The tale of the Little Round Pot

See how Bourjois has innovated in the last 150 years

Beauty Crew Beauty Editor / May 25 2017

Sure, it’s not out of the ordinary to reach for your lipstick or blush on a day-to-day basis, but have you ever wondered what beauty products were like, over a hundred years ago?

We recently discovered the product history of some of Bourjois’ most iconic products - their lipsticks and Little Round Pots - which answered to women’s needs in true Parisian style and attitude.


From performance to Parisienne pout

Let’s go back to 1870, when Bourjois created their first lipsticks called “Raisins pour les Lèvres”. Made from colour pigments taken from grapes and beeswax, these were pressed into long, solid sticks and wrapped in cardboard that could be transported around with you, and were developed in natural lip shades of pink and red. Eventually, these lipsticks were poured into metal tubes with a small push-button that revealed the lipstick when you needed to use it. Perhaps this is where the concept of “touch ups on the go” was born?


The year an icon was born

No look is complete without a touch of colour on the cheeks. Bourjois’ solution was born in 1881, where baked-dry colour for cheeks was presented in a little round cardboard pot, complete with a romantic flower print on the lid.


The innovation continues

Following from that,  Bourjois launched another lipstick called “Rouge Pastel” in 1930. The reason why it was so successful was because of a special ingredient called Biocarmine that Bourjois exclusively discovered, which was the secret to its long-wearing effects. Interestingly, the trending colour of the time was matte plum, and the textures were thick and strongly pigmented.


Welcoming a lipstick revolution

As for sixty years ago, Bourjois’ famous Rouge Fidèle was born. It consisted of twelve shades that ranged from “the softest pinks to the most intense reds,” and had a shiny finish and creamy texture that made it an instant hit amongst women.


The icon becomes more practical

The year that was 1996 saw the brand launch a more sophisticated blush packaging, featuring a built-in mirror and a new opening mechanism, which made it easier to use.


Bold is back

And just over two years ago, Bourjois launched Rouge Edition Velvet; a creamy, matte lip product that has received eleven awards since it hit makeup counters around the world. These lippies are formulated with pure pigments that can hold onto lips for up to 24 hours, and evanescent oils that ensure a comfortable wear around the clock.


The future looks compact

Now, the Little Round Pot blushes have been updated: they’re teensy tiny in size (just 4.5cm in diameter!), yet are deceptively generous, as they offer over 700 applications. It has also won the InStyle Best Beauty Buy Under $20 three years in a row, and it’s easy to see why. The baked formula (available in twelve shades) is scented with rose and is also silky to touch - it’s made from ultra-fine pressed powder, which makes it a breeze to apply and blends nicely on skin.

FUN FACT: Bourjois sells 6 million Little Round Pots in eyeshadow and blush worldwide every year.

Iantha is BEAUTYcrew's Beauty Editor, and has been part of the team since the site launched in 2016. Besides pinky-nude nail polish and wispy false lashes, she has a healthy obsession with face masks and skin care ingredients. Her previous work can be found in Virgin Australia Voyeur, Women's Health, and SHOP Til You Drop.

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