11 FACTS You Didn't Know About Cosmetics

The beauty industry is full of weird and wonderful information. Here’s 11 FACTS that you probably didn’t know about makeup.

  1. In England, during the Elizabethan period, people believed that lipstick had magical powers, and could even ward off death. Queen Elizabeth 1 was a great believer that her lipstick had life-saving powers and she applied it when she fell ill. This belief caused such havoc both in church and state, who considered it to be a sin to wear lipstick. Eventually the law stepped in, and stated that wearing makeup was ‘deceiving a man into marriage’ and therefore was punishable as witchcraft.

  2. Armpit hair was not considered unfeminine until 1915. It was after the Wilkenson Sword Razor company showed a woman on the cover of Harper’s Bazaar magazine with hairless armpits.

  3. The makeup brand Stila actually got it’s name from the Italian word “stilare” which means ‘to pen’. The company has said that they chose this name as they believe that “every woman’s makeup should be as individual as her own signature.”

  4. In Roman times, the law, “Lex Oppia” was established to restrict a woman’s wealth. This also included the displays of wealth, of course meant any designer makeup and perfume items that were imported from China and Germany.

  5. L’Oréal is the largest cosmetics corporation in the world. It spans 130 countries across 5 continents. Lancôme, Giorgio Armani, Yves Saint Laurent, Maybelline New York, NYX, Kérastase and Redken are some of the many companies that make up the L’Oreal Group.

  6. William Shakespeare was the first to use the word ‘blush’ to describe flushed cheeks.

  7. In 1977, Benefit Benetint was created as a nipple stain for an exotic dancer. These days its more conventionally used as a lip and cheek stain. 

  8. Guanine, also known as Pearl Essence, is a colour additive derived from fish scales. Crystals of guanine give a glimmering, iridescent effect to cosmetic products.

  9. Ever wondered what ingredient Geishas used in their face products to make it so white? The special ingredient is nightingale poop. 

  10.  The trend of tanned golden skin was actually an accident. In the 20’s, fashion designer Coco Chanel had been on vacation in the French Riviera, and accidentally got sunburned. When she returned home the burn had developed into a golden tan. Her fans saw this and started copying this look as an attempt to look as stylish as their fashion idol.

  11.  Heard of “blood-letting”? Well, in the cosmetics world, it’s where women in the 1400s would use leeches to drain small amounts of blood from their face to keep their skin looking as pale as possible. This of course was a sign of wealth and status. They also painted their face with white lead (called Venetian cerus), which sadly caused illness, and in some cases, death.

    Did any of these facts surprise you? If so, let me know in the comments. I’d love to hear your thoughts on these weird and wonderful facts!

    Much Love & Success,

    Jennifer xx