Cosmetics are something that can be used to enhance and maybe even alter ones facial or bodily structure with the use of use of makeup, lotions, and cleansers.

So, what do we all know about cosmetics?

Cosmetics has a lot of categories and these categories further have different subcategories. A lot of people end up with the basic confusion between cosmetics and makeup, let’s clear that up with the basic concept that make-up is cosmetics but it is not necessary that all of cosmetics is makeup. Basic or general cosmetics include a wide variety of items, including synthetic as well as natural body care items which are of course used by all the genders.

Cosmetics can very well be used to define the wide range of face and body items in the market of beauty products, facial cleansers, and eye creams, body moisturizer and shampoo are some of the basic cosmetics used. Cosmetics don’t necessarily include confined to the use of the product on the skin alone, shampoo, body moisturizer, and hair coloring etc. facial toners and astringents, as well as nail polish, are also exampling of cosmetic products.

Here are some of the latest and most premium cosmetic brands:

  • CHANEL- Founded in 1909; CHANEL is a French company privately held and owned by Alain Wertheimer and Gérard Wertheimer, who are grandsons of Pierre Wertheimer.
  • MARY KAY- Founded on 13 September 1963 by Mary Kay Ash, in Dallas, Texas, United States. Mary Kay Inc. is a privately owned American multi-level marketing company.
  • L’OREAL- Founded on 30 July 1909, L'Oreal is a French personal care and cosmetics company based in Clichy, France.
  • MAC-founded in Toronto in 1984 by Frank Toskan and Frank Angelo, MAC Cosmetics is a very well-known cosmetics manufacturer.
  • ESTEE LAUDER- The Estée Lauder Companies Inc. is a multinational company of prestigious cosmetic products based in Midtown Manhattan, New York City.
  • ELIZABETH ARDEN INC- Founded in 1910, Elizabeth Arden, Inc. is a major American cosmetic company founded by Elizabeth Arden and it is currently owned by Revlon.

The history of cosmetics

It is difficult to believe that the history of cosmetics goes as far as about 7,000 years. Cosmetics is something that not only exists but is also used by pretty much every society present on earth throughout the history. It is believed that body art is the oldest and the earliest form of cosmetic ritual in our human culture.

Certain archaeological evidence shows us that cosmetics most probably dates from ancient Egypt and Greece. Copper and lead ore were used by the ancient Egyptians to create the what was world's first cosmetics in use. The scientifically advanced products of today that can help you do everything from hiding pores, getting a smoother complexion, turning the pale skin under your eyes a tan look. Makeup has been such an integral part of humankind in changing and reshaping fashion.

The early basic developments in cosmetics were the simple use of castor oil in ancient Egypt as a protective lip balm and beeswax was used as skin creams. These were made with olive oil and rosewater, apparently described by the Romans. Evidence shows that cosmetics were used by the Ancient Greeks as well. Historical and mythological books leave traces of the use of cosmetics products. The Old Testament-2 Kings 9:30 mentions Jezebel painted her eyelids which is said to be approximately 840 BC various beauty treatments were mentioned in the book of Esther as well.

Ancient Roman literature frowned upon the use of make-up and cosmetics yet Ancient Rome made use of cosmetics. Skin whitening treatment with the help of lead-based formulas was invented for women to lighten their skin tones with other makeup products. Kohl as such was another product used by the ancient Romans to line their eyes and give definition. The makeup market truly developed a flourished in the US during the 1910's with the help of Elizabeth Arden, Helena Rubinstein, and Max Factor. These huge firms were joined by Revlon right before World War II and later by Estée Lauder.

Here are some of the oldest makeup brands:

  • Elizabeth Arden- Elizabeth Arden, whose actual unknown name was Florence Nightingale Graham started her brand and business in 1910 with her first spa. With this, her brand further grew.
  • Ponds-Pond’s cold cream was so popular among women living in the US. It was the staple of every woman’s beauty kit and it was used to remove your makeup every night. This company was formed in 1846 by Mr. Theron T. Pond
  • Yardley- this brand has been around since 1770, Yardley is famous for its signature scent English Lavender.
  • Vaseline- Vaseline it was first owned in 1872 by Robert Chesbrough. It is now owned by Unilever. Vaseline amongst many other things is used as a makeup remover and a lip balm.
  • L'Oreal Paris- French chemist, Eugene Schueller founded L'Oreal in 1909. their first product that the company released was a hair dye. Today they have a wide range of products.

How cosmetics matters to us in our day to day life

It's true when I say this that most of us use some or the other form of cosmetics in our day to day life. Cosmetics is anything we use to clean, enhance, and improve our body features. There are women with insecurities who feel extremely self-conscious about their looks, these women feel the need to use makeup in order to look prettier and to feel better about themselves. Makeup helps them not only feel confident but also empowered. It helps them interact with the society and with people around them positively. In today's day, and age cosmetics and makeup is not only restricted to women but is used by men too. The evolution and change in the trend occur in the makeup and fashion world almost as quick as every month.

Things you probably didn’t know about cosmetics

  • Cosmetics industry grabs around 200 billion dollars each year from the economy.
  • By adding a very small amount of fish scale into its formula is how they induce shimmer to the shimmer lipsticks.
  • Though nail colors were invented in ancient China. For many years it was socially acceptable only for it to be used only by nobility and aristocracy. If Ordinary people were caught wearing it or using it they were executed.
  • White faces and darkly painted eyes and lips were the fashion look of the Elizabethan era. This age was hence known as the gothic era.
  • Ever wondered why Mona Lisa had no eyebrows? Well In the 15th century, women were obliged to not to have any hair on their face. Because of which, the famous Mona Liza does not have eyebrows.
  • Lakmé is the first cosmetic brand introduced in India in the 1950s.
  • L'Oreal is the biggest cosmetic brand in the world right now, founded in 1909.
  • On average a woman spends around 15000 dollars on make-up and cosmetics in their lifetime.
  • It was after seeing a fashion ad having a model with shaved armpits in 1915 that women started shaving theirs underarms.
  • Americans are said to spend on cosmetics than education
  • Some rare claims suggest, Americans used the warm urine of young boys in an attempt to erase their freckles in around 18th century.
  • In 1915, a man named Maurice Levy invented the metal container to store lipstick. This container was portable and hence this is considered to be the first makeup product.


Throughout the ages cosmetics has been into our lives and are integral part of it. We use it daily in some form or the other. The cosmetic industry is old and it is not going to end. Cosmetics have both good and bad effects on our skin, choose wisely what you're applying on your skin.