Lipsticks Through the Years: A Century of Colors

Add some context to your choice of lip color as you celebrate National Lipstick Day this year.

No makeup look is complete without that finishing touch that is your chosen lipstick color. What you put on your lips can totally shape your look.

As we begin to celebrate Lipstick Month, we’re taking you on a wearable history lesson. Each look presents the most influential and prominent color story of the decade. This isn’t your ordinary lipstick story—this lets you take a piece of the story with you, letting you in on the influences that make the trends today even possible.

Isn’t It Jazzy: The Roaring 20s

The renaissance of lip colors didn’t begin until the 20s when the industry of moving pictures was just beginning to take off. As these pictures were captured and shown in black and white (and there were no recorded lines just yet), actors often had to wear darker shades on their lips.

This was so their features wouldn’t get washed out by lights and that they could further give the illusion of a more expressive mouth when saying their lines.

To channel the innovation of the roaring 20s today, shape your lips to the iconic curved, bow lip by drawing an X in the middle of your top lip using a lip brush. This makes your lips look smaller but still shapely and doll-like, and wear a darker lip on the more purple side of the spectrum like the starlets of yore did.

JANE IREDALE

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SISLEY PARIS

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STILA

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CLARINS

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We Can Still Do It: The Revolutionary 40-50s

There’s a long history that supports why people feel more powerful when they rock a deep red lip.

This reason can be traced all the way back to World War I. There were a lot of politics that came with red lipsticks and the underlying but crucial role that cosmetics played in upholding societal standards and strengthening morale during wartime.

No longer were cosmetics just part of an entertainer or socialite’s kit—they were as good as war paint for the then-modern woman. So, channel your inner revolutionary spirit and look for a pigmented red lipstick with a touch of sheen.

Follow your natural lip line with a lip pencil and be fearless as you rock that bold, brazen red today!

ESTÉE LAUDER

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MAC COSMETICS

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BOBBI BROWN

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sisley paris

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Take A Swing At It: The Swinging 60s

Things started to get a bit more dramatic as the cultural revolution began to rise after wartime, especially in Hollywood. This was when sci-fi properties such as 2001: A Space Odyssey, Star Trek, and Doctor Who started to take root as prominent cultural phenomena that would forever change the media landscape worldwide.

When it comes to lipstick colors in the 60s, they went for something more subtle. The emphasis was done heavily on the eyes, the beehive updos, and the fashion. Keeping the colors subtle, soft, and nude when you channel this era today is the way to go.

To wear the look today, get a nude lipstick of your choosing and slightly overline your lip with a nude that is one or two shades darker to create the illusion of a fuller, more dimensional lip.

SISLEY PARIS

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clinique

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STILA

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