10 Truly Bizarre Things Women Of The Past Would Use To Get Luscious Lips

February 9, 2017

Oh, lipstick. To some, the pigmented tube is just an accessory for a very special occasion. For others, it is an everyday staple.

Either way, lipstick has definitely played a part in the majority of women’s lives.

Today, we have so many different colors and formulations, it’s almost impossible to keep track anymore — though we are also quite careful about what we apply to our pouts.

Although lipstick is seen as a colorful cosmetic luxury for our lips to enjoy, the popular makeup item wasn’t always quite so simple or straightforward.

Throughout history, there have been some very interesting things that were placed on women’s lips.

We all know that people used berries and plants back in the day, but these much stranger lipstick choices are truly bonkers — even if they ultimately led us to the modern product we now know and love.

Check out the bizarre list of items below to learn what people actually used as lipstick!

Thumbnail sources: Flickr 1, 2

1. Rocks

1. Rocks

Over 5,000 years ago, ancient Sumerian queen Schub-ad took iron-rich rocks and mixed then with a little bit of lead to generate a deadly red hue.

2. Cochineal Insects

2. Cochineal Insects

Ancient Egyptians used to crush up cochineals, insects that commonly lived on cacti, to create carmine dye or pigment. It made for a stunning red stain faithfully worn by Cleopatra circa 50 B.C.

3. Spit and Red Wine

3. Spit and Red Wine

The ancient Greeks used lipstick to distinguish whether a woman was a “lady” or a prostitute. Lipsticks were reserved for prostitutes only and they would often use spit mixed with red wine to achieve their colorful class distinction.

4. Crocodile Excrement

4. Crocodile Excrement

Another lip product of the Greek prostitutes was crocodile poop. The women often applied this and other vile things, like sheep sweat, to their lips for emollient purposes.

5. Crushed Gemstones

5. Crushed Gemstones

Circa 3,000 B.C., ancient Mesopotamian women were credited as the first lipstick lovers. They were known to crush semi-precious gemstones and dab the shimmery pigment onto their lips.

6. Bees

6. Bees

Geishas would replicate full, red lips with painful bee stings. The swollen effect was useful in their extensive beauty routines.

7. Teeth

7. Teeth

Well, they technically didn’t rub teeth on their lips, but they did bite down as a lipstick substitution! For Victorian women, wearing makeup was frowned upon. Instead, they bit their lips to create a healthy glow without getting in any trouble.

8. Lemons

8. Lemons

Colonial American women would suck on lemons to create a pink pout between the 15th and 18th century. Too bad they weren’t aware of the harm they were causing to their teeth!

9. Menstrual Blood

9. Menstrual Blood

Yes, menstrual blood. According to artist Ingrid Berthon-Moine, aboriginal Australian tribes such as the Dieri used menstrual blood as a traditional lipstick or lip stain.

10. Mollusks

10. Mollusks

It’s said that Pacific Islanders took bright red pigment from mollusk shells to add some vibrant color to their pouts.

Please SHARE these strange alternatives of yesteryear with your friends and family if lipstick holds a special place in your heart!