Have you ever wondered about the history of cosmetics and when it all began? Makeup has been used to enhance attractiveness since Egyptian times. For example, the ancient Egyptians wore lead and copper cosmetics, and the cosmetic industry has become profitable and complex as makeup has grown in popularity. Famous cosmetics lines are now established by a collaboration of cosmetologists, dermatologists, and social media influencers. Let’s delive deep into the history of makeup piece, right from its beginnings to where we are today..
History of Makeup – Overview
Makeup items can be traced back to ancient Mesopotamia, ancient Egypt, and Iran. From ancient times, these goods, particularly eye cosmetics in the form of kohl, were popular in Persia, which is now Iran. Following the emergence of Islam, makeup was also utilized throughout the Middle East and Near East. In addition, women wore cosmetics more in private, with only enslaved women and vocalists permitted to wear it in public.
To achieve aesthetic standards, ointment powders and pastes were employed to lighten the skin. Face creams were used to protect the skin from the sun. These pastes were sandalwood-based. Decorative henna was applied on the bride during a wedding ceremony to make her look more beautiful. Men and children adorned their eyes with kohl and used henna as a natural colour for their hair. Aside from that, they rarely utilized other cosmetic products.
History of Makeup: Wolrdwide
In the next section, we will highlight the history of makeup worldwide.
Egypt has one of the oldest cultures in human history. In Egypt, both men and women wore makeup to improve their beauty. As mentioned, the first cosmetic arose around 6000 years ago in Egypt. Oils were utilized to give their skin a perfumed aroma and suppleness. They also wore white to protect their faces from the sun. Egyptians were also the first to utilize crushed flowers and black antimony-based paints as eyeliners and to create a natural blush.
Kohl originated in North Africa. Eyeliners and eyeshadows in dark colors such as blue, red, and black were extensively worn by Egyptian ladies. It was also shown in Egyptian art, as well as in their hieroglyphs. The focus algin, 0.01% iodine, and a bit of bromine mannite were also gathered by the ancient Egyptians. However, this colour produced major health problems. Lipstick with shimmering effects was first created using pearlescent material found in fish scales, which is still used today. Despite their risk, Egyptian cosmetics were supposed to have antibacterial powers that prevented illnesses. Ingredients in wrinkle treatments included frankincense gum and fresh moringa. Scars and burns were treated using ointments consisting of red ochre, kohl, and sycamore juice by the ancient Egyptians.
Another remedy was a plaster of carob grounds and honey, or an ointment of knotgrass and powdered wormwood roots. To improve breathing, the ancient Egyptians chewed plants or frankincense, which is still practiced today. Jars of what might be Setting lotions contained a combination of beeswax and resin. These were also used to treat concerns with hair loss such as baldness and greying. Similar people also applied these compounds to their mummies, believing that they would be irresistible in the hereafter.
The history of makeup in the Middle East is associated with the bible. Makeup is mentioned in the Bible’s Old Testament, like 2 Kings 9:30. Here, the Biblical figure Jezebel painted her eyelids (in about 840 BC). Makeup use is also recognized in the book of Esther, where beauty products were elaborated o look good and impress the King.
In China, flowers play a critical decorative role. History has it that Princess Shouyang, the daughter of Emperor Wu of Liu Song, was resting in the eaves of Hanzhong Palace near the plum trees on the seventh day of the first lunar month. After wandering in the garden, a plum blossom fell onto her fair face, leaving a floral print on her forehead that further increased her beauty. Because of this, the court women were impressed and began decorating their foreheads with tiny, fragile plum blossoms. It is also the mythical history of the floral fashion media Zhuang; commonly known as plum blossom makeup. It came from the Southern Dynasties (420 – 589) and was one of the most popular ones to ladies in the Tan (618-907) and Song (960-1279) dynasties.
According to the history of makeup in Mongolia, women from royal families painted red spots on the center of their cheeks, right under their eyes. Why they did so is a mystery. They reported that red cheeks made the queen happy.
In Japan, geisha used lipstick made of crushed safflower petals to paint the eyebrows and the eye edges. They also painted the lips and sticks with the bintsuke wax. The softer alternative of the sumo wrestler’s hair wax was used as the makeup based by geisha. Rice powder was used to color the face and back, then rouge contours the eye socket and defines the nose. The black pain then stains teeth for Erika. And this is a ceremony done when maiko graduates and becomes independent. The geisha could also use bird droppings to incorporate a lighter color when needed.
Makeup items can be traced back to ancient Mesopotamia, ancient Egypt, and Iran. From ancient times, these goods, particularly eye cosmetics in the form of kohl, were popular in Persia, which is now Iran. Following the emergence of Islam, makeup was also utilized throughout the Middle East and Near East. In addition, women wore cosmetics more in private, with only enslaved women and vocalists permitted to wear it in public. To achieve aesthetic standards, ointment powders and pastes were employed to lighten the skin. Face creams were used to protect the skin from the sun. These pastes were sandalwood-based. Decorative henna was applied on the bride during a wedding ceremony to make her look more beautiful. Men and children adorned their eyes with kohl and used henna as a natural colour for their hair. Aside from that, they rarely utilized other cosmetic products.
The ancient Greeks and Romans were the first European societies to widely employ cosmetics. Prostitutes and wealthy women wore cosmetics on a daily basis under the Roman Empire. These adornments were sometimes bemoaned by Roman writers in particular. They considered it went against the standards required of women by what they called “Old Roman Principles.” Later, Christian writers voiced similar views in a separate, distinct context. Pliny the Elder discussed cosmetics in his Naturalis Historia, while Ovid wrote a whole book about them.
Pale faces were also popular in the European Middle Ages. Women bled themselves to obtain pale complexion in the 16th century. Pink cosmetics was often utilized by Spanish prostitutes to contrast with their pale skin. In the 13th century, Italian women wore crimson lipstick to symbolize the upper class. Makeup was first used in the Middle Ages, when features were whitened and cheeks were roughened. And in the later 16th century in the West, the particular characteristics of ladies who were into makeup developed a demand for the products in the upper class. Cosmetics were still utilized in the subsequent centuries, but attitudes regarding them shifted over time. However, in Western history, the use of cosmetics was highly condemned. For example, in the nineteenth century, Queen Victoria officially declared that cosmetics was unseemly and disgusting, and that it should only be worn by actors. Many notable actors of the day, including Sarah Barnhardt and Lillie Langtry, wore cosmetics. In the nineteenth century, cosmetics was used to attain women’s delicate, feminine, and pale ideal fashion. Some women used rouge on their cheeks and drops of belladonna to dilate their eyes to seem longer.
America and Australia
The history of makeup in America and Australia is quite similar to other parts of the world. Native American tribes used to paint their faces during ceremonial events o battles. The Aboriginals followed the same practices in Australia.
Makeup in the 21st Century
The turn of the 21st century saw the birth of new trends in makeup as highlighted in this section.
1940 to late 1950s
Because of shortages caused by World War II, women in the 1940s opted for a more natural look while applying cosmetics. It can’t be denied that the rounded red lip was the defining feature of the 1940s makeup style. Women in the 1950s took their makeup cues from Hollywood actresses and glamour icons like Audrey Hepburn. Marilyn Monroe is often credited with popularizing the cat-eye liner style, which she typically wore with bright red lips and a curled up hair.
1960s and 1970s
The sixties look is characterized by the use of heavy eye makeup, notably heavy eyeliners and thick mascara. Women contoured eyes to produce a hooded, rounded impression, emphasized their bottom lashes, and used pale blue and white makeup. The 1970s saw a return to minimalism as people became more environmentally conscious and the women’s liberation movement gained momentum. Hair was worn long and loose, and bronzer was utilized to achieve a warm, healthy sheen.
When the political and economic climate shifted dramatically in the 1980s, it triggered a return to ostentatious fashion and beauty trends like heavy makeup and huge hair. Makeup was bright and colorful, with lots of blush and jewel tones on the eyes. To counteract the glitz of the ’80s, the ’90s saw the rise of minimalism. Glossy lips that were heavily lined, neutral colors, half-up, half-down haircuts, heavily plucking brows, and glittering smokey eyes were all hallmarks of the late 90s.
The Millenium- 2000s
Poker straight hair, pastel eyeshadows, nude glossy lips, and heavy eyeliner were all part of the aesthetic that ushered in the new millennium. The era of the celebrity has officially begun, and the fashion world has responded by imitating the styles of stars like Jennifer Lopez, Kim Kardashian, Rihanna, Beyonce, and Avril Lavigne.
Creativity and Exploration
The 2020s have thus far been a decade of exploration. There has been a resurgence of emphasis on bright colors, and the application of cosmetics is now widely regarded as an art form. Many MUAs’ current popular looks on platforms like Instagram and TikTok are based on retro styles popular in bygone decades. Some of the most popular cosmetic looks for 2020 include bold, contrasting colors, animal designs, glossy eyeshadows, and vivid mascara.
Increased Online Makeup Sales
We have studied the history of cosmetics in the nineteenth century, and it is clear that it was rather frowned upon in some areas. However, cosmetic products are now commonly available from specialist internet retailers. From Amazon and eBay to resellers and the companies manufacturing makeup, you’ll just everything you need online.
Men Increasingly Using Makeup?
Although women have traditionally been the ones who use cosmetics, men have begun to do so in greater numbers in recent years. To hide imperfections, concealers are the product of choice for men who care about their look. In response, many companies in the cosmetics industry have introduced lines of makeup specifically aimed at guys, which are largely used by men. The usage of cosmetics by men has been the subject of debate. This is seen as progress toward gender equality, justifying the use of cosmetics by men to improve the appearance of their faces.
The Bottom Line
Learning about the history of makeup makes it easy to see why cosmetics products have been prevalent throughout the years. As of 2022, skin care is a top category in cosmetics and accounts for a huge percentage of the global cosmetics market sahre. Makeup has been and is still used as a beauty enhancement to help increase the self-esteem and confidence of individuals. The demand for makeup products is increasing since most people want to look young and attractive. These products are readily available in creams, lipsticks, perfumes, eye shadows, nail polishes, hair sprays, and more. Look young, look good!History of Makeup – Where Did It Start?