Lipstick Trends Through The Decades
This is so fascinating. Read on to discover how lip color and shape is influenced by economic and financial status of American society as well as the pop culture of the time.
Li Edelkoort, one of the world’s best known trend forecasters, takes us through the decades, one pout at a time.
“A voluptuous mouth with the lip line extended beyond the natural shape is reflective of this period of reconstruction. The look is seductive and feminine, revealing the ambivalence of women. On one hand, they oppose the traditional role of women – one they fought to suppress during wartime. On the other hand, they long to embrace their sexuality and femininity. Consequently, there are two strongly opposing role models: the voluptuous and feminine Marilyn Monroe, and the cool and self-confident Audrey Hepburn. Lip colors are bright red or pink. Edelkoort says that in this period of rebuilding an entire economy, the focus is on the body, and the face is seen as one whole element in perfect proportion.”
“A full, soft pout goes hand in hand with the rebellious habits of hippies in the sixties. The period is characterized by the exploration of outer space, the sexual revolution, Woodstock, and the anti-war movement. The youthful, anorexic chic of Twiggy and the provocative pout of Brigitte Bardot are symbols of the rejection of conventional beauty, prosperity, and consumption. Hence, lipstick is still applied, but discreetly. Lip shape is large and colors are shimmering beige-like mother-of-pearl, baby pink, and silver/white. Li attributes this to a sudden shift in sexuality, noting that the most focused-upon body parts are the breasts and butt.”
“An outlined, shiny mouth reflects the shimmering iridescence of the 70’s disco look. Saturday Night Fever, Studio 54, platform shoes, and soulful divas like Gloria Gaynor and Diana Ross define this decade. Women break social conventions and explore boundaries. They are not afraid to become single mothers or fight for their social and political rights, and they are especially unafraid of their sexuality. Lip colors such as glittering crimson or burgundy red convey self-confidence.”
“A clearly outlined mouth painted in natural colors, either shining or matte, documents the grunge-turned-pop look of the 90’s. Internet, cell phones, Pearl Jam and plaid, piercings, tattoos, hip hop, and the fitness wave set the tone for this decade socially and commercially. Fashion trends change quickly – everything is allowed. The introduction of Supermodels – Cindy Crawford, Christy Turlington, Naomi Campbell, and Linda Evangelista – permeates women’s idea of beauty. Brown undergoes a revival, but both dark and bright lip colors are in demand.”
“So what will the future bring? History will continue to repeat itself. She predicts that, for now, generous, whitish beige lips will reflect our nurturing desire to live at a sustainable, slower pace. “Thinner lips will take us into the 2020’s,” she says. “Eventually, perfect red lips with harmonized proportions between the eyes, lips, and body will balance our beauty in the new era of post-recession and reconstruction.””