• The 20s

  • The 30s

  • The 40s

  • The 50s

  • The 60s

  • The 70s

  • The 80s

  • The 90s

  • The 2000 year

  • Li Edelkoort - credit by Marie Taillefer


The 20s

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The lipstick: beauty and history

beautymake up

8 December 2011


Lips: what changed in our mirror in 100 years

Form and colour of lips always represent an indicator of the mood and of the epoch as well as a means of expression of womanhood. It was applied since 100 years age and seems to have left for lasting. One of the most influential expert in tendencies, Li Edelkoort, shares this opinion completely. With Parisian and New York teams, she deciphers the last tendencies for fashion, beauty and design, and she dares a point of view which will reverberate on our habits of life. 

What will bring us in the future? "History is an endless resumption. Symbol of slowing down and durability: beige clearly and rebounded lips. And however, in 10 years, they will attend upon the return to the finer lips. Perhaps that the red will take back its rights, because it brings proportion with the face and with the silhouette, probably a sign for an epoch of post recession and resurgence of the society. ", explains Li Edelkoort.

1920 Prohibition and rebellion

The seduction of "Goldens Delicious 20's " expresses itself by a heart-shaped matte mouth. The women become emancipated, go out, drink some whisky and dance the charleston. With the dumb films, the accent on lips is obvious: "Embrace me" with Clara Bow, Theda Bara, Mae Murray (nicknamed " the girl with lips pricked by a honeybee "). Lips are painted in black and red garnet.

1930 The time of Big Depression

The thirties announce the return of sobriety: lips find right outlines, which give a strict and strict air. It is the time of deprivations and savings. Greta Garbo and Marlene Dietrich are the big idols of epoch because they have their ideas definitely them and are independent. They represent a woman of steel, androgynous, ripe. The colour of the lips of epoch is in the lightly silky and scintillating red-brown.

1940 War time

The arch of the mouth is drawn in a symmetrical way, for a look which inspires courage and insurance in this time of restriction. The men are in war and the women take their place in the home. Hayworth, Joan Crawford, Bette Davis and Katherine Hepburn, so many faces of big screen which represent this new force. The red with lips is instrumentalised in element of personal morality, it signals potency and conceals suffering. His colour? A red glossy strawberry.

1950 postwar period

The outline of lips goes beyond their natural line and gives tone for a new epoch. A more feminine, more appealing look which emphasizes the ambivalence of the women. On one hand, they struggle for the abandonment of the old family scheme and for more independence, and on the other hand they show as dolls themselves (pine - up). Two faces of epoch represent this polarity: on the one hand, the super woman Marylin Monroe, on the other hand, the cold and fragile Audrey Hepburn. Reds and roses have their great place.

1960 A tendency for extremes

The fashionistas pout is the emblematic mouth of the rebel look of 60' s hippies. Sexual revolution, scientific progress, Woodstock and movement Flower power marked the epoch. Twiggy: a young style and more slim paces than a slim, Brigitte Bardot: a luscious mouth they are the symbol of the refusal of standardized beauty, consumer society and norm. The red with lips is always present, but becomes discreet, casi invisible. Beige mother-of-pearl, the pink baby doll, silver and the white are predominant colours.

1970 Disco music!

A bright mouth, with which outlines are marked: it is look disco music made iridescent by the mouths of the seventies. Saturday Night Fever, Studio 54, footwear with trays, Bhagwan, doors-frankincense and the divas of motley soul as Gloria Gaynor or Diana Ross become big references. The women try emancipation, study, they break conventions. Their red lips: it is visible, crimson bright, garnet.

1980 The punk decade

The mouth is dark, broad, ideal to represent the provocative punk of the eighties. The women are weary to be considered sexual objects of the men, punk movement is as a result the 1st movement "anti-beauty ". Boy George in disguise smart, fashion Vivienne Westwood and Malcolm MacLaren demand this membership in a "tribe". Beauty must choose its clan. The singer pop Madonna is a muse. Reds with lips are dark, or even black, with sometimes metallic impressions.

On 1990 The individual was born

Of course made up lips, outline klin, sometimes matt sometimes bright illustrate the individualistic look of the nineties. The society of free time, the mobile telephony, Internet, tattoos and piercings, the hip hop, the techno and the fashion of the fitness are the demonstrations of this new economic epoch. Fashion is continuously renewed, they allow everything. Julia Robert, Meg Ryan, Demi Moore and Britney Spears are THE stars of epoch. The red with brown lips saw a second time, but all palette of colours is this time also solicited.

2000 The new millennium

"Cocooning", or else return to stocks shelter, to pass in the new millennium in a secure manner: the family, the friends are the pillars which they demand. A harmony which is also retranscribed on smiles: natural and sober colours, pastels, soft tones, going of the beige to the pink, by way of the apricot. They call them "non-colours", symbols of return in its own juices, which marks uncertainty as for future.

Date in 10 years for the analysis of 2010s, bets are opened as for big influence on our reds to lips …

Text and pictures: beautypress


Aucoin, Kevyn: Die Kunst des Make-up, München: Newspaper International Verlag, on 1995

Pallingston, Jessica: Lipstick, 1. Aufl. New York: St Martin s Press, on 1999


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