Essay about History of Cosmetology

Submitted By kaitl
Words: 1193
Pages: 5

Going as far back as 600 years, the history of cosmetics can be seen in almost every society on earth. Some argue that human culture used cosmetic body art as one of the earliest forms of ritual, dating over 100,000 years ago from the African Middle Stone Age. Archeological evidence of cosmetics can certainly be found as far back as ancient Egypt and Greece. The history of cosmetics spans across the globe, touching places such as Africa, and Japan. Throughout the years cosmetics have become more and more popular. Classes are being given to teach on how to apply and use the cosmetics correctly. And even though most women, and even some men, enjoy using the products, there have been some critisisms and controversys on the matter. Looking back at the history of cosmetics in Africa we can tell that it was well documented. Kohl and Henna got their roots in north Africa. Around the time Thutmosis III remedies to treat wrinkles were recorded. These remedies contained ingredients such as gum of frankincense and fresh moringa. Made out of red ochre, kohl, and sycamore juice a special ointment was made for scars and burns. Alternativly there was a treatment made up of carob grounds and honey, or an ointment made of frankincence and honey. Still in use today the Africans chewed on herbs, frankincense, or licotice root sticks to improve their breath. Jars containing a mixture of beeswax and resin have been found and can be compared with that of a 'setting lotion'. These doubled as remedies for problems such as baldness and greying hair. Where Africa had more of a treatment aproach to cosmetics, Japan had more of an appearance aproach. In Japan, geisha, a traditional Japanese female entertainer, wore lipstick made of crushed safflower petals. They used this lipstick to paint their eyebrows and the edges of the eyes as well as the lips. Sticks of bintsuke wax, a softer version of the sumo wrestlers' hair wax, was used by the geisha as a makeup base. To color the face and back they used rice powder, and rouge contoured the eye socket and and defined the nose. For the Erikae ceremony where maiko, apprentice geisha, graduate and become independent, they would use ohaguro, black paint, to color the teeth. The geisha would also sometimes use bird droppings to compile a lighter color. During the early years of the 20th century, make-up started to become more fashionable in the United States of America and Europe. They owed this influence to ballet and theatre stars such as Mathilde Kschessinska and Sarah Bernhardt. But the most influential part was that of the movie industry in Hollywood. There were a few people, including Max Factor, Sr., Elizabeth Arden, and Helena Rubinstein, who saw an opportunity for mass-market cosmetics. The founder of L'Oreal, Eugene Schuller, invented modern synthetic hair dye in 1907. He also invented sunscreen in 1936. The cosmetics of the 1920's, which welcomed dark eyes, red lipstick, red nail polish, and the suntan, influenced the Flapper style. The eyebrow pencil really took off in the 1920's, in part because it was "technologically superior" to what it had been, due to a new ingredient: hydrogenated cottonseed oil. (Riordan, Teresa. Inventing Beauty. New York: Broadway Books, 2004. Print.) Mascaras started out as simple pressed cakes containing soap and pigments. A woman would dip a tiny brush into hot water, rub the bristles on the cake, remove the excess by rolling the brush onto some blotting paper or a sponge, and then apply the mascara as if her eyelashes were a watercolor canvas. (Riordan, Teresa. Inventing Beauty. New York: Broadway Books, 2004. Print.) In 1919 the first patent for nail polish was granted. It's color was a very light pink.In the 1910's nail polish was available in any color just as long as it was pink. It's not clear how dark this rose was, but any girl whose nails were tipped in any pink darker than a baby's blush risked gossip about being "fast." (Riordan, Teresa. Inventing…