Belfast Telegraph

Sealed with a kiss... the celebs blazing a trail in lipstick looks

From Marilyn's scarlet smile to Nicki's potent pink, Harriet Evans takes a looks back on some of the most famous pouts of all time

Whether you have a signature shade, or a library of lipsticks to choose from, we all have our favourite lip look.

Lipstick has evolved and expanded massively over the years and served as far more than just make-up. From being an expression of femininity and sexuality in the Fifties, to a provocative statement in the Eighties, the purpose of one of our make-up bag staples has continued to change as the years have passed, often reflecting the mood, trends and climate of the time.

The history of adding colour to the lips actually goes back hundreds of years, long before the days of liquid lip kits and Instagram lip art, and we've seen our fair share of memorable looks from celebrities through the decades.

Here's a look back at some of the most iconic celebrity lipstick looks through the years:

1. Marilyn Monroe's trademark red

One of the most iconic lipstick looks of all time comes from Fifties bombshell Marilyn Monroe, whose luscious scarlet pout helped to cement her status as one of the most popular sex symbols in the history of showbusiness.

If you thought Kim Kardashian invented contouring, think again. Monroe started contouring her lips - lining them with a deep red shade then adding ruby on top and a moisturising shine to achieve her pristine pout - way before the social media stars of today.

2. Twiggy's pale pink


Teen trendsetter, daring dresser and ultimate Sixties fashion icon Twiggy shunned the previous decade's love of bright, bold shades, instead opting for a chic, muted pink or a shimmery beige shade, which became a trademark part of her famous look.

The model's subtle lips made sure not to detract from her huge blue eyes and doll-like lashes, instead making her lips look naturally full.

3. Boy George, the colour chameleon

Boy George

In his Eighties heyday, Culture Club singer Boy George experimented with outrageous hair and make-up looks.

Pairing multi-coloured eye make-up and voluminous hair with dark purple, red or even black metallic lipstick to create his flamboyant look, the pop star was never afraid to stand out and he still rocks his androgynous style with confidence.

4. Gwyneth Paltrow's bevy of browns

During the age of super-thin brows, Friends and the rise of grunge, Gwyneth Paltrow was one of many celebs who opted for the earthy, brown lip look.

The actress wore this popular Nineties trend in a range of shades, from a moody mocha to a reddish spiced cinnamon, varying from a matte finish to gloss to suit any outfit or occasion.

5. Britney Spears' girly gloss

Noughties nostalgia is everywhere at the moment, including a resurgence of the kind of lip gloss championed by the princess of pop around the turn of the millennium.

Britney Spears often reached for a caramel nude or sweet pink hue, smothered with a sticky gloss finish, sometimes even adding shimmer on top to achieve a frosted look - another Noughties favourite.

6. Alexa Chung's barely-there pink

Alexa Chung

Renowned for her effortless natural beauty and much-copied style, Alexa Chung's soft pink lip look has become recognisable alongside her smudgy eyeliner and artfully undone hair. The model-turned-presenter has been a fashion icon since the Noughties, her style evolving from indie ingenue to edgy red carpet glamour, but her make-up has remained subtle and never overdone.

7. Nicki Minaj's potent pink

Nicki Minaj

It's not uncommon to see the pink-obsessed hip-hop diva Nicki Minaj - whose albums include Pink Friday and The Pinkprint - clad from head to toe in her favourite bubblegum shade.

The star's hot-pink pout can often be seen perfectly co-coordinating with her manicured nails, show-stopping clothes and sometimes even her candyfloss-coloured hair.

8. Kylie Jenner's many mattes

The baby of the Kardashian clan, Kylie Jenner used her favourite lip look as the springboard for a hugely successful business.

Kylie Cosmetics launched in 2016 with a range of sell-out matte liquid lip kits, modelled by her own cosmetically-enhanced pout (although she recently revealed she'd had her lip fillers removed).

Still only 20 years old, the reality TV star's make-up brand continues to grow and she's reportedly set to become America's youngest-ever self-made billionaire.

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