Lipstick has been around for thousands of years – in Ancient Egypt, Cleopatra had beetles crushed up so that she could use them to colour her lips deep red.
Yet it is only in the last century or so that the popularity of lipstick really exploded, thanks to the worldwide influence of Hollywood movies. It used to be much more associated with sinners, prostitutes and other outcasts in society – women who were trying to ‘lure’ and ‘tempt’ men. During the witch trials of the 18th century, some women were even accused of being witches because they had supposedly used lipstick to fool men into thinking they were attractive and marrying them.
Still, to the average woman today, lipstick feels like an essential of life that has been around forever, with many saying they feel naked without it. But why wear it? When you think about it, painting your lips red is a pretty strange thing to do, especially considering that they’re already a pinkish shade of red anyway. The answer is that lipstick artificially reproduces the colour change that takes place in women’s lips during sex, which makes them appear more sexual in everyday life.
Modern lipstick is made mostly from wax (either beeswax or wax from plants and trees), and various oils (olive oil, castor oil). The colour generally comes from mixing different chemical dyes, although lipstick made from natural dyes is also available.
Lipstick is one of the most commonly-used kinds of makeup because it is relatively cheap, and one tube can last a very long time, yet it is also very effective. For this reason, many women have a whole selection of makeup, chosen to match their various outfits as well as their skin tone. If you want to spend a little extra, there are more expensive kinds of lipstick available, such as extra-shiny ones and ones that won’t come off on shirts or other people’s faces.
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