I came. I saw. I contoured
Kylie Cosmetics, Huda Beauty, KKW Beauty, Bobbi Brown, you name it and we have it. Makeup has come a long way since.
Here is a brief history of makeup timeline:
Eyeliners came from Egypt, nail polishes from China and who knew the ‘No Makeup Look’ can be traced back to Greece. Civilizations used cosmetics which they made from natural products or highly dangerous products, unlike the advanced products we have today.
It can be safe to say that women have, since the beginning, strived to look perfect in every which way.
Looking back into a brief history of makeup , archaeological evidence has proved that the Egyptians were extensive users of makeup starting from sometime around 3000 BC. Kohl was applied by both men and women during that time, usually made out of burnt wood.
They used castor oil as a protective balm. The world’s first anti-wrinkle serums were used in ancient Egypt.
The Egyptians believed that using kohl around their eyes would ward off the evil eye. The concept of ‘Nazar’ was prevalent back then, we can’t blame Indians only for this.
While Egypt was busy in letting their eyes talk, the Chinese were painting their nails at the same time around 3000 BC-800 AD.
They used to color their finger nails to distinguish between the social classes. The highest class used gold or silver, low ranks used red and black and the poorest were forbidden from using any color on their nails.
The Chinese also used a lot of foundation basically to distinguish themselves from the working class laborers who would end up having dark skin due to long working hours in the sun.
Before we got obsessed with Kajol’s uni brow, the Greeks were! Starting from sometime around 800 AD, the Greeks exalted the idea of ‘All Natural Look’ and ‘Uni brow’.
The need for the perfect and unblemished skin was so strong that they would use harmful substances to cover up any discoloration on their skin.
Coming to unibrow, they considered it a feature of the high class and the beautiful. Those who didn’t have a natural one used animal hair or colored the section brown to make it look like a unibrow. Each woman did everything to look like Aphrodite.
Since ancient times, makeup and cosmetics were something which only the rich had access too. Beauty treatments were far better and natural than today.
Historical records prove to us that queens, princesses and their glam team always had access to the best of beauty.
Bathing with milk or using petals in their bath to smell good were few of the royal treatments they had. The Bible also has proof that during queen Esther’s time, the ladies underwent beauty treatments to present the best version of themselves before the king.
We might have parlors and salons now, but in those days the Queen and her team had an exclusive bathing area made for them especially. This is where all the ladies would relax and beautify themselves.
For centuries, women tried to look as pale as possible. They believed that having a mark or a tan on the face implied that you belonged to the working labor class, the weaker section of the society.
They would go extreme lengths to achieve pale complexion, sometimes using leeches for bleeding which would make them look pale. Later they used hydroxide, chalk and other chemical substances which were very harmful to the skin.
The concept of tanning became popular only in the 1900s because by then ladies realized the wonders of melanin.
What’s interesting to note is that the 1800s was the most toxic period in the history of cosmetics. Each and everything made for makeup was made using a whole lot of chemicals like lead, mercury, arsenic, etc.
The lengths that women were willing to go to look beautiful. In our time, we are always on the lookout for natural makeup free of all chemicals but there is always a slight percent involved in them.
The industry fell prey to the practices of the 1800s.
During the 1800s when Queen Victoria came into power, she shunned the usage of makeup and cosmetics. The mentality was that only stage actresses and prostitutes wore a lot of makeup. During that time, the women preferred to not wear makeup when in public. The only slight makeup tool which was considered was a light layer of powder to enhance the complexion.
The 1900s saw the birth and the rise of many makeup companies. By now, the cosmetic industry is a multimillion industry. There is no specific way of wearing makeup anymore but simply what goes along with the personality, and not necessarily following a particular trend.
Following the history of makeup timeline, the approach now is to use those products which are organic. The way ladies wear makeup is now a powerful tool to express themselves.