Makeup History

Good Essays
For centuries makeup has been used to enhance the beauty of both men and women. Today, makeup is still considered to be an important factor in our everyday lives. People in the ancient times highly favored makeup; however, they were unaware of the high risk factors that came along with using particular products. Over the years, men and women have transformed themselves into what society deems acceptable. The harmful chemicals used in makeup, then and now, can lead to harmful and long-term health problems. According to Kenneth Hunt’s journal, the Egyptians were the first colonization to actually formulate and wear makeup. The Egyptians were extremely prideful and they set high standards in terms of beauty. It was highly uncommon for an…show more content…
Just like the Egyptians, the Romans were extremely prideful in their appearance. Stewart’s article reveals the daily beauty routine of ancient Romans. The “ideal” Roman woman had flawless skin, a pale complexion, styled hair, and alluring bright eyes. It was very common for women to apply an abundance amount of products onto their faces. For foundation, they used white lead. Using white lead as foundation was extremely hazardous because it was highly poisonous (Stewart). Roman women also used almond oil as face cream, hair dye made from the juice of elderberries, soot as eye makeup, and arsenic to remove any unwanted hair. They used a face cream known as Londinium. Londinium was made up of animal fat, starch, and tin (Stewart). Since the Romans were not medically advanced, they were unaware of the fact that arsenic was an extremely harmful chemical that caused various forms of cancer and other severe health problems (Stewart). In comparison to what the Romans viewed as the “ideal” woman, today women in fashion magazines are highly edited and airbrushed. They show scarcely any resemblance to what the “everyday” woman actually looks like. Today, we advertise women in high fashion magazines. During the time of the Roman Empire, they advertised their women using paintings, statues, and murals. Roman philosopher, Plautus, wrote “A woman without paint, is like food without salt.” Plautus was implying that when a woman did…show more content…
It is written that the first lipstick was invented in 1901. Approximately nine years later, the first compact powders were invented. By 1914, T.I. Williams created the first mascara after he witnessed his sister, Maybel, apply petroleum jelly to her eyelashes. T.I. Williams went on to establish a company and named it Maybelline, after his sister. The expansion of cosmetic chains stores in the early 1900’s, greatly influenced flappers in the 1920’s and has even influenced women today’s society. Throughout the 1900’s, society’s perception of makeup fluctuated vastly across the nation. Cosmetic chains were founded and makeup artistry progressed. During the 1900’s, tinted foundations were used diligently. Since it was still considered inglorious for women of a higher class to have tinted skin, they would stay indoors and wear foundation that was a few shades lighter than their actual complexion (McGlinchey). One interesting fact about the early 1900’s, is that makeup was commonly worn by actresses and prostitutes. If an everyday woman was seen wearing makeup, she was degraded by the entire town. It is written that pharmacies actually smuggled makeup through secret back door entrances to the wealthy women or those with a well-known reputation (McGlinchey). By the mid- 1900’s, propaganda had already manifested what the ideal women should appear
Get Access