Helena Rubenstein invented the cupid’s bow lipstick that promised to give the coveted shape to the lips. Women also used stencils to achieve the desired cupid’s bow shape of the lips.
It was also in 1920s that the first wave of feminism came about and women demanded more rights including the right to vote. Lipsticks at that time were actually considered a symbol of feminism.
It was also during this era that French Chemist Paul Baudercroux invented lipstick Rouge Baiser which was supposed to be ‘kiss-proof’ but was quickly taken off the shelf as women found it difficult to get rid off. Companies like Chanel, Guerlain, Elizabeth Arden, and Estée Lauder, started selling lipsticks.
The love for lipstick was not deterred by the depression of this era. A survey revealed that 50% of teenage girls fought over lipstick with their parents (Mitchell, Claudia; Jacqueline Reid-Walsh (2007-12-30). Girl Culture: An Encyclopedia. Connecticut: Greenwood Publishing. pp. 396–397). After the jazz baby era of 1920s, 1930s was all about elegant and matte finishes. Max Factor started selling lip glosses and became a huge hit among the masses as earlier it was only reserved for Hollywood actresses. Hit by the depression, lipstick was an affordable luxury for the women in this era. Deep plum and burgundy were some of the preferred shades of this era.
Going through the perils of the Second World War, women in the 1940s took to laborious jobs with men at war frontiers. The supplies of all materials were scarce, and as for lipsticks, the metal tubes were temporarily replaced with plastic and paper. Due to the lack of materials, makeup in this era was creative and breezy. Women were actually encouraged to wear reddest of the lips to boost the morale during the grim time of the war. Besame’s American Beauty was one of the most popular shades of red.
This was the era when Hollywood glam icons such as Grace Kelly, Marilyn Monroe, Audrey Hepburn and Elizabeth Taylor were setting the trends all over the world. Women wanted to look like their favorite Hollywood actresses and lipstick was popular than ever. Bold red lips were especially popularized by Marilyn Monroe and Elizabeth Taylor and women in 1950s embraced the trend. Estee Lauder’s Envious was one of the popular shades. A survey in the 1950s claimed that 60% teenage girls wore lipstick.
In 1952, Queen Elizabeth II created her own shade during her coronation. The shade was customized by Queen’s favorite brand Clarin’s and called the ‘The Balmoral’. The color matched her coronation robe.
It was also during this era, Hazel Bishop successfully came up with a ‘kiss-proof’ lipstick. Soon enough, ‘Revlon’ came up with their own range of smudge proof lipsticks and then began the war of brands started.
Lipstick drew inspiration from arts, and popular culture and a variety of shades came and went from the fashion scene. There was something to suit everybody’s preference. In 1973 Bonnie Bell introduced, ‘Lip Smackers’, that is lipstick with flavors. These became an instant hit with the younger crowd. Aerin’s Rose Balm Lipstick in Pretty and corals like Maybelline’s Orange Danger were some of the iconic shades of the era.
Lipsticks in the 1980s, much like everything was all about shimmers and gloss. The concept of power dressing came into being, and bold red lips were a statement once again. Matching your lip color with your outfits was common and in vogue. Hot pink lips became all the rage keeping up with dance party culture of the era. Goth lips were popular in some alternative sub cultures.
This was the era of grunge and makeup was simple. People were getting more and more conscious about environment and demand for chemical free, natural formulas for lipstick grew. Tattooed or getting semi-permanent color on the lip was getting popular. But if the 90s is remembered as the era of lip liners. Nothing screams the 1990s more than darker lip liners with a lighter lipstick. Brands such as Mac and Urban Decay came into the scene.
The 2000s was all about Britney Spears, Christina Aguilera, and Paris Hilton. Shine was in and lip glosses were the favorite accesories once again.