Older Girl Beauty

indelible lipstick

Pretend French Vacay, Pt. 4: The History of Beauty – Le Rouge Baiser – "Red Kiss"

On any vacation there is usually a stop at a museum or something that has some kind of historical significance, where you can find out about something you may not have previously heard of before. For our version of that on our Pretend French Vacay, we’re going to learn about an almost mythical lipstick – the “Rouge Baiser”. I say “mythical” because getting information on these cult status lippies is as easy as getting a picture of Nessie in the Loch at sunrise on a Tuesday – damn near impossible. Now, I’m not saying it’s not talked about, I’m just saying that I couldn’t find an official page for it at it’s parent company, Deborah Milano, nor any other really informative pages out there.

But it exists. I know that it does, because I have *3* of them. (*Thank you Christmas!)The “Rouge Baiser” was created in 1927 by a French chemist named Paul Baudecroux. It was the first “indelible” or “kiss-proof” lipstick. In fact, it “dyed” lips so much that it was pulled from the market because it was so hard to remove.

There are multiple finishes, and the three that I have are all different. From left to right:

  • 207: Rouge Evidenmment Cr`eme Satin Ultra Comfort Lipstick
  • 302: Mademoiselle Authentique Comfort Long Lasting Lipstick
  • 405: L’Authentique Ultra Long Lasting Lipstick

I can tell you that these don’t go anywhere – my hand was stained after taking these swatches off – after using multiple removers. If this is how these lippies last NOW, just imagine how they strong they were when they were pulled off the market due to “dyeing” the lips so much it was so hard to remove.

Besides being the first long-lasting lipstick, it also has the distinction of having an iconic ad to sell it. French artist Rene Gruau used his style of “a few ink lines and blocks of color, often red and black” to create the image of a blindfolded woman with red lips. This image became synonymous with “Le Rouge Baiser”. Rene worked on many couture ad campaigns, including Pierre Balmain, Jacques Fath, Balenciaga, Givenchy and Rochas & created the image for “Miss Dior” by Dior. He also created the recognizable posters for the “Moulin Rouge” nightclub.

As you can imagine, I hoard these lovelies in a special place, esp since I can’t pop over and just pick up some more. In fact, I have only found one place online to purchase any more, a UK site called “Be Beautiful Boutique”. Of course, if you happen to be in Paris, feel free to drop by any Monoprix and pick yourself up one or three or more. I think the mystique is worth it.

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