Discover the Roots: The Colorful History of Women’s Lipstick

Early History

The history of lipsticks, as with many cosmetics, originates many thousands of years in the past, with some evidence of the first use of lip coloring dating some 5,000 years ago in Mesopotamia (specifically Iraq) and other ancient civilizations. These early pigments usually consisted of various natural materials, such as clay, plants (especially the rare and coveted Indigo), and even crushed insects. Eventually, it spread to nearby civilizations and soon became a signifier of status, and sex workers were often required to wear the pigment to distinguish themselves from other women.

Fast-forward to the 16th century (as trade routes opened up to western civilization), and we see lipstick becoming a trend among English aristocracy and actors. Unfortunately, around this time, we start to see the addition of the not-so-wonderful drying agent and preservative lead in a lot of cosmetics (and pretty much anything that was pigmented). Fortunately, as the 20th century rolled around, the dangers of certain chemicals and additives became more widely known and regulated, and mass production vis a vis the industrial revolution made lipstick more accessible and socially accepted. It was also around this time that lipstick took on a commonly known dual purpose of also being used as a rouge to color-in the cheeks.

19th Century

Surprisingly enough the actual form that we associate with lipstick (with the actual makeup coming in long, cylindrical tubes) was really only the product of the late 19th/early 20th century. Before that, it was customary to apply the makeup with a thin, precise brush. Today, it seems like more and more beauty gurus and pro makeup artists are going back to this more precise, and possibly hygienic, method (hey, at least you can clean a brush fairly easily).

Early 20th Century

During the early 20th century, in the midst of WWII, lipstick became a sort of morale booster among women, becoming a symbol for the resilience of the female workforce and their bravery in holding down the homefront for their male family members entrenched in war. Around this time, you also see the start of various companies using a workforce of door-to-door salespeople to sell makeup, as this was one of the only ways to get your product in front of customers if it wasn’t carried in a big department store. Fortunately, these days there are a variety of ways you can purchase your favorite cosmetics online.

And Today

In a world that’s becoming increasingly fluid in gender identity and expression, more people of all shapes and skin tones are exploring makeup across the spectrum. With technology expanding every day and allowing for brilliant, quality colors to become available to everyone with the literal click of a finger. With the invention of the cyber marketplace and fast shipping, getting high-quality lipsticks online has never been more accessible.

Be a Part of History With Gaëlle Cosmetics

Thanks to being able to order your cosmetics online, the production, delivery, and contemporary usage of lipstick have certainly taken a long journey to become one of the most commonly used cosmetics of today. We at Gaëlle simply want to help all makeup wearers be a part of that journey by enjoying some exceptionally high quality, non-toxic shades that a variety of people can love with the convenience of purchasing their dream lipsticks online.

If you want to honor the long tradition of using makeup for lips, our store sells 38 different shades of carefully crafted cosmetics online that even the most discerning of customers can fall in love with. If you have any questions about our company, or how to pick out your favorite lipsticks online, feel free to contact us at any time.