The word cosmetics derives from the Greek κοσμητική τέχνη (kosmetikē tekhnē), meaning "technique of dress and ornament", from κοσμητικός (kosmētikos), "skilled in ordering or arranging" and that from κόσμος (kosmos), meaning amongst others "order" and "ornament".
Archaeological evidence of cosmetics dates at least from ancient Egypt and Greece. According to one source, early major developments include:
Castor oil used by ancient Egypt as a protective balm.
Skin creams made of beeswax,
olive oil, and rosewater, described by Romans.
Vaseline and lanolin in the nineteenth century.
Nivea Creme in 1911
The Ancient Greeks also used cosmetics. Cosmetics are mentioned in the Old Testament, such as in 2 Kings 9:30, where Jezebel painted her eyelids—approximately 840 BC—and in the book of Esther, where various beauty treatments are described.
Cosmetic use was frowned upon at many points in Western history. For example, in the 19th century, Queen Victoria publicly declared makeup improper, vulgar, and acceptable only for use by actors
Of the major cosmetics firms, the largest is L'Oréal, which was founded by Eugene Schueller in 1909 as the French Harmless Hair Colouring Company (now owned by Liliane Bettencourt 26% and Nestlé 28%; the remaining 46% is traded publicly). The market was developed in the USA during the 1910s by Elizabeth Arden, Helena Rubinstein, and Max Factor. These firms were joined by Revlon just before World War II and Estée Lauder just after.
Beauty products are now widely available from dedicated internet-only retailers, who have more recently been joined online by established outlets, including the major department stores and traditional bricks and mortar beauty retailers.
Although modern make-up has been traditionally used mainly by women, an increasing number of males are gradually using cosmetics usually associated to women to enhance or cover their own facial features. Concealer is commonly used by cosmetic-conscious men. Cosmetics brands release cosmetic products especially tailored for men, and men are increasingly using such products.
Most cosmetics are distinguished by the area of the body intended for application.
Primer, comes in various formulas to suit individual skin conditions. Most are meant to reduce the appearance of pore size, prolong the wear of makeup, and allow for a smoother application of makeup, and are applied before foundation.
Lipgloss, is a sheer, liquid form of lipstick. Lipstick, lip gloss, lip liner, lip plumper, lip balm, lip conditioner, lip primer, and lip boosters. Lip stains have a water or gel base and may contain alcohol to help the product stay on the lips. The idea behind lip stains is to temporarily saturate the lips with a dye, rather than to cover them with a colored wax. Usually designed to be waterproof, the product may come with an applicator brush or be applied with a finger.
Concealer, makeup used to cover any imperfections of the skin. Concealer is often used for any extra coverage needed to cover blemishes or other marks. Concealer is often thicker and more solid than foundation, and provides longer lasting, more detailed coverage. Some formulations are meant only for the eye or only for the face.
Foundation, is used to smooth out the face and cover spots or uneven skin coloration. Usually a liquid, cream, or powder, as well as most recently a light and fluffy mousse, foundation also provides excellent coverage. Foundation primer can be applied before or after foundation to obtain a smoother finish. Some primers come in powder or liquid form to be applied before foundation as a base, while other primers come as a spray to be applied after the foundation to help the make-up last longer.
Face powder, is used to set the foundation, giving it a matte finish, and also to conceal small flaws or blemishes.
Rouge, blush or blusher is cheek coloring used to bring out the color in the cheeks and make the cheekbones appear more defined. Rouge comes in powder, cream, and liquid forms.
Contour powder/creams, are used to define the face. They can be used to give the illusion of a slimmer face or to modify a person’s face shape in other desired ways. Usually a few shades darker than one's own skin tone and matte in finish, contour products create the illusion of depth. A darker toned foundation/concealer can be used instead of contour products for a more natural look.
Highlight, used to draw attention to the high points of the face as well as to add glow to the face, comes in liquid, cream, and powder forms. It often contains shimmer, but sometimes does not. A lighter toned foundation/concealer can be used instead of highlight to create a more natural look.
Bronzer, is used to give skin a bit of color by adding a golden or bronze glow. It comes in either matte, semi matte/satin, or shimmer finishes.
Mascara, is used to darken, lengthen, and thicken the eyelashes. It is available in natural colors such as brown and black, but also comes in bolder colors such as blue, pink, or purple. There are many different formulas, including waterproof versions for those prone to allergies or sudden tears. It is often used after an eyelash curler and mascara primer. Many mascaras now have certain components intended to help lashes to grow longer and thicker.
Eyelash glue, is used to adhere false lashes to the eyes. It comes in either clear or colored formulas.
Eyebrow pencils, creams, waxes, gels and powders are used to color and define the brows.
Nail polish, is used to color the fingernails and toenails.
Setting Spray, is used to keep applied makeup intact for long periods of time. An alternative to setting spray is setting powder, which may be either pigmented or translucent. Cosmetics can be also described by the physical composition of the product. Cosmetics can be liquid or cream emulsions; powders, both pressed and loose; dispersions; and anhydrous creams or sticks.
Eyeliner, is used to enhance and elongate the size of the eye. Makeup remover, is a product used to remove the makeup products applied on the skin. It is used to clean the skin before other procedures, like applying bedtime lotion.
1. Normal skin
This type of skin has a fine, even and smooth surface due to its ideal balance between oil and moisture content and is therefore neither greasy nor dry. People who have normal skin have small, barely-visible pores. Thus, their skin usually appears clear and does not frequently develop spots and blemishes. This type of skin needs minimal and gentle treatment, but does still require maintenance.
2. Dry skin
Dry skin has a parched appearance and tends to flake easily. It is prone to wrinkles and lines due to its inability to retain moisture, as well as an inadequate production of sebum by sebaceous glands. Dry skin often has problems in cold weather, which dries it out even further. Constant protection in the form of a moisturizer by day and a moisture-rich cream by night is essential. It is important not to over-exfoliate even in cases of extreme flaking, as this only dries out the skin further; gentle exfoliants using sugar, rice bran or mild acids are the most suitable, although they should not be used more frequently than once per week to avoid causing irritation and dryness.
3. Oily skin
As its name implies, this type of skin surface is slightly to moderately greasy, which is caused by the over secretion of sebum. The excess oil on the surface of the skin causes dirt and dust from the environment to adhere to it. Oily skin is usually prone to blackheads, whiteheads, spots and pimples. It needs to be cleansed thoroughly every day, especially in hot or humid weather. Moisturizing with an oil-free, water-based and non-comedogenic moisturizer is required in addition. Exfoliation is also necessary, but over-exfoliation can cause irritation and increase in oil production; exfoliants that contain fruit acids are particularly helpful, and fine-grained exfoliants may help to clear blocked pores, discouraging breakouts and improving the skin's appearance.
4. Combination skin
This is the most common type of skin. As the name suggests, it is a combination of both oily and dry or normal skin where certain areas of the face are oily and the others dry. The oily parts are usually found on a central panel, called the T–Zone, consisting of the forehead, nose and chin. The dry areas usually consist of the cheeks and the areas around the eyes and mouth. In such cases, each part of the face should be treated according to its skin type. There are also skin care products made especially for those who have combination skin; these contain ingredients that cater to both skin types.
5. Sensitive skin
Sensitive skin has a tendency to react to many potential triggers with irritation, redness, stinging or burning, flaking, lumpiness and rashes. The most common causes of irritation are chemical dyes and fragrances, soaps, some flower and spice oils, shaving creams, tanning lotions or spray tans, changes in temperature, excessive cleansing or exfoliating, waxing, threading, shaving and bleaching. People with sensitive skin should try to avoid products with unnecessary fragrances or dyes, and generally avoid using products that cause irritation. Sensitive skin is typically dry, but can be oily, normal or combination as well.
Once a niche market, handmade and certified organic products are becoming more mainstream. Even though many cosmetic products are regulated, health concerns persist regarding the presence of harmful chemicals in these products. Aside from color additives, cosmetic products and their ingredients are not subject to regulation prior to their release on the market. Many new products are released every season, often after only slight testing. Many cosmetic companies claim toproduce "all natural" and "organic" products, such as anti-ageing and anti-acne creams based on Egg Oil which contains Omega-3 fatty acids and xanthophylls. All natural products contain mineral, egg and plant ingredients, and organic products are made with organic agricultural products. Products claimed to be organic should be certified "USDA Organic".
The term "mineral makeup" applies to a category of face makeup, including foundation, eye shadow, blush, and bronzer, made with loose, dry mineral powders. Lipsticks, liquid foundations, and other liquid cosmetics, as well as compressed makeups such as eye shadow and blush in compacts, are also often called mineral makeup if they have the same primary ingredients as dry mineral makeups. However, liquid makeups must contain preservatives and compressed makeups must contain binders, which dry mineral makeups do not.
The main ingredients in mineral makeups are usually coverage pigments, such as zinc oxide and titanium dioxide, both of which are also physical sunscreens.
Other main ingredients include mica (Sericite) and pigmenting minerals, such as iron oxide, tin oxide, and magnesium myristate.
Mineral makeup usually does not contain synthetic fragrances, preservatives, parabens, mineral oil, and chemical dyes. For this reason, many dermatologists consider mineral makeup to be purer and kinder to the skin than makeup that contains those ingredients. However, some mineral makeups contain Bismuth oxychloride, which can be irritating to the skin of sensitive individuals. Others also contain talc, over which there is some controversy because of its comedogenic tendencies (tendency to clog pores and therefore cause acne) and because some people are sensitive to talc.
Because titanium dioxide and zinc oxide have anti-inflammatory properties, mineral makeups with those ingredients can also have a calming effect on the skin, which is particularly important for those who suffer from inflammatory problems such as rosacea. Zinc oxide is also anti-microbial, so mineral makeups can be beneficial for people with acne.
Mineral makeup is noncomedogenic (as long as it does not contain talc) and offers a mild amount of sun protection (because of the titanium dioxide and zinc oxide), Because they do not contain liquid ingredients, mineral makeups can last in their containers indefinitely as long as the user does not contaminate them with other liquid or fingertips.
The worldwide cosmetics and perfume industry currently generates an estimated annual turnover of US$170 billion (according to Eurostaf - May 2007). Europe is the leading market, representing approximately €63 billion, while sales in France reached €6.5 billion in 2006, according to FIPAR (Fédération des Industries de la Parfumerie - the French federation for the perfume industry). France is another country in which the cosmetic industry plays an important role, both nationally and internationally. Most products with a label, "Made in France" are valued on the international market. According to data from 2008, the cosmetic industry has grown constantly in France for 40 consecutive years. In 2006, this industrial sector reached a record level of EUR 6.5 billion. Famous cosmetic brands produced in France include Vichy, Yves Saint Laurent, Yves Rocher and many others.
The Italian cosmetic industry is also an important player in the European cosmetic market. Although not as large as in other European countries, the cosmetic industry in Italy was estimated to reach EUR 9 billion in 2007. The Italian cosmetic industry is however dominated by hair and body products and not makeup as in many other European countries. In Italy, hair and body products make up approximately 30% of the cosmetic market. Makeup and facial care, however, are the most common cosmetic products exported to the United States.
Due to the popularity of cosmetics, especially fragrances and perfumes, many designers who are not necessarily involved in the cosmetic industry came up with different perfumes carrying their names. Moreover, some actors and singers have their own perfume line (such as Celine Dion). Designer perfumes are, like any other designer products, the most expensive in the industry as the consumer pays not only for the product but also for the brand. Famous Italian fragrances are produced by Giorgio Armani, Dolce and Gabbana and others.