Is your lippy an innocent little stick?

Red Lips Kiss My Blues Away

What’s in a lippy?

On the surface finds the pleasure of applying lacquer to your lips, instantly transforming them into glossy, kissable or subtly softer lips, depending on your intention at the time…

We spend millions of pounds every year on lip products, in an industry valued at $38 Billion in 2011, the colour segments of the cosmetic industry made up roughly $10 Billion. Lip colour sales whether a gloss, stick or balm accounted for a strong portion, and finding the perfect colour for day wear, a date, an evening out, or what ever the occasion, there is sure to be an excuse to pose a pretty pout. For the simple pleasure that we just feel good doing it! It’s your personal confidence enhancer that can build a bond closer than your best friend.

Lipsticks are like shoes, we love to try on new ones and it’s an excuse for a retail therapy session. They come in so many styles and shades AND you just feel amazing finding a new one to add to your handbag. If you’re feeling a bit adventurous you can opt for a shade that screams lets-go-party-little-bunny! Or if your in a mood to seduce then the lippy you hunt with has to draw the attention of your man, so he finds your lips simply irresistible to carry you off into the sunset. The wet look lips can pull this effect like a lurve potion.

Such an innocent little lippy can cause the most profound reaction. So much so that in Britain in 1770, lipstick was even brought to the attention of parliament, when a law was passed to have women tried for witchcraft if they were found using it to seduce men. Yikes, and that was when people did cover from head to toe in a dozen layers, imagine what the response would be these days? Maybe that’s why there were so many conflicts, not enough lip seduction to make love and not war. Well in those times I don't think the French kiss made it to Britain by then so perhaps it wouldn't have made much difference. Which makes me wonder, when did French kissing become popular and who thought it was a good thing? I’m certainly not complaining, viva la passion! But if you ever watch the old romantic movies, with the über glamorous movie stars, e.g. Gone with the Wind… the passionate kisses were locked lips in a duo embrace, the firmer and longer it was held the more passionate it looked. Not quite the R rated version we see in current times. But there may have been good reason for it though too, when we look at what was previously used to make lipsticks it would certainly make your partner think twice about stealing a kiss.

Whale Blubber was once a common ingredient used in cosmetics, a waxy substance at room temperature it was ideal for its texture to make lipsticks while holding pigment well. Unfortunately today it is unclear how many cosmetic companies still use whale blubber or other linked bi-products of the sea giants for separate cosmetic products. The Whale and Dolphin conservation society (WDCS) has noted that many patents have been filed or granted for cosmetic preparations containing whale blubber, even though the IWC International Whaling Commission introduced a zero catch limit for commercial use, aboriginal whaling is still permitted with imposed limits. Thankfully most cosmetics opt for more socially acceptable options. For making lipsticks, jojoba is prevalent, which has a similar affinity to the aforementioned wax and is far less taxing on our ethically conscience evolution. But in more ancient times, some really interesting ingredients were used that were deemed available, that would make the modern gal think twice before applying.

Cleopatra was said to have used crushed Carmine beetles to give a strong red pigment that was mixed with ant eggs as the base of the stain. When she desired a change, Bromine and Iodine would do the trick giving a purple red colour; although it also bore health issues. But who would want a kiss when the taste must be, well, less than favorable? The Greeks had this covered by including wine in their preparations. I wonder if this is where the phrase lips sweeter than wine was prompted from? Perhaps they needed to up their game as they were also thought to have used Crocodile excrement and sheep sweat in their lip preparations. Still want a kiss?

Well vegan options were also available as has become popular today. Henna, which has been used in modern times also stemmed its lip origins with Cleopatra and has had an important integration with beauty, including henna tattooing for important preparations for Indian weddings. The earliest ever recording of lip staining was in 5000BC in UR near Babylon. Crushed semiprecious stones were applied to the lips as lipstick, although I wonder about the nourishment factor!

The dazzling lips revolution would come to inspire not just the feminine world but through the ages it had continued to touch the lips of our male gender counterparts. From again the Greeks, through to the 60s rock scene, into the gothic parties headed by Marylin Manson and for many a fella in touch with his inner feminine side, shades for the boys are also steadily selling in many markets. Will the boys ever think about lippy the way girls do? Some may, but that depends on intention. All I would say is next time you reach for your lippy, will you apply, pout and wink, or apply with a devilish smile? Enjoy ladies (and lads) and let your lippy lead the way, after all, one might say,

Your Worth IT!


Best Wishes, Felicity