Lipstick has been around for hundreds (thousands?) of years. But while this little tube of color has been on our radar for our entire lives, we rarely ever think about where it comes from beyond our local drugstore or Sephora.
Nowadays, it’s easy to guess that lipsticks in the current market are mass-manufactured in a factory with little to no human contact, but it wasn’t always like that. Over the past few decades, the manufacturing process has completely transformed when it comes to cosmetics. However, thankfully the beauty world’s history isn’t completely lost—one Reddit user just posted a lipstick making video from the ’50s, showing us just how much work those tiny lipstick tubes actually took to create back in the day.
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The vintage video, posted by user Shameless Disaster, starts off showing wax and castor oil being poured into a mixer. Pigment in the form of colored powder is then added to the blend and the new formula is transferred into miniature bullet molds. Once the lipstick is dried and has been set, it’s removed, placed in its final packaging and shaped over an open flame (by hand!).
While the video itself is pretty mesmerizing, we can’t help but notice that the three-ingredient formula seems like it would be a bit drying on the lips. While wax is still used to create lipsticks today, formulations have advanced tenfold, now including ultra-hydrating ingredients like olive oil, cocoa butter and even lanolin.
Thankfully lipsticks have improved with the times, but this video just goes to show that the bold lipsticks worn by the stars of our yesteryears (think Marilyn Monroe and Grace Kelly) were all the same super dry, matte formula. If we took a guess, we’d say Chapstick was probably a 1950’s best-seller.