Hazel Bishop

Hazel Bishop bigraphy, stories - American chemist

Hazel Bishop : biography

August 17, 1906 – December 5, 1998

Hazel Gladys Bishop (August 17, 1906 – December 5, 1998) was a chemist and the founder of the cosmetics company Hazel Bishop, Inc. She is also the inventor of the first long lasting lipstick.


She died on December 5, 1998 in Rye, New York, at the age of 92.

Early life

She was born in Hoboken, New Jersey, one of two children of businessman Henry Bishop and his wife Mabel.New York Times, December 10, 1998 Her father was a keen entrepreneur: ‘The family talk around the dinner table always concerned 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 worked at the College of Physicians and Surgeons with A.B. Cannon.


In 1942, she worked as an organic chemist for Standard Oil Development Company, designing fuels for airplanes during World War II. In 1945, she joined the Socony Vacuum Oil Company.

Lipstick invention

Bishop was inspired by A.B. Cannon, and begun conducting experiments in her own time. She hoped to own a business. She thought of a smudge-proof, long lasting lipstick that won’t 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 begun Hazel Bishop Inc. to manufacturer lasting lipsticks. She asked Raymond Spector, an advertiser, to help her launch the lipstick onto consumers. The product was 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 couldn’t 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 a fashion institute in 1978.