Tag Archives: cleopatra

The Early Life Of Cosmetics

For thousands of years women have been using cosmetics to enhance their beauty. Many people do not realize just how far back in our history.

The first finding of cosmetics dates back to the times of the Egyptians. Women would use different berries, insects and various chemicals like lead to enhance their beauty. Some of the combinations to create the make-up would cause severe illness.

Pale skin was a popular look, however, many women didn’t know how to achieve what they wanted. So experiments began. Some women would use flour to powder their skin to make it look pale. This was the safest way to do so. Others, would try to apply a mixture that contained lead in it. The lead would make the person wearing the make-up very ill. Some women would go so far as what is known as bloodletting. This is when women would have someone help them to drain out some of their own blood. By loosing a certain level of their blood, they would then look quite pale. Of course there were many problems with this as well and many women became very ill. This was due to the constant use of this practice.

Cleopatra was said to be one to experiment with different things to use for creating make-up. For her lips, it was said that she would use crushed jewels to make them glimmer and shine. The jewels used would be ground to a very fine powder then applied to the lips. This of course did not seem to have a lasting affect. So, she decided to try insects. Her main insect of choice the carmine beetle. When crushed the beetle produced a beautiful crimson color. When applied to the lips, it would stain them giving off the same color.

For a period of time, make-up was frowned upon. It was believed that the only people that should be allowed to wear make-up should be actors to enhance their looks and be seen by others watching their performance.

Over the years, the practice of using make-up has changed greatly. More young adults and teenage girls are seen using make-up to enhance their looks to make themselves look older. This of course has a lot of parents concerned and they are now limiting their daughters on the amount of make-up they where or rather having them go without until they become a certain age.

The application techniques used have also varied along with colors. A development in a “Gothic” look is not only used by females, but by males as well. The use of black or very dark make-up on the face to enhance the lips and eyes has been quite popular for the last 15 years.

Changes in fashion have helped to influence how make-up are being applied and we will see major changes in how they are used on a daily basis in years to come.