A Sparkling Vintage Life

Fashionable Friday: Do Red Lips Kiss Your Blues Away?

song-sheet-cover-red-lips-kiss-my-blues-awayI don’t wear vivid red lipstick. I wish I could, but I don’t think it’s a very good look on me. But that didn’t stop me from oohing and aahing over the 1920s collection from Besame Cosmetics. I like the Noir Red shade best. It reminds me of the fictional “High Society Scarlet” mentioned in my novel–the favorite shade of Marjorie’s flapper roommate, Dot. Either of those vivid reds would look well on Dot, with her strong coloring. c. 1925: Louise Brooks(Yes, as a matter of fact Dot does bear an astonishing resemblance to Louise Brooks! 😉 )

In the 1920s, wearing makeup became acceptable for the first time for women were weren’t acting on the stage. While their older sisters may have dusted on a bit of powder or pinched their cheeks to bring up the color, some Roaring Twenties women took makeup to ghoulish extremes, showing that they were, indeed, wearing makeup in public–and how! Companies like Helena Rubinstein, Maybelline, Max Factor, and Revlon made names for themselves in that decade, due to the popularity of their products.

Not only were lips colored dark, but they were also drawn into an exaggerated shape called “bee stung” or “cupids-bow,” shown here on actress Evelyn Brent:

evelyn brent

Another time period that favored strong red lips was the 1940s. My mom recalled, as a teenager, going with her sisters to have a professional photograph taken as a gift for their mother. The photographer advised the girls to wipe off their dark red lipstick, because it would make their lips look black in the black-and-white photograph.

What’s your preference for lip color: dark, bright, pale–or nothing more colorful than Chapstick?

Happy Sparkling!


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