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Monday, September 20, 2010

Makeup Or Make Down...

Archaelogists have found evidence of the use of cosmetics (copper and lead ore) in ancient Egypt as early as 4000 B.C. Some believe Egyptians used cosmetics helped to keep the skin hydrated and supple to avoid wrinkles from the dry heat. Historical reports also contend that the women decorated their eyes by applying dark green color to the under lid and blackening the lashes and the upper lid with kohl, made from antimony (a metallic element) or soot. Egyptians believed that eye make-up could ward off evil spirits and improve the sight. Even the poor wore eye make-up in ancient Egypt. Supposedly it was also protection from the "evil eye."

 Alicia Silverstone

Makeup Primer

What do modern men think about the mysterious, deceptive art of makeup and the women who wear it? Of course, today some men, themselves, are comfortable wearing cosmetics, but most men view the entire industry in terms of the finished feminine product. Men know what they consider to be a beautiful woman, but few know the processes that produce much of their conception of beauty. A good bet is that most men are unaware that such a plethora of cosmetic products exists.

Lip products include lipstick, lip gloss, lip liner, lip plumper, lip balm, lip conditioner, lip primer, lip booster, and lip stain. Skin cosmetics take in foundation, powder, blush, rouge, concealer, and bronzer. For eyes, specialties feature mascara, eye liner, eye shadow, eye shimmer, and glitter eye pencils. Even eyebrows can be treated with eyebrow pencils, creams, waxes, gels, and powders to color and define. And, of course, nail cosmetics include false nails, polish, and a wide variety of artistic applications.

So how does a woman perform her skillful sorcery? What is makeup? Common ingredients include acetone, acetate, alcohol, algae, alum, beeswax, camphor, boric acid, caffeine, collagen, glycerin, grape seed extract, lanolin, rose hips, silicone, silk powder, sulfer, water and various vitamins such as B,C, D, and E.

Some of the more bizarre ingredients in makeup include table salt, pepper spray, diatomaceous earth (a component in dynamite), egg whites, plastics, simethicone (gas relief drops),  urea (formerly extracted from urine), propylene glycol (not toxic antifreeze but used on aircraft wings to prevent ice accummulation), and  hydrogenated vegetable oil. (Adrienne Crezo, CNN Living, July 18 2008)

All of those ingredients combine to help the cosmetics industry attract American consumers to spend billions of dollars a year on makeup products. In 2004, Americans spent $12.4 billion on cosmetics, an amount of money that is 33% larger than the amount needed each year (in addition to current expenditures) to provide water and sanitation for all people in developing nations, and, ironically, since cosmetics are often advertised as symbols of women's rights and independence, just slightly larger than the amount needed each year (in addition to current expenditures) to provide reproductive healthcare for all women in developing countries. (, Ob/Gyn and Women's Health, 2006)

 Jessica Simpson
A Study

A relatively new study by beauty product company St. Ives found that one in five men wish that their ladies would wear less makeup, and one in 10 prefer the bare-faced look, the United Kingdom Daily Mail reports. (, January 6 2010) This research begs the question: "Are women applying excess makeup for personal reasons, not to attract or impress men. Could it be that women who use a lot of makeup are trying to impress other women much more with it than they are trying to impress men?

A spokesman for St. Ives said, "For many guys, makeup can act as a barrier between them and their partner, and it seems they simply prefer women to go natural…. This seems to be a bigger issue between the genders as may women also admitted they weren't happy with their skin condition. So it would appear that women are wearing makeup to hide bad skin, not simply to impress the opposite sex. If women felt more confident that their skin was in good condition, they wouldn't need to wear so much makeup to cover up."

When asked to name their top 10 makeup pet peeves, here’s what the surveyed men reportedly said:

1. Lipstick on teeth
2. Too much blush
3. Thick foundation
4. Panda eyes
5. Clumpy mascara
6. Bright lipstick
7. Tell-tale foundation marks at the jawline
8. Bright blue eyeshadow
9. Penciled-in brows
10. Amy Winehouse-style eyeliner flicks

But, it's interesting to see that the majority of men were reluctant to admit this to their partner.


Women and Makeup

The study revealed that women had different feelings about wearing makeup as evidenced by these additional findings in the study:

1. 15 per cent of women admitted they wouldn't dream of walking out of the front door without war paint on.

2. Almost two thirds of women admitted to wearing a full-face of make-up to work most days, with one in twenty claiming they had been warned by their boss about wearing too much.


3. Thirty-nine per cent of women even claimed they dreaded their husband or boyfriend seeing them before they have applied their make-up.

4. But, the researchers also found 23 per cent of women who cake on the make-up are using it to mask their lack of confidence, while 30 per cent think they are hiding behind it.

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