The urge to beautify a human character is probably as old as a human being. The earliest archaeological evidence for the use of cosmetics in today’s sense dates from the first urban civilizations of the Old World. Women from ancient Sumer (in southern Iraq today) made cosmetic blacks made of antimonite (antimony sulfide) or galenite (lead sulfide). Her eyes were shaded to magnify them. This method is very widespread nowadays. Sumerian women blushed their cheeks. Archaeologists have excavated a tiny gold cosmetic box (with a makeup kit) from a famous tomb (from the Sumerian city of Ur) dating from the late third millennium BC.
Ancient Egyptians believed more in cosmetics.
This can be seen from Egyptian grave paintings. Women and men regularly shaded their eyes with black and blue lapis lazuli. They used green malachite (hydrated copper carbonate) which is similar in composition to a copper patina. The glorious seductress Cleopatra was putting on her eyebrows and eyelashes. The upper eyelids were colored blue and the lower eyelashes green.
The cosmetic ingredients were stored in leather or linen bags (in the form of lumps). They were rubbed into fine powder on a pallet. They were applied with moistened sticks of wood, ivory, silver, glass and bronze. Cosmetic accessories with these ingredients (with powder pallets) are a common find in the tombs of ancient Egyptian nobility. There are them dating back to the year 4000 drinking Christ. Men and women smeared the skin with a yellowish complexion. The women tinted her in orange. A red ocher blend mixed with grease was applied to the cheeks. A similar mixture was prepared for the lips.
Egyptian women are depicted with painted nails in some pictures. It is quite possible that they were coated with different colors. Nails did not preoccupy them as much as the Chinese did.
The Chinese (from the juice of the grass) removed the pigment from which their nails turned burgundy. In China, it has been said until recently that it is extraordinarily fancy to have three-inch-long nails. They indicated that their owner did not have to engage in physical labor. Wealthy Chinese fastened special silver shields to their fancy claws.
Members of the Indus Valley civilization (dating from the third millennium BC, in present-day India and Pakistan) were the first to lighten their complexion with lead whitening face cream. In town houses from this period we find cookies from this cosmetic. Similar recipes spread across a vast area from Britain to China. Greeks imported lead bleach in tablets from the East. Roman ladies continued to wear it despite the fact that doctors had already been able to prove that it was a toxic substance by then.
First in the World: The Make-Up Museum (New York, USA)
The make-up museum opens in New York in the spring of 2020. This is one of the first museums of its kind in the world. The first exhibition entitled “Pink Jungle: 1950s Makeup in America” explores icons Marilyn Monroe and Greta Garbo. And their role in the history of make-up.
The museum will be dedicated to exploring the makeup artistry, history and overall impact on society. Visitors will be able to play with exposed makeup.
“There are so many things this museum wants to explore and present to visitors in detail. 1950 is the perfect time to get started in the spring of 2020. This period is considered the time when the modern cosmetics industry was born,” said director Doreen Bloch.