Makeup has long been used to beautify, disguise, and alter appearances.
In fact, it is an expressive art, which has evolved immensely over the past 100 years. With the hype of social media and closer communication with superstars, we’re now becoming quicker to catch onto beauty trends from the A-list stars.
The average woman spends $15,000 on makeup in her lifetime, and we’re becoming more obsessed with our appearance than ever before. The entire beauty industry is worth an astounding $382 billion, globally. Let’s take a look at how makeup has changed throughout the years and what drive the industry now.
The History of Makeup
Makeup, as with anything, has evolved significantly throughout its storied history. Perhaps we didn't realize just how widespread the commodity spread until Archaeologists found 164,000-year old makeup in a South African cave.
This comprised of reddish/pinkish-brown ground-up rock. Researchers aren't definitely sure that this was used as makeup, though it was a strong suggestion of modern-day life. With this, let's trace the use of the products through time.
Towards 10,000 BC, beauty palettes were discovered inside the Egyptian tombs, which dated back to 3100 BC. Here, archaeologists found brushes, kohl containers used for eyeliner, and green malachite for eye shadow. These applications seem to have improved their health and spiritual connections, rather than serving vanity purposes.
It was a strategy to fight away evil spirits by forming a protective barrier over the skin. Researchers believe that Egyptians wore eyeliner to honour and resemble the Egyptian God of the afterlife. They also applied makeup to the face to protect their skin from harsh winds and the effect of sand blowing in the desert.
27 BC – 476 AD
Between 27 BC and 476 AD, the Roman Empire began wearing makeup – but for different uses than that of Egyptians. It became a symbol of their religious beliefs, fashion and individual tastes, and even unity for laws. Women began to rebel against the majority (as they were strongly judged), but in 189 BC, society saw the introduction of a law called Lex Oppia. This limited the beauty products women could wear.
Until the 19th century, men and women aspired for pale skin as this complexion symbolised wealth and health. Lower-class women and prostitutes wore bright makeup on their lips, cheeks and eyes. Makeup became extremely popular in this century – especially with the introduction of photography resources becoming more readily available.
Beauty became a social standard, and mirrors saw their debut. Consequently, people became more aware of their appearance. Actors then began wearing makeup to change their identity when onstage or on screen, and it quickly caught on in Hollywood studios for films.
Towards 1914, lip gloss, eyebrow pencils and the popularised term of makeup made a step onto the scene. Performers requested for artists to experiment with their appearance, and looks became more daring and colourful. Cosmetic sales began to rise as this caught on in mainstream, and the world saw the introduction of lipstick.
People wore brightly-coloured garments in the '70's because the era was filled with love and peace. The global culture seemed more free-spirited and at peace. Along with fashion, people began experimenting with makeup to embrace their personality. Many opted for the natural look to appear healthier and more youthful.
Present Day Makeup Has Evolved Immensely Since Egyptian Times.
When you read the earlier paragraphs in this article, it’s hard to imagine that makeup was used for practicality because it's changed. Now, we have so much freedom and resources to change our appearance, which isn’t always for the better.
What was your favourite makeup era from the above? Let us know in the comments. We’d love to hear!
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