Lipstick: Wikis


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From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

A tube of lipstick.

Lipstick is a cosmetic product containing pigments, oils, waxes, and emollients that applies color and texture to the lips. There are many varieties of lipstick. As with most other types of makeup, lipstick is typically, but not exclusively, worn by women. It is usually not worn until adolescence or adulthood.[citation needed]



Lipstick used to make a symbolic kiss.

Women in the ancient Indus Valley Civilization applied lipstick to their lips for face decoration.[1] Ancient Egyptians extracted purplish-red dye from fucus-algin, 0.01% iodine, and some bromine mannite, which resulted in serious illness. Cleopatra had her lipstick made from crushed carmine beetles, which gave a deep red pigment, and ants for a base. Lipsticks with shimmering effects were initially made using a substance found in fish scales called pearlescence.[2].

During the Islamic Golden Age the notable Arab Andalusian cosmetologist Abu al-Qasim al-Zahrawi (Abulcasis) invented solid lipsticks, which were perfumed stocks rolled and pressed in special molds, and he described them in his Al-Tasrif.[3] In Medieval Europe, lipstick was banned by the church and was thought to be used as an 'incarnation of satan',[4] cosmetics being 'reserved' for prostitutes. Lipstick started to gain popularity in England the 16th century, during the reign of Queen Elizabeth I, who made piercing red lips and bright white faces a fashion statement. By that time, lipstick was made from a blend of beeswax and red stains from plants.

During the Second World War, lipstick gained popularity as a result of its use in the movie industry, and it became commonplace for women to apply makeup, or "put their face on."[citation needed]

Another form of lip color, a wax-free semi-permanent liquid formula, was invented in the 1990s by the Lip-Ink International company. Other companies have imitated the idea, putting out their own versions of long-lasting "lip stain" or "liquid lip colour."


According to some anthropologists, the lips are similar in appearance to the labia because they flush red and swell when they're aroused, a possible conscious or subconscious reason that women in many cultures make their lips even redder with lipstick.[5]

Lead traces

A study by US consumer group Campaign For Safe Cosmetics, in October 2007 found 60 percent of lipsticks tested contained trace amounts of lead.[6] The levels of lead varied from 0.03 to 0.65 parts per million. One third of the lipsticks containing lead exceeded the 0.1ppm limit set by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration for lead in candy.[7]

Use in vernacular

  • "Lippy" is a common British colloquialism for lipstick.
  • A general consensus amongst the gossipers in the day was the reason red lipstick became so popular was due to the development of colours that, when applied to the woman's facial lips, it created an illusion and a hint that resembled the sexual organs or sexual lips of a wanton woman anxious for sexual fulfilment.[citation needed] Typically when the color red was worn it reminded her lovers of her fertility, it was also used to attract a new lover. This display of similarities of the woman's natural coloured vulva and the natural pink/redness of the labia majoria and vulva of her genitalia was reflected on her facial lips via the application of lipstick. This a mainstay of the culture for centuries which followed, although the sexual comparisons were deemphasized in the early 1800s then briefly brought back in focus during the 1920s, in order to increase the product's marketability.
  • A "lipstick lesbian" is a gay or bisexual woman who exhibits feminine gender attributes. The alliterative term is thought to have come into common usage during the 1980s in order to distinguish between lesbians who adhere to more conventional gender roles and those who do not. In some contexts, it has pejorative connotations.
  • The phrase "lipstick on his collar" is a euphemism used to describe a man who is cheating on his partner.

See also


  1. ^ Yona Williams. Ancient Indus Valley: Food, Clothing & Transportation.
  2. ^ Chemical and Engineering News: What's That Stuff? -- Lipstick
  3. ^ "Muslim Contribution to Cosmetics". FSTC Limited. 2003-05-20. Retrieved 2008-01-29. 
  4. ^ Harvard Law School:Reading Our Lips: The History of Lipstick Regulation in Western Seats of Power
  5. ^ A natural History of the Senses, By Diane Ackerman, page 114
  6. ^ My Product Alert: Extensive Report on Lead in Lipsticks
  7. ^ US FDA: Document on Lead in Candy

Simple English

[[File:|thumb|right|Lipstick]] Lipstick is a type of cosmetic used on the lips, to either gloss them or color them.

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