Wednesday, 24 February 2016

Lipstick History

 Hi all, I’m a member of BABTAC the British Association of Beauty Therapy and Cosmetology and last month in our monthly magazine BABTAC had a great article on Lips Through the Ages….here are some of the main points to share with you as we continue our look at LIPS. Today lipstick is probably the most popular cosmetic product which a huge number of colours, finishes, brands and textures. People and society cultural attitudes vary widely, so where did it all begin………

In the Beginning 

The first known creation of lipstick was carried out by Mesopotamian women around 3100 BC, who ground up precious gems and used the dust to decorate their lips to create a glistening finish.

Archaeological finds indicate that between 3000 BC and 1500 BC women of the Indus Valley civilisation, which was located in modern day Pakistan and north west india, used lipstick. This culture traded with the Mesopotamians, so it’s thought this is how the practice spread.

It was the ancient Egyptians who created the first lipsticks with a creamy consistency which were kept in little lidded post. Bright red shades were used by royalty and the upper ranks of the clergy to show their status. A carmine colour was made by crushing beetles and ants, which is known to have been favoured by Cleopatra.

Another popular shade was a purple-red, which was made from seaweed,iodine and bromine mannite. Unfortunately bromine mannite is poisonous and even the small amount used in the lipstick receipe was probably enough to kill the wearer and anyone who kissed them!

Ancient Greek prostitutes were expected to have a made up look so they didn’t trick men or pass themselves off as ladies and would be fined if they were found working without wearing lipstick.

Around 5000 years ago in Ancient China, reddening of the lips was popular. Painting the lips was practiced to please the gods and was carried out by both men and women.

During Medieval times red lipstick was banned by the church, but natural pinks were deemed acceptable. But only by 16th Century was lipstick widely used. Cosmetics were expensive and the right the person, the less natural the look: Queen Elizabeth I favoured red lips, which became a trend. Elizabethan lipsticks were made using beeswax and plant dyes. In the late 17th Century, lipstick became on trend for men. During the reign of Charles II in England and Louise XIV in France, lips were rouged heavily by both men and women, with inspiration coming from actors. Carmine and grease were used to colour the lips and even men with a moustache and beard would wear lipstick.

In 1656 Parisian rosary-maker Francoise Jaquin created a pearl essence from fish scales to be used in lipsticks. This substance is known as crystalline guanine. Guanine is still used today, as a synthetic ingredient to create a pearly shimmer.

Lipstick was first commercially produced in the 1880s, advertised in 1890s and sold in paper tubes. Isn’t it interesting to see the different attitudes through the ages and I think the same diversity of thinking is still apparent today.

Next time: The 1900s to the present day 

 Further reading Lisa Eldridge; Face Paint - The Story of Make Up

Tuesday, 16 February 2016

My First Experience with Jane Iredale Makeup

I was completely unaware of the makeup brand, Jane Iredale, until I first met Kathy when discussing about wedding makeup. Before experiencing this exciting cosmetic range I was never really a wearer of makeup, and when I did, it was usually inexpensive high street brands. I was often frustrated that most of the foundation I purchased were not a close match in skin colour and I frequently experienced outbreaks of spots from using them. I guess I wasn’t very knowledgeable about makeup at all!

It seemed like the mission for finding makeup that did not fight with my skin was at an end… until Kathy convinced me to give Jane Iredale a chance. She offered to do a quick makeover on me so I could experience the feel and look of the cosmetics. She gently applied PurePressed Base Mineral Foundation with a powder brush around my face. She didn’t take long but I was astounded by the coverage I received - my acne and red blemishes were completely covered and it felt weightless! The foundation gave my appearance a sheer and matte finish, which I greatly appreciate as I have oily skin. The colour was a perfect match too! I had no idea I had yellow undertones in my skin.

Kathy said that this brand of makeup also carries skin care benefits, where the mineral powders also contain a sunscreen to protect the skin from UV damage. One of my main concerns was whether or not my skin would retaliate from the application of this makeup. I was dead chuffed! Not a single spot emerged to taunt me.

Jane Iredale has gained a happy customer! I now use the PurePressed Base Mineral Foundation and apply it with The Handi Brush, which is so quick and easy to do. I’m so excited to try her other products and I know I can buy with confidence as I have been introduced to a makeup that is kind to my acne prone skin, has handy skin care benefits and has a super close match with the complex colour of my skin. My mission is completed, thanks Kathy!


Monday, 8 February 2016

Let’s look at LIPS

Lips have been much on my mind this month and as we enter February I thought it would be a great time to blog about them. Looking after your lips and using great products on them, can really enhance how you feel. A bit of lippy and away you go! Lipstick is a great pick me up and a relatively affordable treat. I always feel fully made up, even if I haven’t done more than a 5 minute face, with a pop of colour on my lips.

Last month I had the opportunity to work with David Miller Photography on a photoshoot entitled Peer Pressure and featured some of the finalists of Miss North Yorkshire. 12 beautiful faces to play with – oooh I had fun. I did notice that some of the models were suffering from winter lips. When I asked what products they were using, the common reply was a product that was Vaseline based.

Anyone who has been reading my newsletters, blog, Facebook or website will know that ingredients, such as a petrochemical based ingredient like Vaseline are a big no-no for healthy skin.

Also, we’re in winter time. Winter can play havoc with the skin. Lips don’t have oil glands. Also, unlike the skin on the rest of the body, lip tissue has no thick, protective outer layer, either. They are also constantly moisturized by saliva, then dried by breathing, which has an evaporative effect.

I stock Pinks Boutique Organic Skincare in the salon, here’s what they have to say about Petrochemicals;

“Petroleum-paraffinum liquidum, mineral oils, petroleum oils.  These are some of the cheap base products in nearly every non-organic cleanser, body lotion or moisturiser [and many other things]. Much like wrapping your skin in cling film, these chemicals block pores and interfere with the skin’s ability to eliminate toxins. They can slow down skin function and cell development resulting in premature ageing.” (

Take a look at your lip balm, lipsticks or lip glosses. If they contain any of the listed petrochemicals, then they are drying out your lips and when you add in the effects of winter – no wonder these models were experiencing dry lips.

So what can we do;

I recently had a cold and after a couple of days, my normal soft, pouty lips were cracked and painful. I used my favourite product, Jane Iredale Lip Drink all over my lips and top lip area. Within 2 days the pain and cracking had diminished and by day 3 I was well on the way to being back to normal.

As a little extra during facials, I include a lip exfoliation and lip plumping moisturiser with the Jane Iredale Sugar/Butter £19.95.
Lip Drink costs £12.00. Not cheap, but it lasts for ages, has an SPF 15 in it and comes in 3 shades – sheer, nude and pale berry.

Neal’s Yard also do two products – Bee Lovely Lip Balm £6.50 which comes in a handy tin and Shea Butter and Rosehip Lip Balm £7.00 and comes in a lipstick bullet.

If your lips are in great condition, then your lipstick will stay on longer, look smoother and of course you’ll have soft kissable lips.

Next blog: The history of lipstick and lipsticks for healthy lips