Must Have My Red Lipstick!
Although this picture above was photographed in the late 50s, I remember as a small girl in the 60s watching my Mom delicately and precisely applying her lucious red lipstick. This was an absolute ‘must have’ for her before she would even go into the grocery store! She too had brunette hair and frequently wore a colorful scarve lightly tied as well. Coincidentally, even the black wingtip glasses you see in the photo my mother wore too.
Does anyone know when exactly lipstick was invented? In 2000 BC to 100 AD, it was the Egyptians who used lipstick that was made from crushed carmine beetles. It was worn by rich and powerful women, most notably by Cleopatra. However, the first lipstick that was actually sold in cylinder metal containers was invented by Maurice Levy in 1915.
World War II and Lipstick
Were you aware of this relatively unknown fact? In 1942, make-up was officially declared not necessary. In fact the federal government’s War Production Board announced in their Order L-171, which prohibited the mass production of certain cosmetics in order to save metals and chemicals for the war. Supposedly, there was a 20 percent reduction in the amount of actual cosmetics produced. But, due to fervent lobbying from the industry, public opposition and questioning with the government of whether those materials were indeed really that scarce, this decision was reversed in less than four months. Turns out that the War Production Board agreed and confirmed that cosmetics were ‘necessary and vital’ to the war effort for their obvious morale-boosting benefits.
Who remembers their wonderful, and usually cheerful ‘Avon© Lady’? That was a treasured moment when our neighborhood sales lady would visit our home. And I know ‘Mary Kay’© is out there with their iconic, pink cadillacs and all, but Avon© was among the first of their kind to literally have door-to-door sales ladies to do their bidding. In fact, I myself did a stint becoming hired as one of these ladies during one summer between college semesters! Folks, let me tell you, it takes alot of time and effort to be a great Avon© Lady. But I digress.
My sisters and I loved it when she would leave ‘samples’!!!! And our Avon© Lady was generous all the time. Did you ever put on lipstick from the tiny white midget containers? Boy, we thought we were something special!
Let’s Not Forget Our Red Nail Polish Ladies!
Nail polish originated in China as early as 3000 BC. Beeswax, egg whites, vegetable dyes and gelatin were usually the ingredients used. Going back to Cleopatra in Egypt, nail polish was even used to signify class rankings. Nude and light colors were for the lower class. And of course, red was reserved for high society! Who knew, right?!? No wonder red remains so iconic.
That’s it for today’s blog. So, ladies, go out and put on some red lipstick and matching nail polish and have the ‘best day ever’!