• Sarah Hyland

Gettin' Lippy Wit It

Updated: Aug 8, 2019

Smart mouth art installation.

SHYLAND : everything from lipstick to livestock.

Whilst my recent focus has been on grains, groceries and livestock, I am quizzed as much about my lipstick as I am about anything else.

So July 29th - National Lipstick Day- presents an opportunity to write about the ONLY supermarket item that has symbolised satanism, prostitution, revolution, defiance and strength.


Lipstick in one form or another has been around since the Sumatrans, the ancient Egyptians and the ancient Chinese (5000-2500BC) who all used red lipstick as a way of showing social status rather than gender.

Seaweed, crushed gemstones, pulverised carmine beetles and animal blood were the ingredients of choice back in the day .

Classy Cleo was actually Greek. I'd love the lip mirror and red rose used by this gorgeous creature.

Throughout the sparkling middle ages, the Catholic Church discouraged the use of lipstick as it was thought to be only for Satan worshippers and of course, hookers.

Lipstick really came into its own during the reign of trendy Queen Elizabeth I. The Virgin Queen was a heavy user of cosmetics to retain her youthful appearance. She wore her skin as pale as possible with flushed cheeks and embraced a pinched red lip. However, by the time Queen Victoria took the throne, makeup in general was deemed unladylike and banished to - yes - ladies of the night .

Not an Australian actress.

Yet, actresses were still allowed to wear makeup and, slowly, other women began to gravitate towards it again.

In 1884, the good people at Guerlain perfumers in Paris gifted us our first modern lipstick formulation. It was wrapped in silk paper and made with deer tallow, castor oil and beeswax. Whilst smoother in texture and less dodgy overall, it would certainly not survive the scrutiny of a modern sustainability framework.

Lipstick was now easier to apply, but it was a shag to carry around, especially if you were a sufragette biking your way to a spirited rally.

Used the Levy in my Chevy.

Two lipstick savvy men can be credited with inventing what we know as the "tube" of lipstick and made lipstick a portable item.

In 1915, Maurice Levy of the Scovil Manufacturing Company invented the metal tube container for lipstick, which had a small lever at the side of the tube that lowered and raised the lipstick. Levy called his invention the "Levy Tube". It didn't really catch on.

In 1923, James Bruce Mason Jr. of Nashville, Tennessee patented the first swivel-up tube. Yeet!

Way to defend your IP.

The evolution of movie making and the growing power of fashion and glamour photography was the push that made lipsticks acceptable and popular.

Anita Ekberg colouring outside the lines.

After WWII, sex godesses Marilyn Monroe, Elizabeth Taylor and Ava Gardner had red lips and always got lucky with the hot guys. So who wouldn’t want a piece of that action?

If you are into dudes, it may interest you to know that a recent study by Manchester University shows that red lips hold men's attention longer than nude lips.

Eye Tracking data showed that in the 10 seconds after meeting a woman for the first time, a guy will spend more than half of that time looking at her mouth. If she is wearing red lipstick he can barely look away , keeping his eyes glued on said lips for 7.3 of those 10 seconds.

Men like looking at red lips.



In 1912, Elizabeth Arden provided red lippy to women marching for the vote on New York’s Fifth Avenue. Pretty gutsy considering :

(a) makeup was still 'for hussies'

(b) EA was a chick running a business

(c) she still could not vote

Wearing red lips was a way for women to rebel by wearing a striking color that some social and religious groups (and male authority figures) might find distasteful.

Yes, a turn of the century 'fuck you'.


In WWII, Elizabeth Arden was commissioned by the Marine Corps to create shades like ‘Victory Red’ and ‘Montezuma Red’ to encourage girls to wear red and feel proud. These fiery shades were literally part of putting on a brave face and came to be associated with patriotism.

In Great Britain, all cosmetics were rationed except for lipstick, which Winston Churchill insisted was kept in production to boost morale.

Florence Nightingale Graham AKA Elizabeth Arden


Fun Fact Based Fact :

A study conducted at Western Australia's Edith Cowan University found that out of 300 female lipstick users, 85% reported that they felt "very confident" when wearing lipstick, and 82% said lipstick made them feel "really good about themselves."


Better red than nude.


Recessions mean that Ferraris stay in showrooms and designer dresses on shop racks, but lipstick bucks the trend: in difficult times, women buy more of it, since it is an affordable indulgence.

That, at least, is the idea behind the “lipstick index”, a term coined by Leonard Lauder, the chairman of Estée Lauder.


Fun Five Fingered Fact :

Lipstick is also the most shoplifted cosmetic.


Lipstick sales in the US have always shared an inverse relationship with economic downturns and calamities. In other words, when the going gets tough, women buy more lipstick to keep marching on. It is a recorded fact during the Great Depression as well as in the aftermath of 9/11 in 2001.

See anything going on? Sawtooth?



It’s 1995 and SNIETZ becomes SHYLAND.

Every bride convinces herself that her wedding accoutrements are ‘classic’ and ‘timeless’ . At least 5 years and certainly 25 years later, the style and social mood of the day flies off the Kodak paper and offers you a snappy fashion backhander.

A few hogsheads of brown hair and a full face of slap was the way we rolled.

I was going for a dialled up Cindy Crawford look. Noice!

Make me look like this.Thanks.

The hot lipstick brand in AU at that time was Poppy by local Lipstick Queen Poppy King. The promise was indelibility and the exciting taboo of wearing one of her Seven Deadly Sins collection. I think it is safe to assume I was wearing Lust or Gluttony. Not sure there was a Gluttony. Anyway, I thought it was ''right' because it was in vogue. But suit me it did not. (Yoda voice)

Also, that blush looks like it was applied using a rhombus stencil.

Dark toned blue red lippy was not a good look for me. But what did I know at 25? I was too busy listening to The Js, wearing Doc Martens and learning how to play my cool new and cumbersome Sony DiscMan.


After getting the Rachel, then going full girl power, I was plucking the bejesus out of my eyebrows and going for this edgy look of the day . Brown lipstick was the cool FU shade of the 90s and was a clear grunge rebellion from the fluoro and electric 80s.

Barrymore Babe.

Chanel Vamp lipstick. And the rest of this ensemble. WTAF?


No data available.


At 45, I was finally getting a grip. Lancome Rouge Absolu 172. Blonde eyebrows.

Back in the day, Myer, David Jones (Buckley & Nunn) and your 'Mary Kay makeup of yesteryear' Mum were the only places a young woman could develop her slap skills.

No longer.

Beauty vlogs are the fastest growing and the third most popular class of YouTube videos after music and gaming.

I am not alone in finding the intimacy of 30 mins of makeup tutorials one of the most relaxing things I can do to turn my mind away from the shitshow I may have starred in that day.

Lisa Eldridge with her marvellous range of lipsticks would be my favourite go-to-and-expect-no-response beauty tute girlfriend . Her genuine greeting and soothing, calm voice is appealing. She skips the "OMG You Guys!" bullshit/chit chat and gets down to business. She is attached to no brand and is consumer focussed.

Yes, 48. Large skim cap extra hot. Estee Lauder Carnal.

She appears bare faced (sometimes after a big night out) and frankly identifies her dark circles, spots, lines, discolouration, small lips- whatever- and proceeds to demonstrate the techniques used to create the best real self in her look of choice. Indeed, the 3D artistic illusion.

I love the vulnerability of Lisa because she acknowledges that there is no perfect beauty. All is openly contrived, assisted, boosted, shaded and lined.

As Dolly Parton says in Steel Magnolias: "Ain't no such thing as natural beauty."

I suspect this is the reason for Lisa's immense success - she is relatable, approachable and ,because she has the courage to be vulnerable, we trust her.

I will always love you.


It is no surprise that the clean food movement has influenced the beauty sector.

Clean Beauty is now an official category at Sephora. It is growing 10-14% faster than any other beauty class. That's what Cindy Lüken of Lük beauty food said when I heard her speak at a food convention last year. Lipstick is the obvious suspect here to address and Cindy offers Lip Nourish - 100% natural, toxin free lipstick that is made from food. Selling purely online and based out of Sydney , Cindy realises the buyers' gamble in choosing just which of the 12 shades to buy. She cleverly offers a Lip Nourish 6 shade tasting plate.

Jo French, founder of Shanghai Suzy , was disappointed to find that there was no brand of lipsticks with a broad and well pigmented colour range, that was also clean label and under $20 each.

She launched Shanghai Suzy - a range of lipsticks that are made in Melbourne . They are proudly vegan and so made without beeswax, carmine, lanolin or any other animal products. Shanghai Suzy lippies are long wear and catches the food angle with every lipstick being strawberry flavoured.

This glorious Poppy whipped matte bullet.


The global lipstick market is predicted to be worth US$13.4 billion by 2024, and is expected to grow at a CAGR of 6.6% during the forecast period 2019-2024.

Given the history of lipstick and its potency, and the growing demand for affordable and innovative beauty products for working women across the globe, there is no reason to doubt these projections.

As more women become educated and financially independent with better control over their future, we can expect more notorious, victorious and glorious lipstick in our lives.

Fifty At Last! Nars Light My Fire.

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