Ed’s Note: This post was written by contributor, Kate Derrick.
The Origins of Lipstick
It is thought that lipstick was first invented by the women of Mesopotamia around 5000 years ago. Mesopotamia covered what is modern-day Iraq, northeast Syria, and parts of Iran and Turkey. Mesopotamian women would crush up stones and apply them to their lips. Women of the Indus Valley Civilisation (Pakistan, and parts of India, Afghanistan and Iran) also used lipstick. Of course Cleopatra was not to be out done; the ancient Egyptians made their lipstick out of a dye from a seaweed, iodine, and bromine mannite – it made them quite sick. All in the name of beauty! It is said that Cleopatra, avoiding the aforementioned toxic blend, made her red lipstick form crushed carmine beetles and ants, beeswax, and sometimes some fish scales for added shine. Ewww.