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Skillful blending of several effects: eyebrow plucking, simple black eye liner; good choice of lipstick colour; feminine lacey neckline. The actress is Victoria Allure (2005)
Various cosmetics
Henri de Toulouse-Lautrec: woman using cosmetics, 1889
Kissproof face powder from 1926.

Cosmetics (also called makeup, make up, or make-up) are products used to make the human body look different. Often cosmetics are used to make someone more attractive to one person, or to a culture or sub-culture. In Western culture, women are the main users of cosmetics. Their use by men is less frequent, except on stage, television and movies. Cosmetics are widely used in the world of acting.[1]

All cosmetics are temporary. They need to be renewed after a certain time. Cosmetics include lipstick, powders (e.g. blush, eyeshadow), and lotions as well as other things.

Facial cosmetics[change | change source]

Most cosmetic products and methods are intended to improve the look of the face. There are two categories: those which improve the basic quality of the skin, and those which sit on the skin during active social life.

Skin care[change | change source]

The purpose here is to clean the skin, improve its basic quality, and prepare it for the application of make-up. Products are of these types:

  • Cleansers, used to remove make-up and clean the skin.
  • Toners, used to remove oil from the skin and close the pores on the skin.
  • Moisturizers, used to make the skin soft and to reduce evaporation of water from the skin.
  • Primers, used to prepare the surface for the later application of make-up.
  • Concealers, to mask flaws or slightly modify the colour of the skin.
  • Foundation, a product which holds face-powder in place. More generally, it create an even, uniform colour, covers flaws and adjusts the natural skintone.

Make-up[change | change source]

These are the cosmetics which the viewer actually sees on the face (or other parts of the body). They are some or all of these:

History of cosmetics[change | change source]

The word cosmetics comes from the Greek κοσμητικός (kosmētikos), "skilled in ordering or arranging".[2]

Archaeological confirms use of cosmetics in ancient Egypt and Greece. Cosmetics used included:

The Ancient Greeks also used cosmetics.[3][4] Cosmetics are mentioned also in the Old Testament. Men who think makeup is dishonest sometimes call makeup fakeup.[5]

Related pages[change | change source]

References[change | change source]

  1. Makeup artist Archived 2020-11-08 at the Wayback Machine, Salarship
  2. κοσμητικός, Henry George Liddell, Robert Scott, A Greek-English Lexicon, on Perseus
  3. Lesley Adkins, Roy A. Adkins, Handbook to life in Ancient Greece, Oxford University Press, 1998
  4. Bruno Burlando, Luisella Verotta, Laura Cornara, and Elisa Bottini-Massa, Herbal Principles in Cosmetics, CRC Press, 2010
  5. Hancock, Jeffrey T., Catalina Toma, and Nicole Ellison. "The truth about lying in online dating profiles." Proceedings of the SIGCHI conference on Human factors in computing systems. ACM, 2007