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Make-Up/ Cosmetics

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We love doing that little bit extra every day to make us feel prettier. Just a line of kohl, a dash of powder and a bit of lipstick is all that we need for that extra bit of confidence that makes us get through the toughest of days. Today, make up products are everyday essentials. Every other store is stocked with some or the other beauty product, and they are one of the fastest flying items off the virtual shelves at online stores.

Cosmetic usage throughout history can be indicative of a civilization's practical concerns, such as protection from the sun; class system; or of its conventions of beauty. The Egyptians were the pioneers of the cosmetic industry. The earliest precursor of make-up was red or ochre body paint used in rituals over 100,000 years ago during the African Middle Stone Age. Cosmetics were not always the monopoly of ladies, but were used by men too! Men and women in Egypt used scented oils and ointments regularly to clean and soften their skin, mask body odour and protect their skin from the harsh Egyptian sun and dry winds. Myrrh, thyme, marjoram, chamomile, lavender, lily, peppermint, rosemary, cedar, rose, aloe, olive oil, sesame oil, and almond oil provide the basic ingredients of most perfumes that Egyptians use in religious rituals. Women applied galena mesdemet and malachite to their faces for colour and definition. They made a combination of burnt almonds, oxidized copper, different-coloured copper ores, lead, ash and ochre -- together called kohl -- to adorn the eyes in an almond shape. By 3000 BC, the Chinese people began to stain their fingernails with gum Arabic, gelatine, bee wax and egg.

The Chou dynasty wore gold or silver make up and the rest of the aristocracy wore black or red. Lower classes were forbidden to wear bright colours on their nails. Henna was and is still used in India as a hair dye. It is also used in mehndi, an art form in which complex designs are painted on hands and feet, especially before a wedding. Meanwhile in the Western world, Grecian women painted their faces with white lead, applied crushed mulberries as rouge and wore oxen hair as fake eyelashes. In Rome, mud baths came in vogue and men dyed their hair blonde. As a result of the crusades, fragrances were first brought to Europe by 1200 AD. Italy and France became the main centre for production of these and subsequently all make up.

In Europe, only the aristocracy used make up. The paler the complexion, the higher in social standing. In Elizabethan England, dyed red hair was a rage. Society women applied egg whites over their faces to create the appearance of a paler complexion. A deadly mixture of lead and copper was used to lighten the skin tone and this caused many deaths. Consequently, Queen Victoria banned the use of makeup and it could be used only by theatre folk or ‘women of the night’. This resulted in theatrical supply stores becoming the cosmetic supply hub for the general public.

Beauty salons increased in popularity, though patronage of such salons was not necessarily accepted. Because many women loathed to admit that they needed assistance to look young, and often entered salons through the back door.

The world of beauty is constantly evolving and has undergone many changes. From the plum blossom make up art in China to the ‘Mask of Youth’ propagated by Queen Elizabeth I, ever changing trends are a proof to many social practices of a particular period. In modern times, a particular style of dressing and make up are mostly inspired by movie actors and actresses. Today, cosmetics focuses on enhancing the natural beauty of a person.

Online make-up products range from synthetic to the very popular herbal based products. Organic make up available online is made from natural extracts and usually have a base of plant oil. Apart from the conventional kohl, lipstick and powders, one can avail offers available on a range of bronzers, primers, concealers, eye and lip liners, rouge and a lot of more. A new range of instant make up kit available online is also an interesting choice for many. If one is not proficient in applying cosmetics, there are dozens of YouTube channels to learn from.

Hurry and browse through Craftsvilla’s exhaustive range and order your own make up kit online.