Lips are one the most important parts of the female body. Not only are they the gates through which a woman’s intelligence can be verbalized, but they are also extremely seductive and powerful. Ladies have accented their lips for years. Women in power specifically. You rarely see Michelle Obama, Beyonce, Jackie Kennedy Onassis, Madonna, or Coco Chanel photographed without some type of lip color. There is just something about lipstick that says ‘boss lady.’
Long-lasting lipstick became a necessity as women began to enter the workforce and had to look flawless all day long. Chemist Hazel Bishop (1906-1998) noticed the demand and provided the supply. Hazel thought a long-lasting, smudge-proof lipstick was just what the working woman needed. The constant reapplication of makeup became an inconvenience, so she set to work on creating the perfect lip compliment that would stay in place. The first batch of the persistent pigment consisted of a blend of dyes, oils, and molten wax. It was launched in 1949.
In 1950, Hazel had enough profit to begin Hazel Bishop, Inc and the ‘lasting lipstick’ was the cosmetic line’s top seller. To boost sales, Hazel exchanged stock in her company for an advertising campaign. She then marketed her product as ‘kissable’ lipstick. Three years in business and Hazel was a millionaire. The product was racking in $10 million annually.
Hazel eventually left the company with her fortune and went on to invent solid perfume and serve as Revlon Chair of Cosmetics Marketing at New York’s Fashion Institute of Technology. Who would’ve ever imagined a chemist from Columbia University would end up inventing one of the most profitable products in women’s cosmetics?
Thanks to Hazel I can proudly flaunt my Chanel Rouge Allure in No. 05 (Desirable) with class and confidence. She took a male-dominated arena like the workforce and added her own girly touch. Three cheers for Hazel Bishop, the mother of pigmented pouters.
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