When it comes to express passion nothing compares to red lips, and red lipstick. The intense Carmine was popularized by Hollywood stars at the beginning of the twenty century; and wouldn’t have gone far without a hungry cosmetic industry that did anything to satisfy millions of women. Only looking at Audrey Hepburn pictures for the premiere of My Fair Lady is enough to confirm women’s increasing love for red. Satin Carmine ignited the imagination of the audience for generations. Bobby Brown once said “nothing says confidence and glamour like a classic red lip.” Sadly, red wasn’t always synonymous of elegance and sophistication.
During the sixteenth century, the Catholic Church firmly opposed the use of cosmetics, as it was believed any modification of the natural features was a sign against God. A woman wearing red lipstick was seen as evil.
In the centuries that followed nothing changed for ruby Carmine. British society was highly suspicious of painted lips and smoky eyes; so much that in the year 1770 the Parliament passed a law against the use of make-up. Law makers thought make-up had the only purpose of “seducing men and forcing them into matrimony”. Then Victorian England and its cult for domesticity did nothing to change the status quo, female emancipation wasn’t even considered by the moralist Victorians.
But nothing could stop a strong suffragette movement which at the beginning of the ninetieth century was making waves demanding females the right to vote, of course in stylish costumes and intense red lips. Yet, every researcher gives the French actress Sarah Bernhardt the honour for being the first woman who dared to break the rules with her distinctive red lips. Not to forget Marlene Dietrich or Constance Bennett whose style still stays in the collective memory.
Fast forward World War two, it was assumed Hitler hated red and as a sign of rebellion women began to brighten up their lips. By the 1950s with the rise of popular stars such as Marilyn Monroe and Grace Kelly red became widely popular.
Red these days is a statement; it defies rules and political correctness. This strong shade is the perfect companion for those who know themselves; wearing red lipstick empowers women, making them feel confident in their own skin. Red transcends any updated moral norm and encourages liberation.
Curiously, Carmine is one of the most consumed ingredients in make-up within the cosmetic industry. One cannot go wrong with a red lipstick. From 1915 the year it was first sold in tubes, red lipstick has risen to the top as one of the most loved cosmetics.
The once taboo shade is a colour which can compliment women of any age and background. From Audrey Hepburn to Gwen Stefani, iconic figures always love red. The moral of the story is how a colour with such negative connotations in the past, become the chosen one by millions of women. Probably the answer is in the fact that no other colour has such intensity.
To find your ideal shade of red lipstick check out the below article: