Who Invented Lipstick

Lipstick, believe it or not, was not an invention of recent yesteryear. Lipstick as we know it today-a compact, mechanical stick available in hundreds of colors-is revolutionary compared to what it was in 2,500 BC, but lip paint and lip rouges have been a part of history for thousands of years. From its humble paste beginnings, lipstick has become a booming industry of waxy, colorful beauty boosts.

Lipstick's Creator
No one man or woman can take credit for the creation of lipstick-or even makeup, for that matter. The practice of lip coloring is ancient, dating back at least about 2,500 BC. Ancient Egyptian woman used to use red dyes made from crushed earth to pain their lips red. These budding style mavens also began to use another beauty trick we know today-they used charcoal to line their eyes, essentially creating what could have been the very first eyeliner.

Were the Egyptians the original cosmetic beauticians? It is entirely possible that members of earlier cultures dabbled in the art of makeup, but the Egyptians were the first to keep track of their cosmetic use through records and recipes. While other cultures around this time were known to enhance their features with war paint or special prayer makeup, Egyptian women wore makeup for strictly cosmetic purposes-they wanted to enhance their facial features.

Lipstick Through the Ages
Despite its early emergence on the world scene, lipstick was not embraced to the point that it is today. Many cultures or trends viewed cosmetics as impolite or inappropriate. In the 1800s, Queen Victoria publicly denounced makeup in all forms, calling it impolite and only something prostitutes or actors would wear. Her denouncement of cosmetics led to a style trend for the day-the pale face of Victorian times.

The creation of the mechanical lipstick, first manufactured in 1920, made lipstick application easy and fun. This led to a big upswing in cosmetic usage. The cosmetic industry really took off during World War II, when makeup and lipstick became all the rage, thanks largely to support from the booming movie industry.

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