This Trifari lipstick is from the 1980s. Lipstick is a fairly common motif for a brooch but the quality of this one shines out. The enamelling of the red lipstick element has a shimmer just like the real thing giving it a resonance and depth of colour that more modern examples don’t have.
It is thought that the women of Mesopotamia in around 2000 BC were the first to decorate their lips using crushed minerals. Queen Elizabeth I set the fashion for red lips and a pale face. But by 1770 tastes had changed and a law was proposed in Britain stating that a marriage should be annulled if the woman wore cosmetics before her wedding day. The use of cosmetics by ‘respectable’ women continued to be frowned upon throughout the 19th century. It wasn’t until after the First World War that it became acceptable for all women to wear make-up in public. The first commercial lipsticks were manufactured in Paris in 1884; they were made from deer tallow, castor oil and beeswax and covered in silk paper.
To find out more about Trifari and see my Trifari Crown brooch visit Brooch of the Month ‘June’.