Designer Yuru Zhang recently won a design competition with a thin, card-like lipstick inspired by the way Chinese women applied lip makeup hundreds of years ago.
The humble lipstick tube feels like it has been around forever, doesn’t it? It hasn’t obviously, but it has become some widely adopted that it is basically the only way most of us visualize lipstick. Well, one designer wants that to change and he has come up with an ingenious design for lipstick that looks nothing like the good old tube Maurice Levi invented back in 1915. Instead, he has come up with a slick, card-like design inspired by the sheets of pigment-infused paper that Chinese women used to apply lip makeup centuries ago.
Called Yanzhi, after the red facial balm once used to do lip makeup in imperial China, the innovative lipstick has a rectangular design, and features a simple way to push the lipstick paper out. All the user has to do is push on the back of the container gently, and simply press their lips against the paper to apply the lipstick. After the makeup is done, the lipstick can be pulled back into the container.
“I got my inspiration from ancient Chinese lipstick. Yanzhi is the lipstick of ancient China. It has a very unusual way of making up. Women only need to sip it to make up. Our motivation is to make this ancient product more suitable for use in modern life,” Yuru Zhang said.
It’s unclear whether the Yanzhi lipstick will ever be commercially available, but even as a prototype, it’s a fresh take on a century-old invention in need of a refresh.