A beauty culture encompasses everything that people do to improve the appearance of their bodies. However, through the centuries, the primary concern of beauty cultures has been to make the female face and hair more appealing.
The excitement of using cosmetics and trying different hairstyles is not new. If we go back in time, it will come as a surprise that even in the ninth century B.C., Queen Jezebel painted her eyes and decorated her hair.
So, let’s go down in history to discover more about beauty cultures.
The use of cosmetics can be traced back to the ancient times. The origins of makeup could be religious. To please the gods, bright colors were painted on the body. Makeup was gradually used to beautify the body. At different points in history, people have placed a greater emphasis on beauty culture than at others. It gained little attention during the Middle Ages but attained prominence during the 16th and 17th centuries.
At various times, several types of beauty aids have been accented. The eyes were everything to the Egyptians. Cleopatra, Queen of Egypt 2000 years ago, is said to have had her brows and eyelashes painted black, her upper eyelids blue-black, and her lower eyelids green. Color was circled around the men’s eyes in Egypt. This could have been done in part to protect their eyes from the sun’s glaring rays.
Both Italian women and Roman women of the 16th century used black eye makeup to set off their blonde hair and fair skin.
Minerals, as well as animal and vegetable products, were commonly used in the ancient world to make cosmetics. For example, the Egyptians used copper to make green eye shadow and lead to make black. However, the minerals were frequently harmful to the skin and caused blemishes. At night, soothing masks containing honey, milk, or various oils were applied to the face. For common skin blemishes, Roman women used a mucilage made from certain bird nests. Skin-whitening lotions were also used.
Rouge and Lipstick
Egyptian women were familiar with rouge and lipstick, but they preferred eye makeup. Women in Greece and Rome wore rouge. They admired the fair-skinned blonde’s pink-and-white look.
During Queen Elizabeth’s reign in 16th century England, women were heavily powdered. However, prior to the Revolution, the most widespread use of powder and rouge was in 18th century France. Women’s faces were heavily powdered, which was often made of starch. Brilliant circles of rouge were painted on the cheeks, as well as the lips.
To give rouge and lipstick their red color, poisonous chemicals were sometimes used. In the United States, the ingredients used in the manufacture of cosmetics have only been regulated by law since 1938.
Fragrance has always gone with cosmetics. Historically, sweet-smelling plants, oils, and spices were used to make beauty products. As a result of the Crusades, musk and ambergris, two important ingredients in the production of perfume, arrived in the Western world, giving rise to a plethora of new fragrances. For those who want to know, musk comes from the male musk deer. Ambergris is a grayish, sticky substance believed to come from the sperm whale.
Care of the hands and nails has been another important part of beauty culture. About 700 B.C., the women of Assyria tinted their palms and nails red with a dye made from the leaves of the henna plant. Egyptian women colored their nails with henna and the pharaohs dye their palms and the doles of their feet with it as well.
Both fingernails and toenails were cut and polished in Rome, but remained their natural color. In the 16th century Italy women used to polish their nails with fragrant sandalwood.
The rich and exquisite history of ancient beauty cultures has more to reveal and if you are Mr or Mrs curious, why don’t you drop by for the second part?