Makeup has practically been around since the beginning of time. It’s been used as a tool to define different races and cultures, as well as to define a point in time or era.
The earliest discovery of makeup was in 165,000 BC, when cave women would use ground-up red and brown rocks as makeup. How interesting right? Then in 70,000 BC, humans evolved further, realising that they could use plant and earth based materials to create pastes to paint their faces and bodies.
During 4000 BC Egyptian women would apply copper and lead in an almond shape around their eyes, and in 3000 BC the Chinese began staining their fingernails with gelatine, beeswax, and egg, while the Greek’s would whiten their faces with chalk or lead face powder, and the Indian’s used red clay, water and plant materials to create henna. These are all things that relate to these cultures even today and represent different traditions.
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Though makeup really became popular in the 1900’s during the Edwardian period. During this time, women started to obsess over keeping their youth and looking pale in colour. If you were tanned, it was generally an indication that person spent a lot of time in the fields, meaning they were poor.
It was a must that women remained natural looking. Though makeup brands weren’t as knowledgeable as now, so women would apply enamel, which is a highly toxic white face paint made with lead, to achieve whiter skin. Over this, women would apply rice or pearl face powder. Rouge was the most popular product, used to redden the cheeks and stain the lips, while belladonna, another toxic product, was used to dilate the pupils and make the eyes brighter. Women who wanted to darken the outside of their eyes would use soot from the fireplace or even the end of a burnt match stick, and highly arched and painfully thin eyebrows were all the rage, which were drawn on using an eyebrow pencil.
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Companies like Max Factor, Maybelline, Elizabeth Arden and L’Oreal Paris were some of the first makeup brands to be invented. These brands have stood the test of time, still creating products today.
By the 1920’s the makeup industry had exploded. The number of products on the market went from a few-dozen to 450 by 1924. By the end of the 20’s there were 1,300 brands and shades of face powder, 350 rouges, and a hundred red lipsticks.
By this point, makeup was meant to be noticed. Sun tans became popular and makeup products expanded, with Elizabeth Arden creating tinted powders to create a sun kissed glow. For the first time ever, women started applying makeup in public, pulling out their compact mirrors at the dinner table to re-apply their lipstick. This was made much easier with the invention of retractable metal lipsticks in 1915.
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Many women aspired to look like movie stars, particularly intimidating Clara Bow’s dark, rounded, kohl eyes that were dark around the inside and smudged around the outside. Women would simply use their fingers to apply it, with makeup brushes not yet being perfected. Women also had the option of blues, greens and browns, depending on what matched their eye colour, that could be used. Mascara was generally in a wax or cake form, where women would scrub their brushes in it, then apply it to their lashes. Eyebrows were thin and plucked until they were almost non-existent, then drawn back on so that they were curved, slightly drooping downwards at the ends. Lips were heart shaped, with a soft, round cupids bow, while the bottom lip cut off before the edges of the mouth.
Over the last 100 years, makeup has continued transforming, finally turning into the market it is today, with too many brands to count, each creating their own vast makeup ranges while continuing to grow more and more conscious about chemicals, re-creating products to be made from natural or even vegan ingredients. While makeup brushes have been perfected to match each makeup product, creating the perfect flawless foundation and contoured cheeks.
To find out more information makeup, try our Red Scout Makeup Express Course.
Each module gives you in depth information and training that will fully prepare you to select appropriate products and colours to suit your customer's needs.
It consists of four main categories including, foundation, powder, eye makeup and lip products.
This takes just 1 and a half to 2 hours to complete and you’ll receive a certificate of completion at the end.
By Maddison Mathot.