History and Evolution of Makeup: Egypt Untill Now

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Makeup, now an everyday girl's best friend, from eyeliner, lipstick, and eyeshadow. In today's culture there is almost never a girl or a guy who has not tried on makeup at least once in their life. You see it out in public and in the media, whether it's a small amount or, as much as a circus clown. Makeup isn't just used for beauty either, as you may have guessed makeup has been used on the sets of movies and not just a light amount either, on the set of the live action Grinch movie it took almost eight hours to create the face of the Grinch. Makeup exists everywhere whether you see it or not, makeup and beauty products have changed so much since it was first introduced.

Not much is known on where makeup first originated or the person who may have begun the whole trend but the first documented uses of makeup dates back to the time of the earlier Egyptians, many of the ancient pharaohs and the people were depicted to wear makeup but this was not to impress or look good for each other there, interest for makeup was to impress the gods. Kohl which was a mixture of metal, copper, ash, burnt almonds and galena which was an ore and was a source for mineral lead, this powdery substance was commonly used by both men and women of egypt and was commonly used around the eyes in a way similar to today's eyeshadow or liner, or the grease used by baseball and football players today.

Kohl was known to help see in the harsh sunlight as well as keeping bugs away due to its contents of lead. Cleopatra on of the most famous Egyptian queen was said to have used a lipstick created from carmine beetles which gave it its color, many other women would also create lipstick from clay and water. When tombs of the pharaohs and many others were first discovered many years later it was found that many of the ancients were buried with precious metals and items as well as makeup canisters and today, their belief being that these such items would be used in the afterlife. In studies today, scientists believe that due to the contents of lead in kohl, it may not have only kept away bugs but also various diseases, only downside being that the lead would kill them slowly as it was absorbed into their body through the skin and eyes.

Not only in Egypt did makeup exist but also in ancient Greece, the ancient Greeks makeup choices consisted of a powder they used on their face which was created from ground up rocks and minerals. As the years continue on however makeup became a lot less expressive and elaborate especially during the middle ages and up until the very end of the nineteenth century throughout those years pale white skin was the most popular look for many, in fact the only people who would wear any form of colorful makeup on their lips or face were mostly prostitutes and lower class women. In order to obtain this pale face appearance however ceruse was used, which was a mixture of lead and vinegar, though like Kohl, due to its lead content did cause a few problems such being hair falling out and muscle paralysis in the areas where it was used. Queen Elizabeth I was also a user of ceruse and an icon for its popularity due to her large forehead and pale face which was an effect of so much ceruse causing her hair to fall out.

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Makeup was not just for women and for beauty either, it was often used on circus clowns as well. The first ever appearance of a white faced clown was 1801 and was designed by Joseph Grimaldi, the clown makeup style consisted of an all-white face with white makeup and eyebrows and green painted on as well. Another version was the Auguste style clown which had a face covered in pink, red, or tan makeup and similar features as the white face clown. This style continued for many years, and eventually changed to different styles and designs while still using makeup, though as makeup quality got better the amount they needed to use and to stay on became less.

The cosmetic game finally began to make a change as the twentieth century began, with the introduction of film and portrait photography, the use of makeup became more and more common and truly began to engrave itself in the human lifestyle, many of the most well-known makeup companies and brands known today began to make an appearance such as Maybelline, Revlon and Mascara. Makeup products became slightly more affordable as well as mirrors, in years’ prior mirrors were an expensive item to have and with that only a rare amount people had them at their disposal, but with the changing times mirrors became more affordable and a more common item in the common household which meant more and more people had a chance to use and become skilled in the art of makeup.

As of 2019 the beauty industry's estimated value is at least 532 billion dollars and still continues to grow each year, with the US alone generating around 89.5 billion us dollars of revenue in the beauty and personal care market. A Makeup though great has its downsides as well, while some see makeup as a great way to express their beauty and appearance, many tend to look down upon those who wear makeup, especially the younger generation makeup users as they see it as more adult and inappropriate behavior. Due to the chemicals used in most products many also see it as a health hazard and have even gone as far as to sue some name brands. Mostly these problems however can be prevented by reading the labels given on the back of the item, though without one's own knowledge of what affects their skin this could cause major and even serious health issues. Some places and countries in the world prohibit the usage of beauty products out in public, in Japanese schools, for instance, students are not allowed to wear any form of cosmetics on their face or even nail polish and most hairstyles normal for teenagers are not allowed as well, as they believe that education is more important than self-appearance, and that the constant struggle to appear their best every single day would affect the motivation to learn entirely.

With cosmetics being so popular one would think that every girl in the world would know how to use it, but in fact many are sometimes clueless in using such items. In fact, some people choose to not wear beauty products for that sole factor, but nevertheless beauty schools exist for the purpose of teaching others how to use products not just on themselves but on other people as well. Make up is an art and some of the best beauty artists have taken years of schooling to get wear they are and even choose to make a living out of it, on the sets of movies and TV shows. Even if you don't have the money to go to a school to be beauty guru, you can still learn a thing or two on the internet such as YouTube. Makeup tutorials are plenty, no matter the look your trying to go for there is almost always a bunch of videos on how to do it, with multiple different techniques to be learned in just a simple video.

Today almost every single store carries makeup and beauty products, major stores such as Target, Kohls, and Walmart, and even grocery stores like Safeway and Trader Joes carry a small section of makeup products in their isles. Price isn't really a problem either, no matter your budget, with so many products in existence it is not impossible to find good products for a reasonable price, even in the discount section. Every female or male has or will use makeup at some point in their life whether it be for a movie shoot or theater act or just to make yourself look good on a date or just for fun.

Make-up has come such a long way since its first appearance and the industry still continues to grow today, with multiple companies presenting new products almost every year. Everyone is entitled to their own likes and interests when using them, and no matter how difficult your desire is, it is almost impossible not to find the correct products needed to make your dream look a reality, in other words all you need is determination, skills and practice as well as a little imagination.

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History and Evolution of Makeup: Egypt Untill Now. (2020, September 04). WritingBros. Retrieved June 18, 2024, from https://writingbros.com/essay-examples/history-and-evolution-of-makeup-egypt-untill-now/
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History and Evolution of Makeup: Egypt Untill Now [Internet]. WritingBros. 2020 Sept 04 [cited 2024 Jun 18]. Available from: https://writingbros.com/essay-examples/history-and-evolution-of-makeup-egypt-untill-now/
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