National Lipstick Day: 10 things you didn't know about the lippie

National Lipstick Day: 10 things you didn't know about the lippie

Riddle me some rouge

Text: Angelyn Kwek

In honour of National Lipstick Day on 29 July, here are some nuggets about the the humble lipstick to digest while you swipe on a coat or two of your MLBB shade

Ah, lipsticks. How do we love thee? Too many ways to count. Not only is it an instant transformation in a tube, it's a confidence booster, a tool for individual expression, and for our fellow makeup junkies, a collector's item we have a dedicated drawer for.

And while we haven't made an inventory of the exact number of lippies in our stash as of late, we reckon it can rival M.A.C and their collection of over 200 (granted just not in as many out-there shades). The makeup giant is even so madly into lipstick they're giving away a free one on National Lipstick Day to all the lippie lovers out there. So if you're celebrating the occasion like we are, here's a toast to lipstick with 10 facts you might not have known:

1. Lipstick as we know it today in its twist-up tube format wasn't invented until 1923. An American from Nashville, Tennessee named James Bruce Mason Jr. was the man who patented the design.

2. Before Queen Elizabeth I elevated the act of lip painting, lipstick was predominately worn by prostitutes in Europe. Seen as an identifying marker that flagged women who were sex workers, it was even a legit law in ancient Greece that prostitutes could not step out the door without lipstick lest they 'deceive' men.


3. Speaking of Queen E the First, she believed lipstick contained magical healing powers and wore it heavily as her health deteriorated. At the time of her death, she reportedly had up to half an inch of the stuff on her lips. Imagine wearing that many layers.

4. Silver screen sirens Greta Garbo, Joan Crawford, Marilyn Monroe and Elizabeth Taylor popularised bold red lips as a symbol of sexuality.

5. We can thank Winston Churchill for the strong association between red lips and the '40s. While every other makeup product was rationed during World War II in the UK, the late prime minster of Britain approved the continued production of lippies as he felt it boosted morale.

Marilyn Monroe's red lipstick

6. The world's first lipstick can be credited to the ancient Sumerians who created it some 5,000 years ago. They crushed gemstones and applied it on the lips and around the eyes. On the other hand, the ancient Egyptians used crushed bugs for pigment, and wore lipstick to denote social status rather than gender.

7. The Chinese were the ones to formulate lipsticks made out of beeswax during the Tang Dynasty with the purpose of protecting lips against the elements. Later, scented oils were added to give them a more attractive appeal.

8. Women are estimated to ingest up to an average of 1.8 kilograms of lipsticks in their lifetime.


9. Lippies play a role in Economics 101, according to a statistical analysis by The Economist. Known as The Lipstick Effect, this is the theory that when facing an economic crisis consumers will be more willing to buy less costly luxury goods.

10. The most expensive lipstick ever is a tube of Guerlain KissKiss, the Gold and Diamonds edition. The case is made out of 110 grams of 18K gold and comes encrusted with 199 diamonds. The price tag? An insane $62,000. But hey, it's refillable.

Head down to a M.A.C store on 29 July to receive a free lipstick with any purchase (exclusion applies). Customers can choose from 10 lipstick shades.