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Women and Makeup: A Love Story

Women and Makeup: A Love Story

 Women and Makeup A Love Story

Why do women buy makeup? Is it really all about making ourselves more appealing to others? Is it only because we’ve been fed false images of beauty, and been baited into holding ourselves up to unrealistic expectations? Or is there something more behind our love of makeup?

Women have had a love affair with makeup for centuries. So let’s explore that relationship and learn a little more about the love story between women and their cosmetics.

Ancient Cosmetics

Ancient Egyptians (both male and female) are credited with creating the first cosmetics. They used a combination of copper and lead ore, among other ingredients, to paint their eyes. In fact, you can see the evidence of cosmetics in many pieces of Ancient Egyptian art. The bust of Nefertiti, for example, is over 3,300 years old, and any woman will recognize that this powerful queen is wearing eyeliner.

But the Egyptians weren’t the only ones wearing makeup thousands of years ago. Ancient Greeks and Romans used cosmetics like kohl to line the eyes, and skin creams made of rosewater, olive oil, and beeswax to keep their faces smooth.

Makeup Over the Years

Over the centuries, makeup continued to develop in many ways, becoming symbolic in some cultures, and a sign of beauty and affluence in others. Many different materials were used, including natural ingredients like berries, safflower petals, and even bird droppings. Many women even risked their health for the sake of beauty by using dangerous products like white lead paint, which contained arsenic, in order to try to lighten their skin for a more aristocratic look.

For a while, makeup actually fell out of style, and during the early 1900s, women hardly work makeup at all; it was mostly reserved for stage and movie performers, and was typically only available for purchase in theatrical costume stores. But the influence of those movie stars began to take its toll, and women soon wanted to mimic the starlets on the silver screen. By 1910, makeup was quickly becoming the fashion in America and Europe, and women were falling in love with it all over again.

Our Modern Love of Makeup

According to a recent article from People, women spend an average of $15,000 on makeup in their lifetimes. This includes:

  • $3,770 on mascara
  • $2,750 on eyeshadows
  • $1,780 on lipstick

The rest goes to foundation, bronzer, rouges, eyeliners, and more—the exact division varying greatly depending on the woman. So who can we blame for this giant hit to our bank accounts over our lifetimes? While our modern love affair with makeup does have roots in Hollywood, it’s hard to blame the media for our makeup obsession when Cleopatra herself took the time to put on eyeliner in the morning.

In reality, women’s love affair with makeup comes down to one simple thing: It’s less about looking good, and more about feeling good. However much time you may take applying your makeup in the morning, that time is all about you. It’s almost a therapeutic experience, helping you to mentally prepare for the day as you take those few precious moments to pay attention to nobody but yourself. And when you give of yourself all day, those few minutes mean a lot.

Plus, when you’re finished with that morning routine, you feel confident, empowered, and beautiful. Regardless of where our love affair with makeup truly began, what matters most is how this love story ends—with a deeper love for ourselves. Now that’s what we call a happy ending.

Darcey Wilde
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Brow Trends through the Ages

Brow Trends through the Ages

Eyebrows. We come by them naturally, but we never seem content to just leave them be. Through the years, we have waxed, dyed, tinted, tweezed, penciled, painted, and gelled them in countless ways, all to achieve that perfect arch. But this is hardly a modern phenomenon. In fact, women have been styling their brows for centuries. Here’s a look at brow trends throughout history.

Ancient Egypt

Ancient Egyptian women preferred dark, arched eyebrows. They would darken their brows with powdered minerals to achieve the dark, strong look they desired. You can see evidence of this style on the bust of Queen Nefertiti, with her heavy, black eyebrows above her thickly penciled eyes.

Ancient Greece and Rome

You might be surprised to learn that ancient Greeks and Romans had an obsession with unibrows. Both cultures saw unibrows as an attractive feature in a woman, as well as a sign of intelligence. So women never tried to thin their brows, but would darken them slightly with black powder for a thicker look. And if they weren’t blessed with a natural unibrow, some women would try to create one with black paint.

Middle Ages of England

In the medieval period of England, the forehead was seen as the most important feature of a woman’s face. Women styled their hair to emphasize their foreheads, and they would often remove their eyelashes and eyebrows entirely to make their foreheads appear larger.

Victorian Era

In this period, it was heavily frowned upon for women to wear makeup of any kind. Styling your brows or applying rouge was something that only “ladies of the night” would do. And so, most women left their eyebrows completely untamed, for a natural look that would show them as women of good breeding and high morals.

1920s

Silent film stars became the trend setters of the 1920s. Starlets wore their eyebrows in extremely thin, extremely straight lines, giving them a dramatic and thoughtful look. They would also apply Vaseline to style and add shine to their brows.

1930s

Though women of the 1930s still favored heavily tweezed eyebrows, the straight-brow trend gave way to high, rounded arches. The thin, curved brows of pinups like Jean Harlow led the way.

1940s

The ‘40s favored a more natural look than the previous two decades. Though women still tweezed their eyebrows to achieve a prominent arch, the era was dominated by heavier, well-groomed brows.

1950s and 1960s

Eyebrows of the ‘50s and ‘60s mirrored those of the ‘40s as far as shape is concerned, with thicker, more natural brows and defined arches. However, darker brows became the preferred look, and women began to pencil in their brows for a bolder look that made eyebrows the defining feature of the face.

1970s

In the ‘70s, brow trends divided slightly. While disco enthusiasts sported thinner brows with pronounced arches, hippies of the era favored thicker, more natural brows. Actresses like Lauren Hutton popularized the more natural look, however, so the majority of women in the ‘70s put their tweezers down altogether.

1980s

The natural looks popularized in the ‘70s continued into the ‘80s, with thick “caterpillar” brows dominating the scene. Women who didn’t naturally have thick brows would try to emulate the look with the aid of brow pencils and powders.

1990s

While we’d probably rather forget the eyebrows of the ‘90s, our school photos won’t allow it. Extremely thing, overly tweezed eyebrows were common, resulting in a great deal of women sporting a permanently shocked expression. Some women would even remove their eyebrows completely, replacing them with a tiny penciled arch instead. It was not a good time for eyebrows.

2000s

Thankfully, the eyebrow trends of the ‘90s didn’t last long, and since then, styles have favored a more natural look, with thicker brows and gentle arches. Of course, some styling is still in order to achieve that perfect brow. Our Brow Kit includes brushes and powders to help groom and tint your brows as needed. And if you desire a thicker brow, our incredibly innovative Fiber Brow product allows to add fullness and definition to your brows while keeping a totally natural look.

Whether you love your eyebrows as they are, love the look you achieve with careful brow grooming, or are still striving to groom your eyebrows to your liking, they are a prominent part of your look. So give them the attention they deserve, and make them a part of your beauty routine this year.

Darcey Wilde
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