The History of Cosmetics

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Vanity, self esteem, and covering our imperfections are just a few of the reasons Americans are obsessed with cosmetics. The cosmetic industry has become a multi-billion dollar industry in the United States. Although cosmetics and treatments have changed over the centuries, the purpose remains the same- to improve and enhance our appearance. Cosmetics not only provide us with more beautiful features, flawless skin, and less wrinkles, they have become a part of who we are. The practice of makeup and cosmetic application first originated in the era of the Ancient Egyptians around 4000 BC. (“Timeline“) The most famously known woman for her makeup during this time was the Last Pharaoh, Cleopatra. The Egyptians not only used makeup for …show more content…
Also used for foundation was orris root, chalk to make a paste, and a mixture of animal fats. (“Roman Make-Up 2”) As for eye makeup goes, the Romans paid close attention to emphasizing their eyebrows. They used saffron for eye shadow, but it changed when they conquered different people. When Rome conquered the Egyptians, they began using the green pigment called malachite. (“Roman Make-Up 3”) Next is the Elizabethan era, in the years of 1558-1603. (“Eras of Elegance”) During the Elizabethan era, the most important aspect of beauty was considered having pale skin. Pale skin represented wealth, nobility, and delicacy in women. After achieving the look of having pale skin, they used face paint called fucus. Fucus came in a variety of reds and was used on the cheeks as a form of blush, and on the lips for lipstick. A typical “beautiful” woman was considered to have a narrow and straight nose, a small, rosy mouth, and wide-set beaming eyes under narrow arched eye brows. (Leed) Have you ever wondered where the term, makeup, originated? Well, fast forward to the 1900’s; commonly known as the father of modern makeup, Maximillian Faktorowicz was born in Poland in 1877. (“Max Factor”) As a child, Maxamillian apprenticed at a local pharmacy and mixed various potions. During his apprenticeship, he became obsessed with the human face. As a young adult, he moved to Moscow and opened up a shop which sold wigs, perfumes, and skin creams.