By Emily Myers
Ever wonder how far back the world of cosmetics goes? What about the products used to moisturize the skin, fight blemishes and enhance beauty? The saying, “There is nothing new under the sun,” isn’t too far from the truth here. You may be surprised to find out that research has dated cosmetics all the way back to 10,000 B.C. The early Egyptians wore makeup to improve their appearances because they believed it would make them more appealing to the gods. They made everything from creams used to reduce stretch marks to ointments to combat blemishes and an array of perfumed oils, to not only moisturize the skin, but also to combat odor (since water was invaluable in their harsh climate). Sometime around 4,000 B.C., both men and women started using kohl liner around their eyes. It may not be well known however, that this wasn’t just used to improve appearances; it had other uses as well. Apparently, it also helped to keep bugs away from the eye area, was believed to restore poor eyesight and reduce eye infection. This kohl liner was made of a combination of crushed antimony, burnt almonds, lead, oxidized copper, ochre and ash. It was around the same time that women in Greece discovered using crushed berries as rouge and lip-stain. Women in China used rice powder to whiten their faces, which the current day Geisha still use to this day.
It seems that no matter the economic climate, women have always found a way to make themselves feel better by improving their appearances. Leonard Lauder, chairman of the board of Estee Lauder, put out a report called The Lipstick Theory, where he compiled over 50 years of consumer cosmetic/lipstick sales and compared those numbers with the current economic state. What he found was that when the economy is down, lipstick sales skyrocket! Compared to other cosmetic items, lipstick costs less, but still gives us immediate gratification.
So, what are we to gain from this information? As women, we all want to feel beautiful. Through the centuries, that feeling has not dissipated; in fact, it has only increased. I’m not saying, however, that this is necessarily a good thing; we should all feel like the beauties that we are, considering God made us in His image. Regardless, cosmetics are here to stay. I, for one, am thankful for them. There’s simply something about starting out my day with my makeup ritual and walking out the door feeling like a million bucks. I believe in the motto, “When you look good, you feel good, when you feel good, you do good.” So, don’t forget, it’s about your outward appearances matching the beauty that lives inside of you!