Let’s take a break from all the makeup tips and tricks and learn about some of the more interesting facts about makeup! Makeup has a long history and some days, I don’t know what I’d do without it! I don’t want to give you a history lesson on beauty products. But I thought it’d be fun to learn some of the lesser known facts about makeup and learn some more about one of our favorite pastimes!
1. Something’s Fishy
Let’s start this list of facts about makeup with a tidbit on shimmer. You know how some cosmetic products like lipstick and nail polish have a shimmer and shine to them? I bet you’ll never guess where it comes from-fish scales! Yes ladies, we can thank our fishy friends for allowing us to rock the FDA-approved shimmer on our eyes and toes!
2. Word Fun
I can’t help but think back to My Big Fat Greek Wedding and Toula’s father’s obsession with the origin of common words when I tell you about this next makeup fact! Did you know that the word "cosmetic" comes from the Greek word kosmos, which means "of this world" or "worldly"? Sephora also got its name by combining the Greek word sephos for "beauty" and the name Zipprorah from the Greek Old Testament!
3. Makeup Origins
Have you ever thought about the very first beauty product and who started all this makeup madness? Well, the beginning of makeup has long been credited to the ancient Egyptians when they lined their eyes and lashes in black, but it has also been traced back to Africa, the Middle East, Europe and Asia.
4. Alabaster Beauty
This next makeup fact is going to be unbelievable to all the ladies who love to get their tan on, but it’s true! In medieval times, having pale skin was equated with beauty and high class. So it’s been said that many women went to great lengths to achieve a pale complexion, including bleeding out with leeches or draining some of their blood by slashing a vein!
5. Mother of Tan
It wasn’t until 1920 when Coco Chanel was on a cruise to the French Riviera and accidentally got sun burned that tans started to become popular. To this day, many people attribute Coco Chanel to have started the trend of sun tanning. Fake tanning was said to follow the sun tanning trend soon after!
6. Hair do or Dye
These days dyeing our hair whatever color we want is as easy as taking a trip down to your local beauty supply or drugstore or heading to the salon. Back in ancient Rome, if a woman wanted to dye her hair black, it involved leeches, vinegar and leaving them to ferment for two months before they could apply it to their hair for a whole day to dye their locks!
7. Natural Nail Polish
The earliest nail polish came to us courtesy of the Chinese, who first invented nail polish by combining beeswax, gum, colored powder and egg whites! Nowadays, who knows what’s in our bottle of nail polish?! I wish more of our beauty products remained natural and instead of all these crazy chemicals in cosmetics these days!
8. No Makeup Madness
It might be hard to believe, but back in the Victorian Era, makeup was seen as something reserved for prostitutes, actresses, working class women and women of questionable morals. Needless to say, many women of the upper crust opted to go sans makeup to avoid being mistaken for a performer or call girl!
9. Lethal Lashes
Mascara is one of my must-have beauty products. It instantly makes me look more awake and opens up my eyes. However, I never knew about waterproof mascara’s questionable beginnings! Waterproof mascara has been said to have been first introduced in 1938 and one of its main ingredients was turpentine, which is often used for thinning paint!
10. Teeth Whitener
It’s been written that ancient Romans used a pretty unorthodox method to whiten their teeth back in their time. We can easily run to the drugstore and get some strips to bleach our teeth, but back in ancient Rome as well as other parts of the world, some people used urine therapy and whitened their teeth by brushing and gargling with urine!
Sometimes it’s fun to learn about a different side of makeup. I think we have it pretty easy these days when it comes to beauty products and rituals, and I’m very thankful for all the conveniences we have! Do you know any interesting facts or tidbits about makeup?