The origin of make-up dates back to 3100 BC, during the 1st Egyptian Dynasty. Unguent, a substance used to prevent the skin from drying up due to heat and to avoid wrinkles, was extensively used by people of both genders during that era. The women of Egypt were known to apply kohl to their eyes to give them a smoky look. Antimony or soot was usually used to make kohl.
The use of cosmetics and make up was found among Romans also. They grew popular approximately around the middle of 1st century AD. Kohl was now used by Romans too. The cheeks were decorated with rouge. You would be amazed to know that people used to take good care of their teeth along with their skin. For cleaning teeth, Romans used pumice.
Henna dyes were used by Persian women for darkening their hair. Pale skin became very popular during the European time. A lot of women used harmful substances to achieve a pale look, which in turn spoiled their skin to a large extent. During the Renaissance period of Italy, women started using lead paint in order to lighten their skin, which in fact proved damaging.
Due to the damaging effect, makeup was criticised during the time of Elizabeth I. Cosmetics came to be seen as a threat and people started avoiding them. Except for prostitutes who donned themselves with heavy makeup, people usually shied away from it.
The French loved to adorn their lips with red lipsticks, and wore rouge on their cheeks. Though earlier it was repulsed by other countries, eventually it trickled down to other parts of the world also.
A lot of people started using herbal products to make cosmetics and makeup. Herbs, flower extracts, vegetable extracts, strawberries, brandy, spring water etc were widely used. Unfortunately pale complexion was still considered royal and so the efforts of most women were directed towards achieving skin lightness. The use of whiteners and blemish removers proved fatal at times. One of the most lethal products was white lead, which not only caused harm to the skin cells but also led to hair loss and stomach problems.
The irony is that, in spite of knowing the harm they are causing to their body, women continued using dangerous cosmetics like white lead for the face, belladonna for the eyes, and even mercury and nitric acid. Shockingly enough, coal tar was used to dye hair.
Even today a lot of people use harmful cosmetics, though thankfully the focus is shifting towards safer products.Where Did Makeup Originate? A Glance at the History of Makeup
Jane Walters is co-owner of The Beauty House Academy, a Brisbane based beauty school that provides training of an exceptional standard. Jane's passion is the beauty industry, and she is wanting to impart some of her 27 years experience gained in 3 countries, into the young therapists that are coming into the industry today. Her standards are high and her expectations of her students great, but this coupled with her passion and knowledge make the academy one of the best that Brisbane has to offer.