The first archaeological evidence of cosmetics usage is found in Ancient Egypt around 4000 BC. The Ancient Greeks and Romans also used cosmetics. The Romans and Ancient Egyptians, not realizing their dangerous properties, used cosmetics containing mercury and white lead. Fragrances, particularly frankincense and myrrh are mentioned in the Christian Bible: Exodus 30: 34, Gospel of Matthew 2:11. Ancient Egyptians had a wide extent of make-up utensils. One of them is kohl, which was used to outline the eyes. It is made up of lead, copper, burned almonds, soot, and other ingredients. It was believed that eye make-up could ward off evil spirits and improve the sight. Even the poor wore eye make-up in ancient Egypt.
An early cosmetologist was the physician Abu al-Qasim al-Zahrawi, or Abulcasis (936-1013 AD), who wrote the 30-volume medical encyclopedia Al-Tasrif. A chapter of the 19th volume was dedicated to cosmetics. As the treatise was translated into Latin, the cosmetic chapter was used in the West. Al-Zahrawi considered cosmetics a branch of medicine, which he called "Medicine of Beauty" (Adwiyat al-Zinah). He deals with perfumes, scented aromatics and incense. There were perfumed stocks rolled and pressed in special moulds, perhaps the earliest antecedents of present day lipsticks and solid deodorants. He also used oily substances called Adhan for medication and beautification.
The use of kohl or kajal has a long history in Hindu culture. The use of traditional preparations of kohl on children and adults has been considered to have health benefits,However in the United States it has been linked to lead poisoning and is prohibited.
In Japan, geishas wore lipstick made of crushed safflower petals to paint the eyebrows and edges of the eyes as well as the lips. Sticks of bintsuke wax, a softer version of the sumo wrestlers' hair wax, were used by geisha as a makeup base. Rice powder colors the face and back; rouge contours the eye socket and defines the nose. Ohaguro (black paint) colours the teeth for the ceremony when maiko (apprentice geisha) graduate and become independent. The geisha would also sometimes use bird droppings to compile a lighter color.
In the Middle Ages, Renaissance and up until the Industrial Revolution, the lower classes had to work outside, in agricultural jobs. The typically light-colored European skin was darkened by exposure to the sun. The higher class a person was, the more leisure time he or she had to spend indoors, which kept the skin pale. Thus, the highest classed of European society, able to spend all of their time protected from the sun, frequently had the lightest-looking skin. As a result, European men and women often attempted to lighten their skin directly, or used white powder on their skin to look more aristocratic. A variety of products were used, including white lead paint which, as if the toxic lead wasn't bad enough, notoriously also contained arsenic. Queen Elizabeth I of England was one well-known user of white lead, with which she created a look known as "the Mask of Youth". Portraits of the queen by Nicholas Hilliard from later in her reign are illustrative of her influential style.
Flapper style influenced the cosmetics of the 1920s, which embraced dark eyes, red lipstick, red nail polish, and the suntan, invented as a fashion statement by Coco Chanel. Previously, suntans had only been sported by agricultural workers, while fashionable women kept their skins as pale as possible. In the wake of Chanel's adoption of the suntan, dozens of new fake tan products were produced to help both men and women achieve the "sun-kissed" look. In Asia, skin whitening continued to represent the ideal of beauty, as it does to this day. During the 1960s and 1970s, many women in the western world influenced by feminism decided to go without any cosmetics. The anti-cosmetics movement was an outgrowth of this; feminists in this movement object to cosmetics' role in the second-class status of women, making them mere sex-objects who must waste time with cosmetics. Cosmetics in the 1970s were divided into a "natural look" for day and a more sexualized image for evening.
We'll Have a Party to Burn Our Burqas; LIPSTICK, NAIL POLISH AND DEGREES FOR AFGHAN WOMEN FREED FROM THE TALIBAN
Apr 07, 2002; Byline: YOLA MONAKHOV in Kabul ARZOO Deghati and her mother are planning a party. But this is not just your average get-together,...