Lipstick Timeline

Pink Lipstick Shade

2500 BC to 1000 BC - Ancient Mesopotamia was a home of first lipstick known to mankind. Women in that area used crusshed gemstones to decorate their lips.

2000 BC - Indus Valley Civilization used various duyes to collor their faces nad lips. However, their preferred products contained harmfull ingredients, taht often caused heavy ilnessess.

2000 BC to 100 AD - Egyptian used lipstick that was made from crushed carmine beetles. This popular red lipstick (sometimes decorated with shimmering effects of pearlescent that was extracted from fish schales) was used by rich and powerfull women, most notablz by famous Cleopatra (51 AD – 30 BC).

8th - 12th AD - Arab Andalusian cosmetologist Abu al-Qasim al-Zahrawi managed to invent solid lipstick, that were based perfume sticks rolled in special molds.

European dark and middle ages - Until late 16th century, lip coloring was banned by the Christian church. They thought that lip coloring is connected with the Satan rituals, and was only reserved for lowest classes of people, such as prostitutes.

16th century - Reign of English Queen Elizabeth I, bright red lips and a stark white face became fashionable. This enabled popularization of lipstick that was by that time bade from beeswax and red stained plants. Only high class women and actors wore lipstick.

18th century - During this time lipsticks slipped form the fashion of high end class and found its place mid and low class.

19th century - Almost entire 19th century went and lipstick remained in use only with actors and prostitutes. Change to this almost 3 centuries long tradition came to the end when French perfumers became producing lipstick commercially.

1884 - French cosmetic company Guerlain became producing first commercial lipstick product. They made it from deer tallow, castor oil, beeswax, and then covered it in silk paper.

1880s - Famous American actress Sarah Bernhardt begun wearing lipstick in public. During that time, lipstick did not come in tube, but was applied with a brush.

1912 - Fashionable American women accepted lipstick as an important part of their daily and public attire.

1915 - First lipstick that was sold in cylinder metal containers was invented by Maurice Levy.

1921 - Use of lipstick became widespread in England by general female population.

1923 - Cylinder swivel-up tube was patented by James Bruce Mason Jr. in Nashville, Tennessee. This invention made lipstick easy to apply.

1927 - French Chemist Paul Baudercroux invented lipstick “Rouge Baiser” which was marketed as kiss-proof. It was quickly banned from the market because it was so strong that it caused problems with removing it from the wearer’s lips.

1920s - Rise of the photography made lipstick acceptable across entire Europe and North America.

1930s - Max Factor invented lip gloss lipstick.

1940s - Second World War made lipstick scarce, because several of its essential ingredients were used in the war effort (petroleum and castor oil). During those years, metal tubes were replaced by plastic and paper.

1950 - American chemist Hazel Bishop created first long lasting and non-smearing lipstick.

1950s - American actresses Marilyn Monroe and Elizabeth Taylor popularized dark red lips. Their influence, and new inventions by the companies Gala, Max Factor created new colors and trends.

1960s - Rock groups Ronettes and the Shirelles popularized white lipsticks, but the majority of female popularization preferred darker and colorful tones. By that time, lipstick and high heels were one of the biggest examples of femininity. Women who did not wear lipstick were in some cases associated with mental illnesses and lesbianism.

1970s and 1990s - Black lipstick was popular in Goth and Punk subcultures.

1973 - Cosmetics company Bonnie Bell introduced to the public first flavored lipstick called “Lip Smackers”. This type of lipstick became instant success among younger female audience.

2000s - Worldwide female population accepts lipstick as the integral part of their daily life. They choose colors by current fashion and by their own preference.