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Guthy Renker Corporation

Beauty Products Across Time

With all the billions of dollars spent annually globally on cosmetics, sometimes we may find ourselves asking, How did it get to this point? When did this become the standard for me to get up every morning and before I even go outside am required to paint my face from completely? Surely a female way back in old times did not just wake up one morning and make the decision to put on eyelashes, lipstick, eyeliner, foundation, and blush all at once. As you probably guessed, it was a combination of thousands of years and a lot of learning experiences.

The Egyptians were the first to use cosmetics. That was over four millenia ago. Good hygeine and looks were terribly critical to the Egyptians. The Egyptians had faith that the appearance had a direct connection with the well being of the soul. They attempted to always look and smell agreeable. And with a civilization who values their looks, you are assuredly going to have members who are going to make themselves stand out. The Egyptians, being the inventive civilization they were, implemented cosmetics for reasons that were even smarter than just trying to look great.

Mesdemet was the most original type of eye shadow- a mixture of copper and lead ore. The dark colors they believed would avert evil eyes from their own. It was also a great disinfectant and bug repellent. Kohl was a dark powder that was put on around the eyes in an oval shape. It was a mixture of lead, ash, ochre, copper, and burnt almonds. To further complement their appearance, Egyptians would apply a combination of water and red clay to the cheek area. They would also paint their nails hues of orange and yellow with a chemical named henna.

Centuries after the Egyptian empire crumbled, the fashion norm around the world was a white skin color. Only women who were poor and had to labor out in the field all day with their husbands had rough, sun dired skin. The upper society ladies obviously did not have to endure physical labor like that therefore they remained inside and had pale faces.

A light, pale complexion was also a symbol of wealth. If families had enough wealth, then you did not have to labor. So a light skin color was extremely important to some people. To achieve this appearance, ladies (and men as well) would apply a combination of hydroxide, lead oxide, and carbonate in a powder form to put on their faces and skin. Unfortunately, this caused a sometimes fatal side effect, lead poisoning.To remedy this problem, chemists in the early nineteen hundreds finally discovered a combination of zinc oxide that made the skin able to breathe and kept people out of that aggravating lead poisoning sickness. It was so effective that it is still used today by cosmetics producers.

As different groups of people began to interact with each other more often, the habit of cosmetics was adapted by the Greeks from the Egyptians. Greek women would color themselves a pale shade with a base that contained lead inside. More than once this ended up being fatal. As the Romans started to adapt the cosmetics practice, the pursuit of beauty became much less about functionability and turned into much more exotic routes. They would paint their nails with a mixture of sheeps blood and cooked body fat. An ancient Roman citizen once stated, A woman without paint is like food without salt.

Lavish and spectacular parties were thrown by city women with throw away money in the King Edward era of England. It was extremely important for a woman to be the most attractive belle there, especially if they were the hostess of the gathering. Women in the past who experienced these excessive lifestyles did not have good diets, would not work out, and breathed in the heavily polluted air that the cities of the time produced. Anti-aging and facial creams to disguise the blemishes were heavily relied upon by women in this time. Routine trips to the salon were also a regular part of the day. It was a bit different back then than it is in the present. Ladies would sneak into the back of the salons and hide their faces as they went in. One of the most famous of these secret beauty houses was the House of Cyclax, that would sell creams and rouges to women. Mrs. Henning, the owner, sold and invented many products for her frantic consumers who did not want everybody to know that they were getting on in the years.

Today's woman is the benefactor of all these years of experience with a virtually never ending choice of products for any look they want to accomplish. The make-up business has become a billion dollar industry with literally thousands of competing companies. Beauty products sell all year and even in times of financial hardship. Therefore ladies, give thanks to your ancestors and their concern for their own appearance for your own that you have today. There were probably days when they woke up and didn’t really feel like going through the hassle of putting on their face either.

Guthy Renker Corporation

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