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Makeup in The Course of History

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It isn’t known for a fact where makeup first originated from, but findings of it have dated back to 164,000 BC. Scientists have found traces of charcoals, rocks, flowers, clays and dozens of other components in the powders and pastes discovered throughout the years. It is believed that the purposes of these early cosmetics were used for skin protecting and to pronounce ones facial features more prominently. Throughout history, both women and men have used makeup for many purposes which will be illustrated in the work to follow.

The first known evidence of people using makeup was discovered deep inside a cavern in South Africa. There were several dark, reddish tinted powdery pigments in small bowls on the ground of the caverns. There were also small, round balls of yellowish pastes in other bowls against the empty walls. Scientists have dated all of these discoveries back to around 164,000BC and quite possibly, earlier than that. The importance of these historical findings has been recognized in almost every era, up to this point in time. Early natives all across the nation have used earth based makeup techniques to display rank or dominance in their tribe. Images of animals, plants, or other natural formations would have been displayed anywhere on their skin. This impact on history has caused an eruption of popularity in the way makeup has been utilized from then to now.

Makeup has been known to consist of many unique materials. Scientists and cosmologists alike have marveled over the unique utilization of iron rich clays for lipsticks, burnt almonds and charcoals for eyeliners, or chalk to brighten their possible dark spots. The list of unusual ingredients goes on and on from toasted foods, to ground up ores. During a 6,000 year period, Egyptians were creating the basis for eyeliner, Grecians were using different soil mixtures for skin foundations, and the Chinese dynasties were discovering that they could use Arabic gum, gelatin, beeswax, and an egg mixture for the purpose of staining their fingernails. The world was swiftly evolving in the way people sought out their ideal image of themselves. The early invention of these cosmetics was purposed as a way to express oneself and or their rank in the tribe or group they lived amongst. Later down the time line, cosmetics were used to protect a person’s skin from the harsh weather or sunlight they received daily; this technique was mainly focused in areas that received harsh weather conditions. After people discovered some of the uses their pastes, clays, or powders could do, they began to experiment with them more, and eventually realized they could use them to better their own image. Farther down the time line, queens and even kings used makeup on a daily basis just to be the best them that they could be. Chalks were used to brighten under eyes, pressed, pink powders were used to tone their cheeks, dark blacks or blues were used around the eyes to bring more attention to them, the possibilities with how they did, and you can use makeup are almost endless.

All the way back to 164,000BC up until today’s modern dates, makeup is used in almost every day situations. Woman and men alike wear it to their own heart’s contentment. Instead of mixtures of clays and charcoals back when makeup was first introduced to our history, the mixtures now consist of more chemical related things, and makeup has become its own industry which currently has a net worth of over $265 billion. The cosmetics and makeup industries have been expanded to hundreds of different companies and brands that sell all similar products to millions of consumers worldwide. From simple scratch makeup powders to billion dollar industries, the introduction of makeup has had a huge impact on the history of our world.

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Makeup In The Course Of History. (2020, October 10). GradesFixer. Retrieved December 6, 2022, from
“Makeup In The Course Of History.” GradesFixer, 10 Oct. 2020,
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