Bishop applying lipstick, 1951
|Born||Hazel Gladys Bishop
August 17, 1906
Hoboken, New Jersey
|Died||December 5, 1998
Rye, New York
|Employer||Hazel Bishop, Inc.|
She was born in Hoboken, New Jersey, one of two children of businessman Henry Bishop and his wife Mabel. Her father ran a dozen successful enterprises that included numerous stores on Washington Street, which was the main concourse of Hoboken. During one Thanksgiving, her father brought Santa Claus to town on an elephant to advertise his candy emporium. According to her, the family talk around the dinner table was always about business. She attended Barnard College in New York. In 1929, she graduated from Barnard College with a degree in Chemistry. She began taking undergraduate courses at Columbia University. In 1935, she began working as research assistant to A.B. Cannon in a dermatological laboratory at the Columbia University College of Physicians and Surgeons. A.B. Cannon later on with her help would launch the hypoallergenic cosmetics line known as Almay.
In 1942, she worked as an organic chemist for Standard Oil Development Company, designing fuels for airplanes during World War II. During her time at Standard Oil Development Company, she discovered the cause of deposits affecting superchargers of aircraft engines. In 1945, she joined the Socony Vacuum Oil Company.
Bishop was inspired by A.B. Cannon, and begun conducting experiments on her own time. She hoped to own a business. She thought up a smudge-proof, long lasting lipstick that would not smear on clothing or cups. She began experimenting with staining dyes, oils, and molten wax. Eventually, she created a well-crafted mixture. She molded the mixture and called the new creation "No-Smear Lipstick". In 1950, she acquired some capital and founded Hazel Bishop Inc. to manufacture long-lasting lipsticks. She asked Raymond Spector, an advertiser, to help her launch the lipstick to consumers. The product proved to be a success.
Sales by Hazel Bishop Inc. of its lipstick increased from $49,527 in 1950 to $10,100,682 in 1953. She lost control of the company in 1954 in a proxy fight with majority stockholders. She founded a research laboratory, but could not legally use her name in connection with it. In 1962, she became a stockbroker and an expert regarding cosmetics stocks. Changing careers again, she became a professor at the Fashion Institute of Technology in New York City in 1978.
She died on December 5, 1998 in Rye, New York, at the age of 92.
- Susan Ware, ed. (2004). "Bishop, Hazel Gladys". Notable American Women: Completing the Twentieth Century. Harvard University Press. pp. 62–63.
- TANNEN, MARY (December 10, 1998). "Hazel Bishop, 92, an Innovator Who Made Lipstick Kissproof". The New York Times. Retrieved 30 January 2014.
- Inventor of the Week: Archive
- Encyclopedia Brittanica.
- Hazel Bishop Papers, Schlesinger Library, Radcliffe Institute, Harvard University.