Lip­stick please

Paula Style - - Beauty -

To draw at­ten­tion to this ex­pres­sive, at­trac­tive body part, women have re­sorted to all kinds of po­tions and pow­ders.

• Cave women at­tracted their hairy hun­ters with berry-stained lips.

• Cleopa­tra used henna and carmine to en­hance her pouty pair.

• Pop­paea Sabine, wife of Em­peror Nero, ex­per­i­mented with ochre, iron and fu­cus

(a po­ten­tially deadly poi­son, but worth it for the ef­fect).

El­iz­a­beth I has to take a lot of credit for giv­ing lip­stick new value and re­spect. The look was still white skin, but more vi­brant colours were in vogue for lips, eyes and cheeks. For most of the 1800s, lip­stick was only for ac­tors (and those women re­ferred to as “tarts”). To­day most of us sim­ply use a mix­ture of wax, oil and colour pig­ments – lip­stick. But be­fore lip­sticks were stick-shaped they were pots of rouge. The wealth­ier the woman, the more pots to her name. Thank good­ness for the 20th cen­tury. Lip­stick be­came a sym­bol of women’s suf­frage – no­table fem­i­nists marched at ral­lies wear­ing painted lips as a badge of lib­er­a­tion. In 1966, Mary Quant launched her line of cos­met­ics and white lips be­came the talk of Lon­don. In 1973, Bonne Bell in­tro­duced flavoured Lip Smack­ers and long-tressed hippy dar­lings in­vited free love with their straw­berry flavoured kiss.

It’s a rare woman who ven­tures from the house with­out her trusted lippy. But why? It’s in our genes. Women through the ages have coloured their lips in a bid to make the most sen­sual of fa­cial el­e­ments even more at­trac­tive. Lip­stick has waxed and waned through­out the history of fem­i­nin­ity some­times the mark of the devil, other times the mark of queen­li­ness.

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