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About That Meme on FB

I have been seeing a “red lipstick” meme going around on FB saying the color was worn to ‘boost patriotism’ during WW2.

One odd thing about the information that was being passed around was that it said H-i-t-l-e-r especially hated red lipstick. A friend asked me if I knew anything about it. I can honestly say that was my first time hearing about it! …here’s what I did find.

Red lipstick has a very long history.

During WW2, the US government at the time, asked Elizabeth Arden to create a regulation color for lips and nails. It was called “Montezuma Red”. There were other shades created as well. One by Helena Rubenstein called “Regimental Red” and another by Arden also called “Victory Red”.

Besame Cosmetics, a Los Angeles company started in 2004, recreated the “Victory Red 1941” for their own line based on those old time shades.

So yes it was considered patriotic to wear red and service women were required to wear it!

Later Hollywood glamorized red lipstick. It became the signature look for many screen sirens such as the immortal Marilyn Monroe who mixed her own red lip color and Elizabeth Taylor who made sure that nobody on set was wearing her shade except for her. Divas!

Red lipstick became even more popular when Revlon launched “Fire and Ice” which was a different kind of red shade in 1952. It is a bright fiery blue-orange red hybrid popular to this day!

Revlon Fire & Ice

Again one detail mentioned was that H-I-t-l-e-r hated red lipstick. That I could not check for accuracy and never heard of it tbh. He did frown upon the use of animal fats and lipstick in general. Perhaps he detested Make-up overall. German Beauty ideals then were of a fresh-faced beauty.

Today in 2020, red lipstick is now morphing into a sign of protest tied in to political movements and representative of a powerful female.

Some modern reds:

Below are some vintage ads for red lipstick.

What’s your preferred shade of red?


Make sure to follow my Pinterest for swatches and more red lipstick ideas!

Red Majesty
Lana Turner

Barbara Stanwyck
Elizabeth Taylor
Lucille Ball
Judy Garland
Rita Hayworth
Coty Lipstick

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