MAKE-UP, A GLIMPSE AT THE PAST
Before the 1920’s “nice girls” did not wear make-up then called paint, as this was associated with prostitutes and cheap show girls and even having skin professionally treated was unheard of. All this was to undergo rapid change with the emergence of the Silver screen. The images of made-up actresses really stimulated what became an enormous industry and by 1929 ` 18,000 beauty salons were functioning in America due this explosion.
The brand Max Factor created make-up for the movie stars which soon morphed into ranges applicable to the girl in the street.
As sun tanning was much in vogue, Arden and Rubenstein created tinted make up to blend with the darker complexions.
The first attempts at make–up lacked subtlety, was garish and men secretly missed the days of the more demur Victorian porcelain appearance.
They too disliked the habit of “touching up” make-up at the dinner table, in some circles today still regarded as lack of class.
Rouge, now called blusher was applied in round circles on the cheeks, disregarding bone structure.
Loose powder was packed in boxes, some metallic and beautifully decorated with artwork. This was not a throwaway society !
Lipstick tubes, now known as bullets were invented in 1915, now easily applied and carried around as against fingers digging into pots of coloured grease as a method of application.
A glamorous adoration was the placing of a beauty spot on one cheek mimicking a habit of movie stars, the likes of Elizabeth Taylor.
Khol was originally used as eye shadow; smeared across lids and mascara was still in its development stages then in a caked, wax block. Maybelline was kind enough to supply a brush to be moistened and rubbed across the block for application.
Eyebrows, (my how they have changed) were thin and curved, pointed downward at the inner end.
Nail polish, now correctly called nail enamel was perfected by the brand Cutex by the year 1922; a volatile liquid thanks to the automobile industry who had perfected durable paints. As old habits die hard many still refer to nail enamel as Cutex !!
Fast forward to the 21st century to compare the choices available – the textures and shades of foundations, the vastness of eye shadow palettes and an array of brushes, the envy of a struggling artist !
All this bulk used in these times needs to be stored for daily use and for travel purposes. Thus a spin-off industry has evolved with beauty back-packs, elaborate boxes with sliding inner compartments, leather coated and metallic beauty cases all available from a mere R461.00 to R 4,500.00 and for the simple mortals the good old cosmetic bag will have to suffice !