Makeup History: Lipstick Through the Decades

A peek at the history of lipstick to see the trends of the time!
SophiaElizabethSophiaElizabeth
Sep. 24
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Cherie is an online community of beauty lovers sharing their stories; whether that's their favorite products, makeup tutorials, or skincare routines. Download the app today to be a part of #BeautyWithoutBarriers and show the world what beauty means to you! Hey, cherie makeup junkies! Wouldn’t it be fun if we could time travel and test out all the makeup trends throughout history? Lipstick has been at the core of cosmetics since the beginning of time, with its first known recording by ancient Egyptians. Cleopatra even crushed bugs to create a red hue for her lips! (We’ll pass on that trend!) Lipstick is now a billion-dollar industry with fast fashions and endless possibilities. Let’s take a look at some of the most noteworthy trends throughout the decades. ‘20s - The “Cupid’s Bow” When you think of the ’20s, you’re probably thinking of glamorous flapper girls. Flappers were known to paint their lips with bright red lipsticks paired with dramatic blush and thinly plucked brows. More conservative women also wore lipstick of varying shades such as deep red, brownish reds, plum, and orange. Perhaps the most widespread trend among women was to enhance your “Cupids-Bow” by creating the illusion of a deep dip that gave heart-shaped lips. Lips in the twenties were all about the defined, perfect pout!
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50’s - Subtle Pinks & Natural Tones The cosmetics industry exploded in the ’50s with popular brands like Biotherm (1952), Clarins (1954), Shiseido International (1957) entering the scene. While red lipstick remained very popular, more subtle, innocent tones like coral, pinks, and orange gained popularity. The lips were a natural shape and not dramatically overlined. Women cared very much about their lipstick color and it was typical to have a new shade for every season and to change your lipstick based on the time of day—some things never change!
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‘80s - Bold & Beautiful Beauty in the ‘80s was all about big hair, bright lips, and bold eyes. People were less concerned about looking natural and more concerned about having fun! Lipstick shades like cherry red, bright pink, orange, fuchsia, and purple were popular, especially with a glossy or “frosted” finish. Lip gloss was affordable and widely available, making it the beauty staple of the decade. Toward the late ’80s, lipstick trends shifted and began to transition to a more muted, matte look using deep burgundy and brownish reds.
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‘90s - Brick Lipsticks The ’90s remains one of the most iconic decades for lips to date. A strict color palette of brick reds, browns, golds, and even black was used. Lips were often matte and dark and aimed to make a statement. Sometimes to complete the look, a fake mole was added between the nose and lip à la” Marilyn Monroe. It was also popular to use a lip liner darker than the lips to outline and fill in with a lighter shade or gloss. It’s safe to say 90’s lip trends made their mark in history and are still celebrated today as one of the most definitive moments in beauty history.
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‘2000s - Glossy Lips, Overlining, and Blotted Pouts The early 2000s may have brought us Lip Smackers and glitter gloss, but we’ve recently seen a resurgence in overlined matte lips in neutral tones thanks to beauty influencers and celebs like Kylie Jenner. In 2020, we’ve seen everything from glossy pinks to crisp Taylor Swift reds. Plus, with the rise of social media, content creators have the platforms and tools to experiment like never before so trends evolve at a rapid pace. Minimalistic brands like Glossier are bringing back the power of a simple clear gloss, softly blurred looks, and blotted balms. There is also a strong interest in choosing the correct lip color for your skin tone and using lipstick to enhance your natural features like eyes and hair color. Overall, lipstick in 2020 means personalization, customization, and ease of use - we’re all striving for that effortlessly undone look!
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