Have a look at our fun facts about makeup to get an insight into their long history and find out other lesser known aspects about your beauty products.

Fun Facts about Makeup: A Bit of History

Here are some fun facts about cosmetics throughout history:

1. The earliest uses of makeup as we know it (for beauty purposes) goes back to ancient Egypt, where women would paint their eyes using animal fat-based eye shadow and black kohl. Red ochre was used as lipstick. They also used henna to stain their nails, as nail polish hadn't been invented yet.

2. Speaking of which, the earliest version of nail polish was invented in China, around 3000 B.C., by combining beeswax, gum, colored powder and egg whites.

3. The ancient Inca and Aztecs used cochineal (a red dye made from ground beetles) to paint their lips and nails.

4. The ancient Romans considered wrinkles, freckles and blemishes to be ill omens. They used swan fat or donkey milk to soften wrinkles, while the ashes of snails was deemed a good remedy for freckles.

5. Other fun facts about cosmetics: In ancient Rome, “cosmetae” (the source of the word cosmetologist) were the female servants who assisted wealthy Roman women in their beauty rituals. Legend has it that the cosmetae would dissolve various cosmetic ingredients in their own saliva.

6. In the 1400s, women would use ceruse (a mixture of vinegar and powdered lead) to whiten their faces. Ceruse rapidly ate the skin away, making it necessary to apply more than one layer, and would eventually lead to death.

7. In the Elizabethan era, women used coat tar as eye liner, mascara and eyebrow pencil. While it may have given them a smoldering look, it smelled foul, it was flammable and could cause blindness.

8. In 17th century Italy, women used drops from a plant called Belladonna to dilate their pupils, which was thought to add to their appeal. Long term use damaged the eyes and eventually lead to blindness.

9. Other fun facts about cosmetics throughout history: In the Victorian era, upper class women would never consider wearing makeup, as it was associated with stage actresses, working class women and prostitutes.

10. Coco Chanel is believed to have started the sun tanning trend after she accidentally got sun burned on the French Riviera. Fake tanning is said to have followed soon after.

11. Fun facts about cosmetics you probably didn't know: the idea that underarm hair was an unfeminine trait was first pushed by the Wilkenson Sword razor company in 1915 after a model was featured on the cover of Harper’s Bazaar magazine without any fuzz.

12. When waterproof mascara was first introduced in 1938, one of its main ingredients was turpentine, often used for thinning paint.

13. Other fun facts about cosmetics: The London Look line – launched in the 1960s by Yardley - was the first line of cosmetics which explicitly targeted the teenage market.

Fun Makeup Facts

Fun Facts about Cosmetics: Interesting Makeup Facts

Here are some lesser known facts about makeup and makeup products we use on a regular basis:

1. The term “natural ingredients” means they were extracted directly from plants or animal products.

2. “Hypoallergenic” implies that the product is deemed less likely to cause an allergic reaction.

3. “Dermatologist tested” is not synonymous with “dermatologist approved”.

4. You should keep makeup out of sunlight as it can change color, texture and you'll have to throw it away.

5. As you wash your hands more than your face, you shouldn't try matching makeup to the skin tone on your hands. This could make you choose a darker or redder tone.

6. Fun facts about makeup: the shimmer in lipstick and eye shadow comes from ground fish scales.

7. A quarter of the world’s largest cosmetic company L’Oreal is owned by Nestle.

8. Be extra-careful when applying mascara. According to statistics, the most common injury inflicted during makeup is scratching the eyeball with a mascara wand.

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