Hot Lips, Makeup Fun - July 30th, 2009
Beautypress.com released an excellent report on lipstick trends through the years that I found to be totally fascinating reading, so I wanted to share it with you!
According to Li Edelkoort, one of the world’s best known trend forecasters, there is an interesting connection between body, lips, and timeframe, influenced by focus and proportion. Many factors come into play when analyzing lipstick trends: emphasis on particular body parts, celebrities of the time, and most importantly, the economic and financial status of American society in general. Perhaps you knew that the length of a woman’s skirt is dependent upon the economy, but who knew the color and shape of a woman’s lips could be so telling of the times?
Read on for a summary of each decade’s trends!
In the 1920′s, the trend was for a matte-finished heart shaped mouth. Lip colors were black and garnet red, and the trend idealized the flapper, the women who go out to dance, drink illicitly distilled whiskey, and push the envelope of their independence. Edelkoort notes that since legs are the focus of the body, “breasts are smallish, and girls are boyish” and eyes are large and lips are thin. Clara Bow’s “cupid’s bow” lips are a perfect example of the period.
The 1930′s look is a mouth drawn outwards with square edges emphasizes the stern, perfectionist appearance of the sober 30’s. Women idolize Greta Garbo and Marlene Dietrich - powerful, yet glamorous women who are not afraid to determine their own fate, and lip color is a silky/glossy reddish brown.
The trend in the 1940′s is a full mouth formed with symmetrical curves, to represent the courageous, self-assured look of the 40’s despite wartime privations. Stars of the Silver Screen such as Rita Hayworth, Joan Crawford, Bette Davis, and Katherine Hepburn encourage the idea that women are equally as capable in filling roles formerly occupied by males. Lipstick becomes an instrument of individual morale, symbolizing strength while disguising sorrow and lip color is a brilliantly glossy vermillion.
The post-war period of the 1950′s was a time of rebuilding economies and a time of quiet rebellion for women seeking to oppose the traditional roles of women (which they fought to suppress during wartime) while embracing their feminity and sexuality. The look of the time is a voluptuous mouth with the lip line extended beyond the natural shape, in colors of pink or red. Marilyn Monroe and Audrey Hepburn represent the era.
A full, soft pout goes hand in hand with the rebellious habits of hippies in the 1960′s, a period characterized by the exploration of outer space, the sexual revolution, Woodstock, and the anti-war movement. Emphasizing the two extremes of the era, Twiggy and Brigitte Bardot are symbols of the rejection of conventional beauty, prosperity, and consumption. Lipstick is applied discreetly, in colors like shimmering beige-like mother-of-pearl, baby pink, and silver/white.
In the 1970′s, it’s all about disco! An outlined, shiny mouth in colors like glittering crimson or burgundy red convey self-confidence, in this era when women were breaking social conventions and explore boundaries, and fighting for their political and social rights. It’s not all serious though, Saturday Night Fever, Studio 54, platform shoes, and soulful divas like Gloria Gaynor and Diana Ross also define this decade.
A dark, wide mouth represents the provocative punk look of the 1980’s, while in fashion, women and men alike play with the idea of reverse gender roles. Music videos hit the scene, and women like Cyndi Lauper and Madonna flood the airwaves with bold, provocative messages about female strength and sexuality. Strong eyes and dark lips become a popular trend and lip colors are dark to black with metallic effects.
The 1990′s is the era of the supermodel, with women like Cindy Crawford, Christy Turlington, Naomi Campbell, and Linda Evangelista setting the ideal for women’s beauty. The lips are a clearly outlined mouth painted in natural colors, either shining or matte. Brown becomes popular, but overall the colors run the gamut.
In the 2000′s (the first decade of which is almost over!) the lips are a more natural shape and color. The colors are soft, in shades like apricot, beige, and pink. Trends reveal a desire for natural beauty, and a return to more basic essentials, as the economy declines and “green” awareness picks up. I believe women like Reese Witherspoon and Jennifer Hudson exemplify this more “natural beauty” trend.
There we have it! What lipstick trends do you predict for the future? Will everything old become new once a again?