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Cosmetics

Cosmetics


Cosmetics are generally defined as products applied externally to improve appearance. The purposeenhancing beautydefines cosmetic use, as opposed to painting the body for religious, ritual, or medicinal purposes. With the exception of "permanent cosmetics," a late twentieth-century innovation, cosmetics' temporary nature separates them from permanent body alterations such as tattoos, piercings, or scarification.

Virtually all cultures have used cosmetics. Nail lacquer (gum arabic, egg whites, gelatin, and beeswax) originated in China at least 3000 years b.ce. Ancient Egyptian women lined and shadowed their eyes with green (malachite) and black (kohl). Henna was used on fingernails in the Middle East. In Britain, Gilbertus Angelicus's Compendium Medicinae (1240) contains recipes for beauty aids; by the 1400s women were using ceruse, a mixture of vinegar and powdered lead, to whiten their faces and bosoms.

In Western culture makeup originated as theatrical paint. While late-nineteenth- and early-twentieth-century actresses like Lillie Langtrey, Sarah Bernhardt, and Theda Bara pioneered the use of cosmetics off-stage and -screen, most American women did not consider makeup an "everyday" ritual until the early twentieth century, when entrepreneurs such as Max Factor, Elizabeth Arden, and Helena Rubenstein introduced products that looked more natural and were easier to use. And for childrenaside from the ritual of face-painting at county fairs, dressing up for Halloween, and the occasional opportunity to play "dress up" with mom's makeup kitcosmetics were largely off-limits.

Because cosmetics are designed to enhance beauty and increase sexual appeal, cosmetic use has always been a rite of passage. In the 1920s flappers battled their parents not only for the right to smoke and dance in public but for the right to wear makeup. In the film Rebel Without a Cause (1955), Judy's (Natalie Wood) father forces her to wipe off her red lipstick, which he considers too "grown up." In the 1950s, however, cosmetic manufacturers saw gold in the burgeoning baby-boom youth market, and the race was on.

Throughout the 1950s, 1960s, and 1970s, cosmetic manufacturers targeted the seemingly endless teenage market. In the United States, Bonne Bell targeted teenagers, while in Britain Mary Quant launched her own "Youthquake." Until the end of the twentieth century, however, children largely remained off limits. Tinkerbell, for example, launched the children's market in the 1950s, but it steadfastly refused to sell eyeshadow and rouge, which it considered improper for girls so young, and targeted its advertising to parents, rather than directly to children. In the 1980s and 1990s, however, in America and in Europe, cosmetics were designed for and marketed to "tweens" (girls between childhood and teen years) and then to children as young as three. Japan, which saw its first "toy" makeup introduced in 1993, was not far behind.

The practice of encouraging young children to learn to apply makeup is not without controversy. Some critics are concerned about product safety (cosmetic ingredients other than color were unregulated in the United States in the 2000s) while others question whether such products encourage children to grow up too fast, or undermine their self-esteem. But at $10 billion a year in the United States alone by the beginning of the twenty-first century, the market for children's cosmetics wasn't going away anytime soon.

See also: Fashion; Girlhood; Youth Culture .

bibliography

Brumberg, Joan Jacobs. 1998. The Body Project: An Intimate History of American Girls. New York: Vintage Press.

Fass, Paula. 1977. The Damned and the Beautiful: American Youth in the 1920s. New York: Oxford University Press.

Palladino, Grace. 1996. Teenagers: An American History. New York: Basic Books.

Peiss, Kathy. 1999. Hope in a Jar: The Making of America's Beauty Culture. New York: Owl Press.

Elizabeth Haiken

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"Cosmetics." Encyclopedia of Children and Childhood in History and Society. . Encyclopedia.com. 21 Oct. 2017 <http://www.encyclopedia.com>.

"Cosmetics." Encyclopedia of Children and Childhood in History and Society. . Encyclopedia.com. (October 21, 2017). http://www.encyclopedia.com/children/encyclopedias-almanacs-transcripts-and-maps/cosmetics

"Cosmetics." Encyclopedia of Children and Childhood in History and Society. . Retrieved October 21, 2017 from Encyclopedia.com: http://www.encyclopedia.com/children/encyclopedias-almanacs-transcripts-and-maps/cosmetics

cosmetics

cosmetics, preparations externally applied to change or enhance the beauty of skin, hair, nails, lips, and eyes. The use of body paint for ornamental and religious purposes has been common among primitive peoples from prehistoric times (see body-marking). Ointments, balms, powders, and hair dyes have also been used from ancient times. Many cosmetics originated in Asia, but their ingredients and use are first recorded in Egypt; ancient tombs have yielded cosmetic jars (called kohl pots) and applicators (called cosmetic spoons). The Egyptians used kohl to darken their eyes; a crude paint was used on the face, and fingers were often dyed with henna. Greek women used charcoal pencils and rouge sticks of alkanet and coated their faces with powder, which often contained dangerous lead compounds. Beauty aids reached a peak in imperial Rome—especially chalk for the face and a rouge called fucus—and ladies required the services of slaves adept in their use.

Many cosmetics survived the Middle Ages, and Crusaders brought back rare Eastern oils and perfumes. In the Renaissance, cosmetics, usually white-lead powder and vermilion, were used extravagantly. From the 17th cent. recipes and books on the toilette abounded. Professional cosmetologists began to appear, and luxurious prescriptions often included a bath in wine or milk. Reaching its height in 1760, the use of cosmetics virtually disappeared with the advent of the French Revolution.

The year 1900 saw a revival of their use, accompanied by the manufacture of beauty aids on a scientific basis in France. Since then the industry has grown to tremendous proportions with products manufactured for every conceivable use. In the United States, cosmetics intended for interstate commerce are controlled under the federal Food, Drug, and Cosmetic Act of 1938. Spearheaded by companies founded by Helena Rubinstein, Elizabeth Arden, Estée Lauder, and other women and by their male counterparts, e.g., Charles Revson, the cosmetics business flourished throughout the later 20th cent. By the beginning of the 21st cent. the cosmetics industry was mostly run by large corporations and had become a multibillion dollar enterprise.

See L. Woodhead, War Paint (2004).

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cosmetic

cos·met·ic / käzˈmetik/ • adj. involving or relating to treatment intended to restore or improve a person's appearance: cosmetic surgery. ∎  designed or serving to improve the appearance of the body, esp. the face. ∎  affecting only the appearance of something rather than its substance: the reform package was merely a cosmetic exercise. • n. (usu. cosmetics) a product applied to the body, esp. the face, to improve its appearance. DERIVATIVES: cos·met·i·cal·ly / -(ə)lē/ adv.

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cosmetic

cosmetic adj. and sb. XVII. — F. cosmétique — Gr. kosmētikós, f. kosmeîn adorn. f. kósmos; see next and -IC.

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"cosmetic." The Concise Oxford Dictionary of English Etymology. . Retrieved October 21, 2017 from Encyclopedia.com: http://www.encyclopedia.com/humanities/dictionaries-thesauruses-pictures-and-press-releases/cosmetic-1

cosmetic

cosmeticachromatic, acrobatic, Adriatic, aerobatic, anagrammatic, aquatic, aristocratic, aromatic, Asiatic, asthmatic, athematic, attic, autocratic, automatic, axiomatic, bureaucratic, charismatic, chromatic, cinematic, climatic, dalmatic, democratic, diagrammatic, diaphragmatic, diplomatic, dogmatic, dramatic, ecstatic, emblematic, emphatic, enigmatic, epigrammatic, erratic, fanatic, hepatic, hieratic, hydrostatic, hypostatic, idiomatic, idiosyncratic, isochromatic, lymphatic, melodramatic, meritocratic, miasmatic, monochromatic, monocratic, monogrammatic, numismatic, operatic, panchromatic, pancreatic, paradigmatic, phlegmatic, photostatic, piratic, plutocratic, pneumatic, polychromatic, pragmatic, prelatic, prismatic, problematic, programmatic, psychosomatic, quadratic, rheumatic, schematic, schismatic, sciatic, semi-automatic, Socratic, somatic, static, stigmatic, sub-aquatic, sylvatic, symptomatic, systematic, technocratic, thematic, theocratic, thermostatic, traumatic •anaphylactic, ataractic, autodidactic, chiropractic, climactic, didactic, galactic, lactic, prophylactic, syntactic, tactic •asphaltic •antic, Atlantic, corybantic, frantic, geomantic, gigantic, mantic, necromantic, pedantic, romantic, semantic, sycophantic, transatlantic •synaptic •bombastic, drastic, dynastic, ecclesiastic, elastic, encomiastic, enthusiastic, fantastic, gymnastic, iconoclastic, mastic, monastic, neoplastic, orgastic, orgiastic, pederastic, periphrastic, plastic, pleonastic, sarcastic, scholastic, scholiastic, spastic •matchstick • candlestick • panstick •slapstick • cathartic •Antarctic, arctic, subantarctic, subarctic •Vedantic • yardstick •aesthetic (US esthetic), alphabetic, anaesthetic (US anesthetic), antithetic, apathetic, apologetic, arithmetic, ascetic, athletic, balletic, bathetic, cosmetic, cybernetic, diabetic, dietetic, diuretic, electromagnetic, emetic, energetic, exegetic, frenetic, genetic, Helvetic, hermetic, homiletic, kinetic, magnetic, metic, mimetic, parenthetic, pathetic, peripatetic, phonetic, photosynthetic, poetic, prophetic, prothetic, psychokinetic, splenetic, sympathetic, syncretic, syndetic, synthetic, telekinetic, theoretic, zetetic •apoplectic, catalectic, dialectic, eclectic, hectic •Celtic •authentic, crescentic •aseptic, dyspeptic, epileptic, nympholeptic, peptic, proleptic, sceptic (US skeptic), septic •domestic, majestic •cretic •analytic, anchoritic, anthracitic, arthritic, bauxitic, calcitic, catalytic, critic, cryptanalytic, Cushitic, dendritic, diacritic, dioritic, dolomitic, enclitic, eremitic, hermitic, lignitic, mephitic, paralytic, parasitic, psychoanalytic, pyritic, Sanskritic, saprophytic, Semitic, sybaritic, syenitic, syphilitic, troglodytic •apocalyptic, cryptic, diptych, elliptic, glyptic, styptic, triptych •aoristic, artistic, autistic, cystic, deistic, distich, egoistic, fistic, holistic, juristic, logistic, monistic, mystic, puristic, sadistic, Taoistic, theistic, truistic, veristic •fiddlestick •dipstick, lipstick •impolitic, politic •polyptych • hemistich • heretic •nightstick •abiotic, amniotic, antibiotic, autoerotic, chaotic, demotic, despotic, erotic, exotic, homoerotic, hypnotic, idiotic, macrobiotic, meiotic, narcotic, neurotic, osmotic, patriotic, psychotic, quixotic, robotic, sclerotic, semiotic, symbiotic, zygotic, zymotic •Coptic, optic, panoptic, synoptic •acrostic, agnostic, diagnostic, gnostic, prognostic •knobstick • chopstick • aeronautic •Baltic, basaltic, cobaltic •caustic • swordstick • photic • joystick •psychotherapeutic, therapeutic •acoustic • broomstick • cultic •fustic, rustic •drumstick • gearstick • lunatic

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