Cosmetics is a popular topic of the 18th century of which there is ample information on. But I have noticed that while there is plenty of information on makeup out there, they focus mostly on the lead-based paint aspect of them. I want to know about lipstick!
Lip color was an important part of the package when it came to makeup. As you probably know, the snowy-white complexion was ideal and rouged cheeks. Darkened lips not only emphasized a fair complexion but it was an age-old means of attracting men because it mimics lip color during sexual arousal. In the 18th century, you could catch both men and women sporting lip color, figure that one out! Those crazy macaronis. Rouge was not only amply used on the cheeks in the 18th century, it was also used for lip color. Luckily lead was not used in this cosmetic. Instead carmine was used for the color and mixed with plaster of paris. I can't imagine that tasting very good. If you couldn't afford to rouge your lips there was a tasty alternative. Women in the colonies reportedly sucked on lemons to get the blood to flow to their lips so they were darker. Kind of like lip plumpers today!
Just for fun I was trying to match up my favourite lipstick brand, MAC*, with portraits of beauties of the time. Here is what I came up with.
*who happens to have free shipping until the 21st!