The History of Makeup – Makeup Artist Course

Sneak peak into the Makeup Artist Course

1.2 History of Makeup

The history of cosmetics spans at least 7,000 years and is present in almost every society on earth (source). Modern times see women using all types of makeup looks such as natural, colorful, thickly lined eyes and full red lips, blush and highlighter. From ancient times to today, this chapter will explore the history of makeup.

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The Ancient World

Egyptians were some of the first to use makeup. They used ingredients such as lead ore, copper, berries, ashes, mercury, arsenic and leeches. One of the most popular compounds used is called Kohl. Kohl was used for religious purposes as an eyeshadow to accentuate the eyes of royalty and emulates appearance of their gods. This trend spread to Greece and Rome, where they used Kohl to represent beauty. It also spread to Indi and Babylon to represent the high class. 

The Victorian Era

The Victorian Era introduced rice powder into the makeup world. Rice powder hides redness, freckles, blotches and pimples. Zinc oxide and pearl powder were used by the upper class as a finishing powder for the upper class. The Victorian Era also introduced Beeswax as a substance for lip balm.

The Modern Era

The roaring 20s introduced the look of smoky eyeshadow and the cat eye. Following the 20s, women began wearing a variety of colors in cosmetics. In the 70s, rainbow makeup was popular to match the disco and freedom mentality. As society developed more technology, more makeup options became available.

Makeup Today

Makeup is more common today than it has ever been before. It is used on women, men and the LGBTQ community. Although makeup is mostly made of skin safe ingredients, society has only increased the demand for beauty products. Government regulations have entered the world of cosmetics to ensure all cosmetics sold in Canada are safe to use and not pose any health risk. Cosmetics must meet the requirements of the Food and Drugs Act and the Cosmetic Regulations. As time goes on, the makeup industry will continue to expand.

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