The idea of applying some kind of makeup is almost as old as the humankind itself. Any archaeologist or historian will confirm it.
Our remote ancestors from the Stone Age painted their faces for ritualistic purposes.Nobody knows exactly when and where cosmetics as suchcame into light, but in Ancient Egypt it did exist in a variety of products. Unguent for skin to keep it hydrated, kohl and soot for blackening eyelashes and the upper lid, a number of dyes for eyeshadows – that’s what could be in a cosmetic casebelonging to a grandee from the 1st Dynasty of Egypt.
Ancient Greeks and Romans used decorative cosmeticsenthusiastically. A Roman playwright Plautus, who lived between254 and 184 BC, wrote that “A woman without paint is like food without salt.”
Centuries passed, and the number of beauty products grew. Some of them, a bit improved, still exist, some of them disappeared, and for a good reason. They were simply poisonous – like white lead, arsenic, and mercury-containing substances, belladonna, to name a few.
The idea of beauty also varied through the centuries. For example, in Europe, pale skin was seen asa sign of prosperitysince Middle Ages until the last century. Pale complexion meantthat this woman lives life of leisure and spends little time outdoors.So,women used white lead paintand chalk to lighten colour of their faces. In Elizabethan England, women used egg whites for the same purpose.
By the way, noble men also wore makeup up tothe 19th century. For example, George IV, who ruled the Britain between 1820 and 1830,is known to spendplenty of money on powders, cold cream, scents, pastesand other cosmetics.
Nowadays women are twice lucky. First, they have a great variety of cosmetics, which at least won’t poison to death. Second, modern fashion isn’t dictatorial as it used to be. Now women can choose what kind of makeup to wear and whether to wear it at all. Lots of women make do with minimal set of skin care productsand ignore decorative cosmetics. Fortunately, nobody will say a word about itnow.
What is makeup for a XXI-century woman?
Some apply it to look more attractive.For some it’s a means of self-expression. Some just follow suit.
Some wearmakeup because they have to. There are professions, whereit is just a must for men and women alike. Ballet dancers, singers,and actors are the first who come to mind, because they perform on a stage. They are relatively far from the spectators and work under the stage lighting. So, they have to put on special makeup to look like human beings, not zombies.The same is true for TV presenters and participants of TV shows.
Also, wearing a slight makeup can be a part of the dress code for women in some companies. All in all, it means that millions of people apply make up every day.
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