Lipstick, An Invention From Guerlain

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Lipstick, An Invention From Guerlain

The first traces of lipstick appeared in ancient Egypt, in the days of the pharaohs. To make her lips more pronounced, Cleopatra used henna and crushed carmen. Starting in the 9th century, geishas of Japan would redraw their lips in a bright red with the natural pigment of a plant (beni-bana). In the 16th century, mouths were tinted with a mixture made from powdered insects like cochineal. During these centuries, liquid or cream lip blush was distributed in flasks or jars and was applied with the fingers or with a small brush.

Guerlain, founded in 1828 by Pierre François Pascal Guerlain, opened his first boutique on the Rue de Rivoli in Paris. This perfumer created unique perfumes for the greats of his day. In that same period, he brought back the “Liquid Bloom of Rose” from England, a liquid lipstick. In 1840, Guerlain’s reputation was already set in stone. The perfumer moved to Rue de la Paix. The brand began offering a complete line of scents, and was the provider to practically every court of Europe. In 1870, revolution broke out! Guerlain created their first lipstick, an original invention consisting of a stick housed in its own tube. The idea came to Pierre François Pascal from a cousin of his that made candles. The gracious object was made using scented pink candle wax. Presented in a rechargeable case with a retracting mechanism, “Ne m’oubliez pas” became the first modern lipstick in history.

Conscious of their success and certain of the future triumph of this new discovery, the company released a new model entitled “Rouge d’Enfer” in 1920 that could be opened and closed by pulling on a pompon. Then they conceived “Rouge Automatique in 1936, a true game-changer that took the form of an unsheathed stick. Today, the brand continues to highlight its innovative heritage, its mission to unite legacy with modernity by bringing back “Rouge Automatique” in an impressive array of contemporary shades.

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