a classic red underlines every glamorous look, while dark undertones always have something mysterious and daring. The color of a woman’s lipstick is like a little window to the soul; After all, the choice of color reveals a lot about mood and style. Learn more about the history of red lips in our image gallery.