Women love lipstick, not all, but most do. And men love women wearing lipstick, not all, but give and take one or two they do. Of course lipstick is optional – you can live without it, you can part time it or you can overtime it, you can forget about it – or like myself, some women are born wearing it.
This little stick has a long history and has always served as an agent for attention and desire. In itself it stands for nothing, but coupled with a pair of lips it triggers a chain reaction that its effect nobody can dispute throughout the eons.
Lipstick was first used in Mesopotamia, the very place where according to scholars and scripture the Garden of Eden was meant to be. So it all started there, so it appears and it went on to conquer everyone who wore it and every soul who sought it, it was from the start one of the most effective accessories in the art of seduction.
The Indus valley civilisation used various dyes for the product, but it contained harmful ingredients which caused serious illness.
In later years, the Egyptians used lipstick that was made from crushed carmine beetles. But of course it was the fashionable thing of the day, used by the very rich and powerful women. One of which we all know – Cleopatra.
Without any doubt the private courtesans of the inner circle of the Pharaoh would have shared just a little to please their high end clientele.
In Europe the church banned lipstick as the devil’s advocate. They believed that it was somehow connected to the devil rituals. Believe it or not, the escorts of the day were excluded from the prohibition. It was after all the dark ages, and a touch of colour by exemption was a pretty sight.
16th century folks introduced the bright red lips and snow white faces, and here we have fashion seeping out of the royal court. This time it was for the rich, the high class, the actors and the sex workers. I’m not so sure why the middle class was left idling in suspended animation.
Then some two hundred years later the whole thing about lipstick slipped out of fashion again, but the sex workers kept it alive. Slowly the actors started using it again, and the story begins to unfold once again in a very familiar way.
Finally in 1923 the swivel-up tube was patented – that made the use so much easier – photography was reinforcing it, and when the gloss came about, the deal was sealed.
The lipstick came a long way. Often abused, sometimes banned, in fashion and out of fashion, exclusive for the rich one day or the poor the next. In the end, as we all know, it’s here to stay. Some things are destined to last forever, yes they do.