10 Fun Lipstick Facts You Haven't Heard

You may have noticed we’re going gaga over lipstick this week—all for good reason, too. We teamed up with L'Oréal Paris to bring you a series of surprises in honor of the holiest of high holidays: National Lipstick Day.

To kick off the festivities, we created this top 10 countdown of fun facts you probably didn’t know about lipstick. Be sure to read all the way through to number one for the first of many goodies to come! 

Woman getting lipstick applied by a professional makeup artist.

10.  A Few Good Women

Pour yourself a drink, put on some lipstick and pull yourself together.” Preach, Liz Taylor, preach!

We have a few iconic women to thank for the popularization of lipstick among everyday women: Greta Garbo, Marilyn Monroe and Elizabeth Taylor. Squad goals, basically.

9.  Community-Building Through Lipstick

During WWII, while all other cosmetics were rationed in Great Britain, Winston Churchill ruled to keep lipstick in production because he felt it boosted morale and kept spirits high. Coffee: check. Girlfriends: check. Lipstick: check. What more do you really need?

8.  Lipstick as a Sign of Protest

Rose Schneiderman, Elizabeth Cady Stanton and other early feminists painted their lips as a sign of protest while they marched through the streets of New York City during the 1912 Suffrage Rally. Ms. Schneiderman was also famous for saying, “The woman worker needs bread, but she needs roses lipstick too.” Or something to that effect.

7.  If it’s Good Enough for David Bowie …

Let’s be real; women aren’t the only ones who get a little tingly at the thought of wearing lipstick. David Bowie (R.I.P.!) inspired a whole generation of young men to rock a red lip that could rival Debbie Harry’s. And it turns out he was in good company—George Washington himself was said to have worn lipstick during portrait sittings. Now, who says a woman can’t be president?

6.  Royal Treatment for the OG Lipstick Lover

It’s been said nearly 70,000 beetles were required to produce a pound of the carmine dye Cleopatra used to paint her lips a deep shade of red, bringing new meaning to the phrase slay, girl, slay all day.

5.  The Rise of Long-Wear Lipstick

We can thank cosmetic chemist Hazel Bishop for our smudge-proof pouts. He developed the first long-wear lipstick while working in a research lab after WWII.

4.  Lipstick or Bust

Of the American women who wear lipstick on a regular basis, 25% said they won’t leave the house without it. We subscribe to the line of thinking which says you don’t need lipstick, lipstick needs you, but there is something to be said for applying your HG lipstick before running out the door to give your look a little je ne sais quois.

3.  Save the Whales

In 1986, a moratorium on whaling was put into place, making it illegal to use whale by-products in the formulation of lipstick.

Animal lovers rejoice, because cutting-edge, modern-day lipsticks are formulated with vegan, powerful anti-aging and skin-loving ingredients like hyaluronic acid, which works to smooth the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles while enhancing your natural lip contour. Did we mention how much we heart science?

2.  A Good Man is Hard to Find

Sales figures from L'Oréal revealed that during 2008—when the rest of the economy suffered record declines—cosmetics sales saw a growth of 5.3%.

Since then, a series of scientific experiments have confirmed that while recessions decrease the desire for most items, they reliably increase women's yearning for products that boost their attractiveness. Researchers believe this is driven by women's desire to attract mates with greater economic resources during tough times. This is all v interesting, yet it makes us wonder: Do men rush out to buy cologne during periods of bullish market activity?

And at last, the numero uno fun fact about lipstick. Drum roll, please …

1.  Today is Your Lucky Day

Today and tomorrow, L'Oréal Paris is offering Makeup.com readers a buy three, get one free special on L'Oréal Paris cosmetics available on Target.com. To receive a free Colour Riche Lipstick, add three select, regularly-priced L’Oréal Paris cosmetics to your cart (plus the Colour Riche shade of your choice), and the offer will be automatically applied.

If there’s anything we love more than lipstick, it’s free lipstick. Go on, get it, girl!


Visit the Makeup.com homepage tomorrow, on National Lipstick Day, for another special offer involving free lippies! We won’t give away the details just yet, but tomorrow’s surprise may or may not involve a few of our favorite things: lipstick (obviously), contouring and highlighting.



    About the Author: Kate drives the day-to-day creation of content, aiming to inspire and inform Makeup.com readers by delivering the latest beauty tips, tricks and trends. As an employee of L’Oréal, Kate sources and tests the best beauty products from across the entire brand portfolio.