Deanna Littell's Charm School


In Editor's Desk on May 18, 2009 at 6:13 pm


As the famous truism goes: When the economy dives, lipstick sales soar. The phenomenon known as the “lipstick effect” dates back to the Great Depression-we can pass on a handbag or shoes, but can manage the price of a lipstick. Leonard Lauder coined the term, “the lipstick index” after 9/11 and right now this truism seems truer than ever.

guerlain2Guerlain’s Rouge G de Guerlain ($45)- a lipstick in a weighty, silver compact that includes a compact mirror. Take it out of your handbag and it’s a 20 minute conversation. It’s been a hit!

Leave it to the French to invent the firstrouge indelible lipstick-Rouge Baiser (Kissing Red). It was released in 1927 with a gorgeous ad by the artist, René Gruau, which is still running today, proving that this iconic item has stood the test of time.

Filming is due to start this fall on a Man Ray biopic starring the French actress, Emma de Caunes as Kiki de Montparnasse and Giovanni Ribisi as Man Ray. We all remember his famous lipstick painting, “In the Hour of the Observatory-The Lovers,”lipstickptg but did you know that the lips were Lee Miller’s?

And my favorite lipstick quote from the beautiful Carole Lombard, leading lady of the 30’s, “I live by a man’s code, designed to fit a man’s world, yet at the same time I never forget that a woman’s first job is to choose the right shade of lipstick.” godfreyThis quintessential madcap beauty dared to be wacky while glamorous. Check her out in My Man Godfrey, 1936.

See you soon, and in the meantime, stop by my website,


  1. Deanna: This the best Gazette Yet! Love all the Lipstick memorabilia

    Lee Goldé

  2. Ladies, just so you know: some lipstick has lead in it. This is even worse than lead in, say, dishes; it can cause cancer, since you’re putting it right on your skin. There’s an easy way to find out: put some lipstick on your hand, then rub a gold ring over it. If the lipstick turns black, you know it contains lead. Eww.

    • Jessica,this is really helpful information. Thanks for pointing out that we can be beautiful & healthy at the same time. If you’re ever stuck in the lipstick department with out a gold ring you could always use one of your gold charms for the test. Charming…D.L.

  3. I love your answer to jessica rose…but I love your Nancy Drew section. you haven’t missed a beat, about Sotosmayer now lets hope she gets the approval she needs to become our next Supreme Court judge.

    Keep up the good writing and great work.


  4. Hi Deanna,
    This is a fantastic post as I myself being a makeup artist as well cannot stop at just a few tubes. Even if I have no other makeup on, I still must always have my lipstick 🙂
    Here is the photo as well of Bisous..

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