Saturday, 29 July 2017

Pucker Up!

It's National Lipstick Day - apparently this started in the uSA, but has been taken up by a number of British Retailers and there are NLD events happening in department stores all over the place [like John Lewis, Oxford Street]
I don't wear lipstick every day - but if I'm dressing up for something and wearing full make-up, then lips get included. Just occasionally I'll put on a slick of the red stuff, if I think my face looks particularly wan or tired [if only to stop concerned friends saying 'are you OK, Ang? look very pale today']
Lipstick has been around for years.
For many centuries, it was considered sinful to paint your lips, and implied you were a harlot, and no-better-than-you-ought-to-be.
Attitudes relaxed by the Georgian era.
Bizarrely, George Washington was known for wearing lipstick. I am not sure if this was to draw attention to his amazing wooden teeth, or to distract people who were staring at them.
I am not sure what the statistics are for women looking at men wearing red lipstick [presumably quite a while, if it is the President, see above...]
During WW2 the production of cosmetics was stopped in the UK - but Churchill believed lipstick was a 'morale booster' so that was allowed to continue. Note his wife Clemmie, wearing her signature 'tied headscarf' - she adopted this style in preference to hats, to show her support of the ordinary women of Britain.
Churchill even asked Elizabeth Aden to produce a colour which would go well with the uniforms of women in the forces- EA came up with "Victory Red"

After the War, Britain remained on ration, and people were still living in a time of austerity.
But 1953 brought the coronation of our beautiful young Queen Elizabeth. 
She commissioned a special lipstick [shade 'Balmoral'] to go with her red Coronation robes - described as a 'soft red-blue hue'

For many women, their lipstick is something without which they cannot face the day. In the film Breakfast at Tiffany's, Holly Golightly [played by Audrey Hepburn, wearing a shade called Pink in the Afternoon] declares "A girl can't read without her lipstick"

The average woman wears around 4kg of lipstick in her lifetime. It is estimated that 30% of lipstick is 'eaten' and ends up in our stomachs. That's more than 2 of these bags of sugar!

I shall end this post with a favourite poem of mine, by the great American humorist, Ogden Nash]

The Perfect Husband
He tells you when you've got on too much lipstick
And helps you with your girdle when your hips stick


  1. How interesting! I don't wear a lot of make up, but I will not go to the office without lipstick, which is usually all the make up I wear.

  2. You always state fascinating facts! I am on my way to a wedding and I couldn't find my make up bag so no make up whatsoever and I had to leave with my hair wet. Annoyingly, the wedding starts at 1but we had to be there for an 11:30rehearsal so we left the house at 8:15 to go VIA Public Transport, the train was cancelled and the whole thing is a waste of time, I've got a headache, we booked a really expensive taxi for the way home and I look a mess. Oh well!

    1. Oh Kezzie, what a catalogue of disasters! There are SOME positives in your day - you have Your Perfect Husband alongside you. You will make The Most Beautiful Music. People will be listening to that and looking at the bride - so they probably won't even notice your slightly less than perfect appearance. I'm hoping and praying that things improve for you very soon...

  3. I love lipstick, and have several in different shades, from a pale apricot pink to deepest French red. Love them all, feel just a grey blob without that splash of colour. I use makeup every day, not a lot but sufficient to define my features which become less-well defined as we age, so the full works every morning but with a light hand, so to speak. I had no idea there was a national day for lipstick, but I rather like the idea of having a day for the morale boosting red stuff!
    Margaret P


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