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How smudge-proof lipstick was invented | Moments of Vision 6

In a Moment of Vision… It’s the 1940’s. The world is at war, and for the first time in American history, women are joining the full-time work force in droves. An organic chemist by the name of Hazel Bishop is in the midst of designing aircraft fuel for different oil companies. But her true interests lie elsewhere. The influx of women in the workforce hasn’t changed the superficial expectations of society, and working women are expected to look well-groomed no matter their trade.

Bishop is sick of having to take time to powder her nose and reapply her lipstick. Although the FDA has already begun regulating cosmetics, various ingredients in lipsticks can be detrimental to lip health. The bromo acid stains used to maintain color in most lipsticks are terribly drying. Bishop spends her spare time working with stains and dyes, mixing oils, and experimenting with molten wax.

In a moment of vision and after years of hard work, Bishop introduces one of the first smudge-proof, long-lasting, working woman’s lipsticks that doesn’t just tint the lips, but also keeps them healthy and moisturized. Marketed as the only kissable lipstick, Bishop’s product takes off and it isn’t long before rival companies are not just replicating the lipstick but creating other, more practical cosmetics. Today, lip cosmetics are a billion dollar industry.

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