Cosmetic History Worldwide – Beauty and the Beast

Cosmetic is synonymous to women and we say this because billions of dollars are being spent by women on cosmetics to increase their beauty quotient. Cosmetics are an indispensable part of a woman’s life – the love for beauty-enhancing elements cuts across all strata of society. In my effort to dig into the cosmetic history and unearth the love affair between women and cosmetics, I came across many interesting facts that I wish to share with all my readers.

Delving into the history of the use of cosmetics, we know that the Egyptians were the ones who started it all (sometime around the 4th century BC). There are historical evidences of the Egyptians using eye paints, scented oils and even animal fat based creams. These cosmetics were used by the women of the upper class in order to enhance the beauty of their facial skin and even treat skin problem like wrinkles, stretch marks, scars, hair growth etc. This brings us to an interesting conclusion i.e. there has not been any major shift in the purpose behind the usage of cosmetics.

The Western part of the world was a late entrant into cosmetic history and the use of cosmetics and it all started during the middle ages. Here too cosmetics were an elite affair and the commoners were bereft of this luxury. The use of cosmetics was not taken in a very positive way by the Church and it ultimately banned its use. Queen Victoria extended her support for the Church’s position. Thus cosmetics found its new lovers in the brothels where it adorned the faces of prostitutes. An interesting twist to the story came with Hitler declaring that cosmetics were better suited for the faces of Clowns and women belonging to the master race should shun its use.

The next two hundred years witnessed a rapid growth in cosmetic usage and even women belonging to the lower strata of the society started to use cosmetic products. The 18th century was very significant in terms of the changes in technology for the production of cosmetics. The French started to use new methods, chemicals and natural ingredients. Safer chemicals like zinc oxide were being used as the base and the use of lead or copper was abolished. At the end of the 19th century, the first beauty salons were set up.

Rapid use of makeup cosmetics started from the early 1930s; actresses and theater artists started to use make up in their films. Sarah Bernhardt and Jean Harlow spearheaded the so-called cosmetic movement and made the use of cosmetics fashionable. After World War II, there was rapid growth in the cosmetic industry where more and more women started using cosmetics. Soon with the introduction of electronic media like TV and Radio, cosmetics became a part of every woman’s life.

To date the significance of cosmetics has not reduced, but in fact, increased in the life of women. It is now over a 50 billion dollar industry. However, as its history evolves, cosmetics will take on new meaning. Past cosmetic history focused on women’s beauty and the culture of anti-aging. The future will focus on the dangers inherent in the continued use of synthetically formulated cosmetic products. These synthetic chemicals have proven to be toxic in nature, and over time, clinical studies will prove them to be hazardous to one’ health. Many of these toxins have already been linked to cancer, birth defects, infertility, liver and kidney malfunctions, and much, much more.

Recently, a lecture was presented by the Environmental Working Group, the EWG. Their mission is to protect children from the effects of toxic chemicals in the food, water, air, and products we use daily. Without getting into too much detail here is a summary of the findings of the EWG as it relates to cosmetic products.

Women, on average, use 12 personal care products daily that expose them to 160 toxic chemicals; 10 babies, still in their mother’s womb, were tested for chemicals in their bloodstreams with these results; 287 toxic chemicals were found of which 134 were linked to cancer; 151 were linked to birth defects; 186 were linked to infertility; 130 were linked to the immune system, and so on.

Now, if one questions what this all means, consider the following statistics; there has been an 84% increase in Acute Lymphocytic Leukemia in children from 1975 to 2002; a 57% increase in brain cancer during the same period; a doubling of Hypospadias (birth defect of the urethra in males) in infant males in the same period; sperm counts in men are dropping at a rate of 1% per year; 1 in 8 women will get breast cancer; 1 in 3 women will experience some form of cancer in their lifetime; 1 in 2 males will experience some form of cancer in their lifetime.

That is enough statistics to give you pause in the cosmetic products used daily. Past and future articles will delve deeper into this subject. For now, historically, we have presented the two sides of cosmetic history. The past emphasized the beauty aspects of personal care products, while the future should and hopefully focus on the dangers inherent in the daily use of toxic-laden cosmetic products.

Color Clash – Hair Color and Cosmetics

Have you ever returned home from the salon after you changed your hair color and thought, “This is totally wrong. This color doesn’t work for me!”? Chances are that your new hair color is gorgeous but you are still wearing the same make-up! As odd as it sounds, the shades of cosmetics you wear can make or break a new hair color. If you are changing your hair color don’t forget to change your make-up too!

Why Changing Makeup with Hair Color is so Important

When you change your hair color your whole appearance changes. The new shade can make your skin and eyes look more pale or more intense. Your new locks can bring out hidden undertones in your skin and new dimensions to your eyes. New hair color can also make you look younger and more confident, but if you continue to wear the same make-up then you can also look a little odd. This clash of colors comes down to color theory. The lipstick that might have looked fabulous on you as a blond now can look decidedly odd with your new red locks. Why? Because the new hair color and cosmetic undertones clash.

The color of our hair really does affect our overall appearance and so when you change it, it is essential to change everything else too from the clothes you wear to your make-up. This allows you to give a better balance to the face and it also finishes off the overall new look. The wrong cosmetic colors can make your look go from pale to dull to downright clownish.

How to Find New Makeup to Suit Your New Color

When it comes to finding new make-up to suit your new color, you may have trouble knowing what to opt for. Though you might not want to overhaul your make-up bag, you should seriously consider adding a few key colors to complement your dramatically changed hair color. The right make-up to compliment your hair color and skin tone with help you get the most out of that expensive dye job!

You should look at a number of factors first in order to choose the right colors for you. Some of these factors include hair color, eye color, and skin tone. Still confused? If you need guidance to get the most out of your new hair color ask the stylist that is dying your hair to suggest cosmetic shades that will fit your skin tone and match your new mane. Often times your salon will have a cosmetic line on hand and can do a mini make-over to demonstrate the power of the correct colors. If your stylist is of little help go to visit your local department store’s cosmetic counter or just pop on-line and ask the Beauty Advisor at your favourite cosmetic website for guidance and shade suggestions.

Overall cosmetics should be chosen with various things in mind. When you change your hair color your make-up should definitely be changed too. So the next time you color your hair, take these tips into consideration to get the most out of your new look.

Maintaining Beauty With Cosmetic Surgery

To some, physical beauty if of the utmost importance and to others it is important but it isn’t everything. Whether you care to admit it or not, beauty if of some importance in your life and as you age you want to ensure that you do not lose the beauty you were born with. Fortunately, for men and women that want to look your best, always, there is cosmetic surgery. Contrary to popular belief, cosmetic surgery is not the complete change of your looks; cosmetic surgery is as much about routine beauty maintenance as it is anything else.

Maintaining your beauty through the use of cosmetic surgery means simply utilizing what is available to you to prevent the signs of age, such as wrinkles. Surgical procedures are available that do not require any length of time in the hospital or any recovery at all, but do allow you to maintain your beauty.

Cosmetic Surgery

As you age, your skin begins to lose elasticity, which makes wrinkles appear. One of the most common procedures to reduce the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles is botox injections. Botox is injected into the skin with a small needle; it then plumps up the skin beneath the wrinkle to make the wrinkle disappear or shrink significantly. Botox can help you to maintain your youthful beauty and appearance by making you appear years younger thanks to the disappearance of your wrinkles.

In addition, collagen injections are a cosmetic procedure used to maintain your beauty. Collagen injections make your lips appear fuller and more seductive, which can make you appear more beautiful and even younger at times.

Health

While cosmetic procedures are used to maintain beauty, these procedures are much more effective on those that practice healthy living as well. Certain lifestyle choices can negatively affect your skin and appearance; unhealthy eating habits, a lack of exercise and smoking are just a few of the lifestyle choices you make that have negative effects on your appearance.

Life happens and aging is inevitable; there is nothing anyone can do to stop the aging process. However, you can slow it down by making the choice to live a healthy lifestyle. This will reduce the amount of wrinkles you have, make your skin look healthier and your body fitter. All of these things will help you to maintain your beauty much longer than those that choose to live in an unhealthy manner.

Using cosmetic procedures to maintain your beauty in accordance with a healthy lifestyle means you will need fewer treatments and will be able to go longer periods of time between treatments. However, cosmetic procedures will help you look better, younger and healthier than ever at any age.