January 13, 2010

The Red Lips.

I love makeup. Any kid of cosmetics. I have gone through different stages of colours and styles when it comes to painting my face.

I remember when my mom put on my very first makeup. Like any little girl, I was so proud as she dabbed the red onto my cheeks and lips and the blue onto my eyelids in the seventies, when she was so much younger than I am today. I also recall the tears that filled my eyes as she drew around them with an eyeliner. I learned very early on that beauty comes with suffering, but the pain was worth it all as I looked at myself in the mirror with utter fascination.

I was in my very late teens when I decided to start using cosmetics, way behind my peers. And of course, as with everything else I do in life, I did with passion and exaggeration. And I still do today.
Although in periods the use became lighter, such less on eyes, more on lips and vice-versa; the heavy use always prevailed. "A little bit of heavy make-up" is what my sister calls it and my mother always tries to remind me that less is more. But all this is in vain.

I love to paint and draw and the face is the most exciting canvas. The idea of creating an image, an expression in colours and light and shadows is a very exciting one. I love to experiment and I am not afraid to try, thus my personality is often viewed as unconventional. Do not misunderstand me though, there is nothing more beautiful than a pristine, natural complexion, devoid of cosmetics, at any age. I am not one of those women that do not dare to leave the house without makeup, in fact I do this often. I guess I just marvel at the transformation a little bit of colour can do to a face.

The other day I read in the newspaper that an average woman consumes around 3.2kg of lipstick in her lifetime. Yes, consumes, not as in uses but as in eats. I am not surprised, as I know I reapply my lipstick or lip gloss at least twenty times a day.

Lips are the most sensual part of a face. Whether it is a woman or a man, my eyes are almost always drawn to the lips. Some will say eyes, but I scrutinize always a strangers mouth first. Healthy luscious lips, a great set of teeth and a prevailing smile are to me important signs revealing a lot about a human beings health and personality. Lips are naturally red, due to the fact that they contain a large amount of blood vessels. Furthermore, the skin covering them is very thin, thus the red colour.

Women have for millenia tried to accentuate their lips. The history of lipstick or the use of colouring lips goes back to ancient Egypt. Cleopatra had her lipstick made from crushed carmine beetles, which gave a deep red pigment, and ants for a base. Lipsticks with shimmering effects were initially made using a substance found in fish scales called pearlescence.
In Medieval Europe, applying colour to the lips was banned by the church and cosmetic use viewed as promiscuous. In the 16th century England, lipstick started to gain popularity again during the reign of Queen Elizabeth I, who made piercing red lips and bright white faces a fashion statement. By that time, it was made from a blend of beeswax and red stains from plants.
Lipstick was considered an essential item for female nurses in the armed forces during the Second World War, both to remind women that they were ladies first and military second, and because it might have a calming effect on the male soldiers. It also gained popularity as a result of its use in the movie industry, and it became commonplace for women to apply makeup, or "put their face on."

Today lipstick is an essential product of the cosmetic industries. Even though it underwent an evolution and the quality and consistency is nothing like in the one used by the ancient woman, one fact still remains - its use and purpose has not changed for centuries.


Kath said...

This made me giggle, I own 3 lipsticks, they are all around 20 years old!

Roger Gauthier said...

Well, Kath, this doesn't make me giggle... maybe it's because I'm a man! :-) Lipstick is the most dangerous instrument in a woman's arsenal... to be used, or not, it depends...

So many women are beautiful without it. And then, so many are beautiful, with it. Better keep on window-shopping...

Roger G. :-))))))))

Brian Miller said...

when done well..i accentuates the beauty already found there. not a fan of overly doing it, just a hint. the mouth, the eyes...both draw me in.

Unknown said...

when i was a kid i always make sure to be awake when my mom is finally doing her make up. I don't know, i never learned make up but i really like watching her. Especially when she paints her lips. wow! i love red.

I am Denise Katipunera

S. Susan Deborah said...

I like lip gloss and balm more than lipsticks but I do wear them when I need to accentuate the dress. I prefer lipsticks for the evenings.

Lovely post about the certain lovely things that are the purview of women.

Joy always Zuzana,

Claus said...

Interesting entry! I do not wear make-up. I do on special occasions, which are have been VERY few times, and I always go for a light, natural look. Maybe I got this from my mom? She does not use make-up, and I has become natural for me to have a "clean face", as my school teacher used to call me, and who insisted, and constantly fought with me, to wear makeup :-)
I do like lip gloss though! A tid bit every morning, and after every meal :-))

Diane said...

I can't remember the last time I used lipstick. I'm not 100% sure I have a lipstick. I must. I shall look later. When I wear make-up (maybe once a week... wait... sunscreen isn't considered make-up, is it? ;), I tend to focus on my eyes, as I think they're small and they disappear when I smile. But on my lips? Vaseline :)

Anonymous said...

I very rarely wear lipstick, and I don't wear much makeup these days either, but I used to cake it on! Lipstick's always made me feel grubby for some reason!

CJ xx

Rosezilla (Tracie Walker) said...

I remember how fascinated I was watching my mother apply makeup, and esp. the lipstick. Then I saw her teach my older sister how to apply it so light and skillfully so that it enhanced her beauty. I never really wore much - I feel like my skin can't breathe, somehow - but it can be a fascinating accent for a woman.

swenglishexpat said...

Not my department, I have to admit! ;-)

Anonymous said...

I'm not too well adversed when it comes to make-up. It's out of my territory. However, I was in civic theather for a spell and I remember the make-up people pretty much had to draw a face on me because with my light skin, I was pretty well washed out under the stage lights... hee hee... have fun with this post! The Bach

United Studies said...

I am not so much a lipstick addict as I am a lip gloss addict! I have so many, and I just love them!

The story of you and your mom reminded me of Emma and myself. The other day she asked me if she could start wearing my makeup because she is getting bigger. Whenever she is around when I am putting on makeup she asks for some mascara or powder.

Four Seasons in a Life said...

Greetings Zuzanna,

I am in agreement with the men here that this is certainly not my department, other than to say I appreciate a woman who understands makeup and uses it to highlight and extenuate her beauty.

However I found your personal observation about the lips in general most illuminating.

Thank you for sharing,

sprinkles said...

When I was growing up, I wasn't allowed to wear makeup. If I put it on, I was immediately told to remove it. Which I hated because I'm such a girly-girl! My mother almost never wore it, only for extremely special occassions which were few and far between.

I did wear it in my older teens much to my mother's dismay. I'd wait until I got to school and put it on in the bathroom. I think she finally realized that I didn't care what she thought about me wearing it, I was gonna do what I wanted anyways.

I went to beauty school and then took a professional makeup class afterwards to learn to apply it professionally. I LOVE all kinds of makeup!!! I always look at a woman's makeup to see how it's applied. Sometimes I want to give people a lesson on how to make themselves look better (but I never do, that would be rude of me to suggest it!) and sometimes I get ideas of how I want to apply mine the next time.

I would've liked to do professional makeup for a living but there just aren't any opportunities for that around here.

Kat Mortensen said...

High school was baby blue cream shadow and navy blue mascara. Yikes!
I don't wear it much now - a bit of tinted lip balm, some blush and eyebrow pencil does me most days, if that.
I abhor using mascara, but envy those who can pull it off.

I'm sure you are a beauty even without all the paint, Zuzana.

steviewren said...

You could be a lip model Zuzana. You have perfectly shaped lips and great teeth! Like you, I reapply lipstick many times a day. My lips are naturally very pale.

♥Mimi♥ said...

Often I will come here to read one of your posts and find that I am reminded of something in my past that I hadn't thought of in years. My mom always wore red lipstick. Red. And, of course, she was a young woman during WWII. I really never saw her wear any other color or variation. Haven't thought about that in years.

Gal Friday said...

I LOVE waering lipstick, too, although don't wear red(more a rosy to wine shade is as deep as I'll go) and started wearing it in the last years of high school. I thought my lips were my nicest feature and I liked how emphazing them with a little more color made me prettier looking and more confident. These days, I don't wear it as much--but most work days, I put some one before leaving the house although I never touch them up so never come back home with it still on my mouth. Your statistic about how much lipstick can be ingested shocked me a little and I am sure I have "eaten" my share. ;-)

You have mesmerizing eyes, BTW(those ARE your eyes in the 2nd photo, right?)

Gal Friday said...

Heh...heh...we are even! I just looked back and saw all my typos.

Helen McGinn said...

I'm a huge fan of make-up. These days, it's a bit of mascara and lipstick during the day these days but it didn't used to be like that and I certainly apply like a pro in the evenings... ;O) It's simple; it's fun. I am so pale that a little blusher goes a long way and as for those sleepless nights, well, touche eclat was an invention just for me. :O)

Blogaire said...

Very interesting post Zuzana - even for a man just looking in. I have to admit though that there is something very erotic about a woman applying lipstick in public (as in so many movies). It is definitely one of the weapons you women have in your armoury!

Holly said...

I love lipstick!!! I love makeup!!! I own far TOO much of it. Oh the fun you and I would have playing "dress ups"!!! I have always loved the classic red lip look, like in the old movies. It never looks like that on me. pfftt! I have probably eaten more lipstick than 3.2kg in my 35 years.:):)

Margie said...

So enjoyed this post, Zuzana!
Thank you!

I could not be without my eye- makeup as I love it!
I also love lipstick and lip glosses!


Anonymous said...

I have been searching for the right shade of lipstick for years. And to quote Bono "I still haven't found what I'm looking for". I want a shade just sligtly darker than my ilps. I look very washed out without at least some color on my lips. It is fun looking, though : )

Hilary said...

Most of my makeup goes to my eyes.. and a bit of blush. I never wear lipstick. I don't like the feel of it and I don't really like how I look with it. Some people can pull it off and look great. No doubt you're one of them. And it doesn't surprise me one bit. It fits in with your glamourous/romantic persona. :)

Anonymous said...

You may probably be very curious to know how one can make real money on investments.
There is no initial capital needed.
You may commense earning with a money that usually is spent
on daily food, that's 20-100 dollars.
I have been participating in one project for several years,
and I'm ready to let you know my secrets at my blog.

Please visit blog and send me private message to get the info.

P.S. I earn 1000-2000 per day now.

[url=http://theblogmoney.com] Online investment blog[/url]

Jill from Killeny Glen said...

Zuzana, oh, how I loved my lavender eye pencil in high school. It was wonderful. --sigh--

Still love my make up and do not go anywhere without it. Now, as far as eating my lipstick...could I count that as a serving a fruit???

KathyB. said...

Lipstick, the sound of the name, the fragrance of an open tube and the very act of pulling a lipstick out of my purse and opening it all make me feel so feminine and pretty. The names of the many lipstick colors alone evoke hopes and visions of exotic beauty. Funny I should read this now because I just posted about baking with my granddaughter and one of the first things she does when she spends the day at my home with me is to make sure we "put on our whipstick, so we can be pretty " !

Betsy Brock said...

Oh, this was a lot of fun! I'm so glad my lipstick isn't made from crushed ants and beetles...or is it? ha.

Maja Miusow said...

Zuzana-u r so creative, and always have interesting subject, when do U find time to write all of this? :), I can barely manage to post sth once a week, tell me whats Ur secret? :)lipstics r great, pure feminity with a company of perfumes.

Zuzana said...

Kath, Roger, Brian, Denise, Susan, Claudia, Diane, Crystal, Rosezilla, swenglishexpat, The Bach, Jacki, Egmont, sprinkles, Kat, Stevie, Mimi, Tina, Helen, Blogaire, Holly, Margie, LadyCat, Hilary, Jill, KathyB, Betsy and Maja – thank you all for your witty, kind words and compliments! Some made me laugh, some made me nod as I so recognize the sentiments you share here with me. And a big thank you to all the “men” that all left wonderful comments – it is always a great pleasure to see a man’s take on such a very feminine thing as a makeup.;)

All your visits are greatly appreciated at all times.