It’s no secret that makeup is a powerful tool for transformation, making its popularity around the world for centuries simply logical. Lipstick in particular is universally beloved, as it can finish a look with a flourish or make a bold statement on its own.
In honor of National Lipstick Day on July 29, read up on these five fun facts about the much-adored cosmetic.
1. For almost as long as people have been getting dressed up, they’ve been wearing lipstick. According to BuzzFeed, history’s first use of lip paint can be traced back to around 5000 BCE in the modern-day Iraq and Kuwait region.
2. Since its early days, lipstick has been favored by royalty. Cleopatra may be famed for her eyeliner, but the Egyptian ruler was also known to tint her lips with a mixture of carmine and henna, Avon reports. Queen Elizabeth I too shared a penchant for lip color, famously lipstick as part of her signature look.
3. Despite appearances, when silent films first hit the silver screen in the 1920s, many actresses were not actually wearing black lipstick. The film stock was sensitive to color – making red lip stains appear black on screen, Makeup.com notes.
4. The average American woman will spend roughly $1,780 on lipstick in her lifetime, according to BuzzFeed.
5. The “lipstick index” is veritable phenomenon. Coined by Leonard Lauder, the former chairman of Estée Lauder, the theory claims that sales of the product often spike in times of financial hardship, as lipstick is a relatively affordable splurge, The Economist states.