Why do we do it?
I was getting ready for some heavy duty house cleaning this morning - so doing my hair and make-up was a must. Unlike all the other Real Housewives, I have to do my own. Each day as I perform this custom, I feel a bit freakish. I look at my reflection as I am holding the mascara wand, nearing the mirror and think, "What the hell am I doing?" Really, it is a custom that I am all wrapped up in - but I still can't quite figure out why.
Everyone else does it! Maybe...
Why? Where did this practice begin and what was the purpose? Makeup has become a multi-billion dollar industry so what does that say about evolution and civilization? Is it all about vanity and seduction?
Makeup has been made of arsenic, leads, copper ore, mercury, pastes of narcissus and kohl. Powders, rouges and eye makeup could literally kill a person.
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And now....how to take it off!
How Much is Good?
This is for the girls: You think women look betterSee results without voting
How Much Is Good?
This is for the guys: Do you think women should wearSee results without voting
Who started it?
The Egyptians are usually credited with being the first culture with evidence of use of makeup. The purpose was to keep the skin hydrated in the hot dry climate and the ladies often used kohl to decorate their eyelids. Little did they know - it was slowly killing them due to lead poisoning. The Egyptians also wore rouge made of a red clay (red ochre) and a powder of malachite (a derivative of copper ore) for green eyeshadow.
One of the greatest and scandalous love stories of all time revolves around Cleopatra docking up in Turkey in her ship of scented oils and her exotic beauty which Mark Antony could not resist.
Africans wore makeup to make their appearance more intimidating. The Seminole Indians are attributed as the first Native Americans to use colors and paints as symbols. Red was for war, white was for peace and yellow indicated death. Face painting was a major part of Indian culture, symbolism and customs.
Romans and Persians used makeup. Henna was very popular to color the hair and paint the skin with intricate designs.
Geisha girls coated their faces, necks and chests with rice powder or a white powder with a lead base. For it's striking effect they stained their teeth until they were black with an acidic solution.
Max Faktor, a pharmacist from Lodz, Poland came to the United States with dreams of his cosmetics painting the faces of American housewives everywhere. Immigration officials changed his name to Max Factor. Factor landed at the right place in the right time. St. Louis, Worlds Fair, 1904. While the gentlemen were sampling ice cream in waffle cones, the ladies were sampling the cosmetics that would become a household name in the roaring twenties.
Makeup in Europe and America also served as a sign of social status that divided social classes. Women who worked had skin that tended to be tanned so women who wanted to distinguish themselves from the lower classes would be sure to wear bonnets, hats or stay in doors to avoid looking like she had to work for a living. Queen Elizabeth I was well known for wearing an abundance of white face powder laced with lead.
It wasn't until Coco Chanel took that famous drive from Paris to Cannes and accidentally got a tan that it became fashionable. A golden winter tan said, "I am fun, fabulous and on permanent vacation." in 1930 Chanel introduced the first bronzing powder "Poudre Tan" so even if a lady had to work - she could look like she didn't.
More recent research....
Francesco d'Errico, an archaeologist from the University of France and his colleague Marie Soressi have discovered evidence that neanderthals used makeup. Literally hundreds of blocks of a substance called black manganese pigment was found over an area of Europe, Pech de l'Aze in France that was known to be occupied with Neanderthals. It was found in lumps made of the pigment like crayons. They decorated their bodies and animal skins with their crafted product.
The importance lies in the insinuation that neanderthals could probably speak much better than we originally thought. The researchers point out that body art is an important form of communication. They also found jewelry in the form of shell bead necklaces that could imply they had cohesive groups of people identified by the amount of beads they wore.
Makeup, while seemingly unimportant has served a purpose throughout history. Weather it spares sand burn or hides defects - it serves as a form of language, communication. A little or a lot can reveal so much without saying a word. It can serve as a subtle hint, a business proposition or a horrific scare. What does your makeup say about you?
Report Adverse Events Here.....!
- MedWatch: The FDA Safety Information and Adverse Event Reporting Program
MedWatch home page
Makeup and Health Warning
Makeup is generally very safe to use and it is usually tested and must adhere to certain standards before it can be sold in the United States. The most serious repercussion is usally a rash or an allergic reaction of the skin. One very common report is injury of the eye due to scratching the cornea with a mascara application wand. This can lead to infection or ulcers on the cornea.
Makeup should NEVER be shared. It can be a breeding ground for bacteria, especially eye liners, mascara and eye shadow applicators. Conjunctivitis is highly contageous (WebMD) as well as other virus and other infections. If you notice that a product has had a change in color or smells bad - do not use it! It does have an expiration.
If you have a bad reaction to any frangrance, makeup or cosmetic item please report it to the FDA on the link I have provided. According to the FDA you should report rashes, hair loss, infection or any other concern even if you DID NOT follow the directions on the product.
"I don't make an effort to be sloppy. I just don't consider a perfect hairdo and a perfect face to be beautiful. If I had my way I'd dress myself and do my own makeup for magazine shoots." ~ Juliette Lewis
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