Friday, December 2, 2011

The History of Cosmetics and Makeup

The history of cosmetics and makeup goes back a few thousand years. Depending on what century one was born in cosmetics and makeup had different meanings for different people throughout each century. You should also know that cosmetics and makeup have different definitions. Here you will learn the difference.

Cosmetics are anything applied to the face or body in order to improve your appearance. Cosmetics include anything from cold cream, hand cream, eye cream, astringent, after-shave lotion, suntan lotion, talcum, bath powder, body paint, solid perfume, bath oil, bath gel, hair dye, hair bleach, mouthwash, nail polish remover, mustache wax, facial pack, mud pack, toothpaste, shampoo, conditioner, cream rinse, hair mousse, styling gel, hair spray, shaving soap, shaving cream, shaving foam, depilatory, deodorant, antiperspirant and the usual facial makeup.

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Makeup is a branch of cosmetics that has to do with beautifying of the face. So, eyebrow pencil, mascara, eye shadow, eye liner, rouge, blusher, toner, lip slicker, face slicker, lipstick, lip rouge, lip liner, lip gloss, powder base, moisturizer, foundation, loose powder, pressed powder, bronzer and pancake makeup comprise a small part of cosmetics.

The first evidence of cosmetics usage is found in ancient Egypt around 4000 BC. The Romans and Egyptian used cosmetics containing mercury and white lead. Ancient Egyptians had a wide extent of make-up tools. One of them is kohl, which was used to outline the eyes. Kohl is made up of lead, copper, burned almonds, soot, and other ingredients one of which may have been arsenic. It was believed that eye makeup could ward off evil spirits and improve the sight. Even the poor wore eye make-up in ancient Egypt.

Cosmetics were also used in Persia and what is today the Middle East. One of the earliest cosmetologists was the physician Abu a-Qasim al-Zahrawi, or Abulcasis (936-1013 AD), who wrote the 30-volume medical encyclopedia Al-Tasrif. A chapter of the 19th volume was dedicated to cosmetics. Al-Zahrawi considered cosmetics a branch of medicine, which he called "Medicine of Beauty."

During the early years of the 20th century, makeup became fashionable in the United States and Europe. But the most influential new development of all was that of the movie industry in Hollywood. Among those who saw the opportunity for mass-marketing cosmetics were Max Factor, Sr., Elizabeth Arden, and Helena Rubinstein.

Flapper style era influenced the cosmetics of the 1920s, which embraced dark eyes, red lipstick, red nail polish, and the suntan, invented as a fashion statement by Coco Chanel. Previously, suntans had only been sported by agricultural workers, while fashionable women kept their skins as pale as possible. In the wake of Chanel's adoption of the suntan, dozens of new fake tan products were produced to help both men and women achieve the "sun-kissed" look. In Asia, skin whitening continued to represent the ideal of beauty, as it does to this day. During the 1960s and 1970s, many women in the western world influenced by feminism decided to go without any cosmetics. Cosmetics in the 1970s were divided into a "natural look" for day and a more sexualized image for evening.

Cosmetics and makeup in ancient times stood for symbolism of the class of your family. Throughout the years, men and women have used makeup for different reasons. As of today, cosmetics and makeup is used or not used by people who want to make a statement one way or the other.

The History of Cosmetics and Makeup

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