Are not we? We wear makeup to feel beautiful, but do we know its history? No? Let's have a toll to it.
The History of Makeup
We wear it to feel beautiful, to express our creativity and
to showcase our personality on the most personal and visible canvas that we
have, but what is the history of makeup? How did it come to be that women all
over the world use makeup daily? The way in which makeup is used has changed
dramatically over the years. For example, where women used to use all sorts of
natural potions to lighten their skin, today women spend hundreds of dollars in
order to appear tanned without subjecting themselves to harsh UV rays.
It has been said that the history of makeup began in Egypt
and Greece where people used castor oil to protect their skin from harsh
weather. Kohl and henna were used in Egypt and people used natural products
from the earth in order to protect themselves from the elements and take care
of their skin. Many of the products used are still active ingredients in beauty
products today like beeswax and herbs.
In the Middle East, earthly products were primarily used to
concoct perfumes and incense, as cosmetics were fundamentally seen as somewhat
medicinal. In China around 3000 BCE, people began to use gelatin and beeswax to
color their fingernails to exhibit their social status. In Japan, geisha's used
specific flower petals to paint their lips and eyebrows and natural ingredients
to whiten their faces, just like the geisha that are still around today.
Europe’s makeup history isn't as liberal, since the church
didn't permit makeup. Not all women listened of course. Since women working
outside had their skin naturally darkened by the sunlight, women in the upper
classes wanted to appear as white as possible, so as not to have their social
status mistaken, and therefore used powders to cosmetically lighten their skin.
The theater and American films are what really brought
makeup and its uses to what it is today. As cosmetic companies, primarily in
the United States, began marketing their products with advertisements and
celebrity spokeswomen, makeup began to become popularized. Women in the 1920’s
wore bright coloured makeup and painted their nails. The 1970's and the advent
of feminism saw some women shunning makeup and so began cosmetic ranges that
were touted as providing a more “natural” look for women who wanted to wear
makeup but not look like they were wearing makeup.
Today, you can’t enter a shopping mall or stroll along a
high street without stumbling upon a makeup store. With the advent of
eCommerce, you can purchase makeup on thousands of websites in a range of
colors and styles with only a few clicks. Makeup has come a long way from its
early days in Egypt.