Passion, Sexuality, Anger, Joy and most of all LOVE are associated with the fabulous colour that is RED!. In China and many Asian countries it is the colour of Happiness. In nature, the red colour of blood comes from hemoglobin, the iron-containing protein found in red blood cells that carries life-giving oxygen from the lungs to every part of the body. The colour of blood, red has historically been associated with sacrifice, danger and courage.
The use of red lipstick can be traced back to Ancient Mesopotamian women, who are said to have been the first to wear it, using crushed gemstones to decorate their lips. Upper class Ancient Romans also used homemade lip colour, whilst the Egyptians, including Cleopatra VII, would crush ants and carmine in a base of beeswax to create a red lip shade. Queen Elizabeth I, revived the look in the 1500s, with bright crimson lips standing out from a pale white face. Sears Roebuck catalog turned the tides for red lipstick, offering rouge for lips and cheeks in the late 1800s. Coloured with carmine dye taken from cochineal insect scales (tasty), actresses were especially keen on red lipstick since they needed to darken their natural lip color in order to stand out on black-and-white film. After Maurice Levy invented the first metal lipstick tube in 1915, making it easy to apply and wear on the go, major beauty companies including Chanel, Guerlain, Elizabeth Arden, and Estée Lauder, quickly saw the opportunity and were selling lipstick within a few years. By the time Elizabeth Taylor, infamous for her bright red lips, coined the phrase “Pour yourself a drink, put on some lipstick, and pull yourself together” in the 1940s, companies like Maybelline, Revlon, and CoverGirl had loyal customers from the age of 16 years and up. In the 1960s and 1970s, red became just one of many choices as new colors started to emerge. The mod era saw Pastel and nude shades gaining popularity, with the punk movement bringing in black and purple tones. But it’s okay! Red made a comeback with beauty giant M.A.C. launching their first range of lipsticks and Madonna’s perfect pout rocking both stage and screen. Red was always the original revolutionary of the makeup world.
He that loves a rosy cheek, Or a coral lip admires, Or from star-like eyes doth seek Fuel to maintain his fires: As old Time makes these decay, So his flames must waste away.
But a smooth and steadfast mind, Gentle thoughts, and calm desires, Hearts with equal love combined, Kindle never-dying fires: Where these are not, I despise Lovely cheeks or lips or eyes. ~ Thomas Carew