Monday, May 28, 2007

History of Lipstick

Lipstick is known to have been used around 5000 years ago in very old Mesopotamia, when semi-precious jewels were compressed and applied to the lips and occasionally around the eyes. Women in the ancient Indus Valley Civilization applied lipstick to their lips for face beautification. Its original purpose was for Egyptian prostitutes to make their lips look like a vagina. 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 compressed carmine beetles, which gave a deep red pigment, and ants for a base. Lipsticks with sparkling effects were initially made using a substance found in fish scales called pearlescence. Lipstick started to gain popularity in the 16th century, during the reign of Queen Elizabeth I, who made blood-red lips and stark white faces a fashion statement. By that time, lipstick was made from a blend of beeswax and red stains from plants.

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