A Potted History of Cosmetics

For thousands of years, people have been using cosmetics and evidence has been found of this from as long ago as 4,000 BC during the Ancient Egyptian period. Rich and poor alike all wore eye makeup, the most common being Kohl which was used as an eye liner, this was thought to improve the eyesight and ward off evil spirits. The ancient Romans and Greeks also used cosmetics and during the ancient Roman period, these were produced and applied by female slaves called Cosmetae. Kohl was composed of antimony (a toxic grey metalloid), ashes or soot and sometimes saffron which improved the scent. It was applied using a rounded stick which was first dipped in oil or water, then dipped in the kohl. Eyebrows were also painted and darkened using antimony or soot.

The Egyptians, with their strikingly painted faces, believed that their appearance and sweet scented bodies brought them closer to their gods, and they took enormous pride in their cleanliness and makeup. The Greeks, however, were much vainer and looking and smelling good for each other was more important than how they presented themselves to their gods. Later the Romans took cosmetics to another level and with their brazen lifestyles, used makeup and oils for no other purpose than that of enhancing their sexual pleasures.

Despite their self indulgence, the Romans did discover medicinal treatments and found that plagues could be combated by burning aromatic gums and resins. The word perfume actually derived from Roman times: “Per” is Latin for ‘through’ and “fumum” means ‘smoke’ and together ‘per fumum’ translates as the practice of transforming a substance into something airborne through nebulisation.

As years have gone by, makeup and cosmetics have become more and more fashionable, and as ballet, theatre and later television became popular, the whole world was influenced by the media and the representations of beauty ideals. Images of Japanese geisha, excessively made up 1920s flappers, ‘Twiggy’s’ iconic 1960s look, David Bowie’s 1970s ‘Ziggy Stardust’ image, Lady Gaga’s elaborate use of makeup, leads us to ask ourselves why do we wear makeup. Is it to enhance natural beauty, for religious reasons, to attract the opposite sex, or to create a work of art on the body?

Whatever our reasons, the world just would not be the same without the use of our lotions, potions, paints, perfumes and cosmetics. With the creation of the Internet, we do not have to visit department stores for our beauty products as they are now widely available on-line. We have a lot to thank the Egyptians for, and the creation of cosmetics is one of them, which not only changed the appearance of the human body, but made it much sweeter smelling too!

Short Beauty and Makeup Tips

Charlie Chaplin said “I had no idea of the character. But the moment I was dressed, the clothes and the make-up made me feel the person he was. I began to know him, and by the time I walked onto the stage he was fully born.” This quote reflects the importance of beauty and makeup and that it can change the perception of people.

There are certain things that require prior knowledge. These include: foundations, eye shadows, eye liners, concealers, lipsticks and many more. Foundations are flesh-toned cosmetics applied to facial skin for creating an even and uniform complexion. Concealers are used to hide pimples and blemishes. Eye shadows and eyeliners are used to darken the eyelids to make them prominent. And lipsticks are used to make the lips prominent and reflect the beauty of the lips.

There are hundreds of beauty and makeup tips. Some of the more prominent and widely used beauty tips include the proper application of foundation on face, the use of eye shadows and eye liners, the proper use of lipsticks and how to conceal blemishes and pimples. Using foundation is important as it helps in unifying and smoothen the color of the facial skin. Use a foundation-powder of a renowned company which has been tested for any side effects. This will help in preventing allergies.

Apply the foundation-powder on your arm to get a match for your skin. Sometimes the foundation-powder seems to have the same color while there is a difference. Apply the foundation smoothly and gently on your facial skin. As the facial skin is very sensitive, a hard rub can cause skin damage. Don’t keep on applying the foundation-powder again and again to match the skin color instead use another one which is a closer for your skin color. Using too much foundation powder can cause skin damage because foundation is a cosmetic made of different elements. Gentle rub and less quantity of foundation-powder is the best way.

In order to portray a darker look of the eyebrows, the eyeliners are used. Be sure to use eyeliner that is well-known and is tested for side effects. Eye is the most delicate and sensitive part of the body, the eyeliner should be appropriately used. Use a sponge applicator for eye lining. Tilt your head and keep your eyes half open so that you can see yourself in the mirror while applying the eyeliner. Using a pencil eyeliner is much easier then the liquid eyeliner although the liquid eyeliner provides a brighter and bolder look to the eye.

One main part of a simple makeup includes the use of lipstick. Choose the lipstick that best matches your skin tone and the color of the cloths you are wearing. Matching a lipstick can be a little hectic. Clean your lips with a tissue paper before applying the lipstick. Apply the lipstick to the lower lip first and then press the lips together to transfer some part of the lipstick to the upper lip. This will help in smoothing the surface of the lip. Now cover the remaining part of the lips and then place a tissue paper in between the lips and press them together. This will help in creating a uniform layer of lipstick. All these tips are for a basic and simple makeup and are very effective.