History of Make-Up – Lipstick

I have been watching documentaries on Netflix lately which got me thinking about the history of things, specifically makeup, so for the month of April I will give you a quick history lesson of a variety of make-up products and techniques. I plan to cover;

Lipstick Mascara Blush Piercings


If you would like to cover anything else in May let me know in the comments.

Did you know lipstick was first created from the dust of ground preciouses gems? This started around 2500BC with Mesopotamian women (roughly modern-day Iraq, Syria and Kuwait) used this dust to decorate their lips with glimmer and riches to help them stand out from the crowd. And still today many of us want to stand out from the crowd.

(If you are interested in created a modern jewled lip as in the photo check out Missy Chrissy  on YouTube.)

Egypt, 2000 BC to 100 CE, was the next civilization to make advancements to lipstick, they produced the bright red carmine color with the use of cochineal insect pigments which is a technique that is still in use today. Fish scales were also added to give a pearlescent shimmer but we moved away from this practice.


No getting into the Common Era period of time, solid lipstick was perfected by Abu al-Qasim al-Zahrawi in Spain, around 950-1013 CE. when he combined colors, wax and perfume into the molded shape of lipstick. This man also invented the solid deodorant, what a saint!


When the dark European Middle Ages came around lipstick was almost removed from fashion. Lives were focused on the poor living conditions brought on by war, plagues and lack of food which also stalled the advancements in arts, sciences, and knowledge. Focus during this time for many were on the Church who maintained fashion and common laws, they say lipstick as a link to the Devil and so only females of lower status (prostitutes) continued to use lipstick.

Lipstick made a comeback to fashion during the 16th century, Queen Elizabeth wore bright red lips and a stark white face which reserved this trend for upper-class women and male actors. After her reign it was banned again as it was said a woman wearing lipstick was associated with witchcraft. Obviously, men did not realize they were just under the seductive spell 😉

Lipstick and Queen Elizabeth

Across the world in around 1860CE, Japanese geishas use colors to delicately paint their lips. The goal was to resemble a budding flower and make the lips look smaller.

In North America around 1890 CE women begin to start biting and/or applying tinted “healing” salves (balm) to their lips for color.


Finally, around 1930 CE lipstick starts to become socially acceptable as it is popularized in motion pictures. But still at this time, many parents fought with their teenagers over this trend as it was seen as a symbol of adult sexuality.

Nowadays you will find most women and some men carrying a lipstick as the functions have surpassed original beauty enhancement properties. Lipstick today can; color the lips, gloss the lips, protect the lips and add flavor to the lips. This is a staple product with a vivid past that will never go out of style.


Most of my lip collection

If you would like to learn more check out Lipstick History 

What products do you use and love?

I love the long wear line from Sephora!


Thanks for reading I will post the History of Mascara around the same time next week!




  1. Great post! I’m in love with my Juicy Shaker at the moment. This might be a dim question but what are the the round (look like tablets) in the top left corner of your picture?

    1. The tablets are free samples I received, Urban Decay Gwen lipstick and FRESH lip treatment. I have yet to try them, Gwen look to have great color, Fresh is more of a gloss.

  2. Great read, keep up the great posts 💕

    1. Thanks for the encouragement!

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