"Makeup is a spectacular mask whose only aim is love" stated Helena Rubinstein. Since the start of the First World War, this has been true for lipstick. An excellent tool for seduction, it invites attention, provokes desire and affirms femininity. Here's some history about the prodigious little tube...
1914-1920, women's emancipation
From 1914, the men left for the front, meaning that women had to take their places in factories and businesses, as well as manage their households alone. They started to prove themselves, becoming more confident, and even applying makeup! Sensitive to this evolution, Maurice Lévy invented the first tube with a sliding system. A few years later, in 1918, the English suffragettes finally secured women's right to vote. This victory would spark the start of numerous feminist battles around Europe.
In the twenties, lipstick's popularity was officially confirmed when women started going out and danced the Charleston
1930-1940, a dark time
The crisis of 1929 led to hardship and the need to make considerable financial cutbacks. Luckily, the cinema was there as a distraction, raising stars such as Marlene Dietrich and Greta Garbo to an iconic status. Women were inspired by their idols, outlining their lips with a discrete brown-red shade. In 1937, Helena Rubinstein launched her Costume Lipstick collection, available in seven shades and accessible to anyone for the modest price of one dollar. When the Second World War arrived, women were once again called to support the country. A beautiful red lip became a symbol of power and resistance.
1950-1960, the pin-up era
During the post-war period, Hollywood movies were extremely successful. Pin-up actresses such as Marilyn Monroe and Ava Gardner brought a more sensual allure to the industry, popularizing carmine red and candy pink lip colors. During the sixties, the Flower Power movement inversed the trend, and provoked a return to soft shades such as babydoll pink and pearly beige.
From 1970 to today: the age of freedom
Soul divas breathed a new wave of energy into women's lives. When applying makeup, they were careful to match their lipstick to their colorful outfits covered in sequins. The result was an ultra glossy lip with its contours outlined in pencil. In 1996, the Helena Rubinstein brand launched Spectacular Rouge, a little gem with a golden casing and extra hold. These last decades have been a synonym for freedom: many women now study, work, travel and experience love outside of traditional confines.
Thanks to scientific progress, lipstick exists in numerous colors and textures: matte, satin, glossy and shiny... you just need to find the right one for you!