Who’d a-ever thunk it? (For non-southerners, that translates into “Who would have ever imagined such a thing?” And for people from other parts of the world who check this blog and occasionally need to use a translation device or a dictionary, don’t even bother. The question wasn’t that important to begin with!)
Anyway, my point is this: Who would have ever dreamed that, with all of the crucial issues facing the country and the world, the presidential campaigns would spend two or three days talking about lipstick? In the last week, I’ve heard more about lipstick from political reporters than about taxes, the environment, gas prices, Social Security, the military, Medicare, veterans, etc.
But, if it’s good enough for the candidates to talk about, it’s good enough for me to write about.
The Mesopotamians and then the Egyptians were the first to use lip color, including Cleopatra, a woman who was a political force in her time. The Mesopotamians used henna and also crushed jewels and stones and rubbed them on their lips for color. The Egyptians used a deep red dye from a seaweed and iodine to add color to the mouth. Cleopatra, known for her charm and beguiling ways, crushed beetles and ants to make her lip cosmetics. G-r-o-s-s!
US politicians have nothing on the Brits when it comes to this controversy. Queen Elizabeth I popularized red lipstick. Known as the “Virgin Queen,” Elizabeth made it quite fashionable to have lily-white skin and bright red lips. But an English pastor, Thomas Hall, waged a war against lipstick. According to Industry Player, Hall said that face-painting was “the devil’s work.” And then Parliament got involved. (Thank goodness, Congress hasn’t gotten far into the lipstick issue.) Industry Player reports: “In 1770, the British Parliament passed a law condemning lipstick, stating that ‘women found guilty of seducing men into matrimony by a cosmetic means could be tried for witchcraft’.”
And then, in the 1800s, according to author Jessica Pallingston, “Queen Victoria publicly declared makeup impolite. It was viewed as vulgar and something that was worn by actors and prostitutes. Makeup took a backseat, and paleness became vogue for almost a century.”
Here we are in 2008 with lipsticks galore. I wonder who comes up with all of the names of the multitude of colors and shades – and how much they get paid for doing so.
Here are just a few of the names (without quotation marks because I don’t want to type that many): Poodle Skirt, Toast of New York, Heat Wave, Unzipped, Burnt Sienna, Orchid, Silver Touch, Sandstorm, Mulled Cider, Hot Voodoo, Royal Red, Copper Chrome, Naturally Hazelnut, Violette, Sable, Flamme, Wicked Brown, Prune Drama Girl, Star of India, Brickhouse, Pink in the Limo, Rock Icon Fuchsia, Mind Game, Violet Fashion Not Victim, Strike a Pose, Funky Diva, Camisole, All Done Up, Red Stiletto, Groupie, Front Page, Sugared Maple, Midnight Dip, Tropic Tease, Afghan Red, Barbarella, Catfight, Fire Down Below, Promiscuous – well, you get the picture.
Two names I’ve come across are ones I don't believe I'll be wearing - Red Lizard and Funny Face. Can you imagine such names????
More about lipstick tomorrow. If the presidential candidates can talk about it for two or more days, then I can write about it for two days!