Lipstick Day 2019: Evolution of lip colours

The Asian Age.  | Kavita Mallya

Life, Fashion

Here’s a low-down on everything you need to know about the evolution of lipsticks.

Lipsticks now also come with other properties such as moisturising, sun protection and being waterproof. (Photo: Representational/Pexels)

Lipsticks are a girl’s favourite make-up item. A swipe of colour on your lips can brighten up any dull look. Lipsticks are now available in a wide variety of shades, formulations and finishes.

When the concept of lip colour was first introduced, it was made from white lead and crushed red rocks. It was used by Egyptian, Greek and Roman Queens to adorn their lips. When Western Europeans brought lipstick to American shores, it began to develop. Today we have matte and glossy finishes, shimmer and creamy formulas, and also pigmented colours as well as dainty lip tints.

Red lipstick is and has always been the rage.  Make-up manufacturers, for many years, didn’t venture into unknown territory and kept the shade ranges to reds and pinks. The whole purpose of lipstick was to give a pop of colour and thus, only bright colours were used. As the cosmetic industry furthered, nude shades slowly started making its way into the market. Various shades of light pinks and browns were made to mimic the original colour of the lips and it gave birth to a new trend- ‘My Lips But Better’. This meant that the lipstick shade was meant to match your existing lip colour but cover any flaws like discolouration and pigmentation.

Now, even bright purples, dark blues and blacks are also available. Those willing to experiment with their looks usually opt for these shades but are not used on a regular basis. With the inclination slowly opting towards more natural looks, glossy finishes made way for matte ones. Solid lip colours began to be replaced with lip tints. These are light formulations that do as their name suggests, lightly tints the lips with the colour. Tints can be teamed up with an exact shade match lip liner to give it a well-rounded look.

Lipsticks now also come with other properties such as moisturising, sun protection and being waterproof. These enhance the quality of the products, make it easier on the skin and allow it to last longer.  Brands love to claim that their formulations don’t budge for 12 hours, 16 hours, but the lipsticks rarely live up to the claims. Creamy formulas are comfortable to wear but tend to get easily wiped off. Matte finishes don’t come off easily but they dry out your lips with use.

Clean beauty has been taking the beauty world by storm. Brands are cutting down the use of Sodium Lauryl Sulphate (SLS), parabens and artificial fragrances in the products. These ingredients, usually staples in make-up products, have harmful effects on the skin and health, with prolonged usage. Many people are also opting for cruelty-free make up to reduce testing on animals. Cruelty-free make up is also non-toxic and a 100% vegan as well, making it a good waste to start on the clean beauty path.