Cosmetic history: milestones of the last century

The discovery of the art of photography and film, in particular, fueled a sudden growth in cosmetics. When viewers saw images of famous people with perfect complexions and strong sex appeal, the standards of a woman’s beauty began to change. Cosmetics have become a means to beautify the physical appearance.

During the 1920s, the history of cosmetics grew rapidly. Between 1927 and 1930, radio advertising expenses increased from $ 300,000 to $ 3.2 million. At first, many women’s magazines rejected cosmetic ads. However, by the late 1920s, cosmetics had progressed, and magazine advertising for cosmetics became one of the magazine industry’s greatest revenue-generating resources.

Here is a brief chronological overview of cosmetics from 1900 to 2010:

1900: Annie Turnbo, a black businesswoman, begins selling hair conditioners, hair treatments, as well as harmless hair straightening products and door-to-door hair growers.

1904: From Lodz, Poland, Max Factors moves to the United States and 4 years later to the state of Los Angeles, where he sells non-cracking or caking makeup to movie celebrities.

1909: Eugene Schueller, a French chemist, creates the first harmless commercial hair dye. In 1910, his company was called L’Oreal.

1905: Sarah McWilliams begins selling hair products from door to door. After marrying Charles J. Walker, she was recognized as Madame CJ Walker and joined her business in Indianapolis in 1911.

1909: Cosmetologist Elizabeth Hubbard and Florence Graham open a store on Fifth Avenue in New York City. After a while, Florence Graham changes the name of her store to Elizabeth Arden.

1914: Maybelline has been discovered by TJ Williams. Maybelline cosmetics company specializes in masks.

1922: The bobby pin is invented to control or treat short or streaked hair.

1932: Charles Lackman, a supplier of nail polish, and Joseph and Charles Revson, distributors of nail polish, discover Revlon. Revlon is a cosmetics company that sells nail polishes in a wide range of colors.

1932: A New York chemist named Lawrence Gelb brings home a hair dye product that goes through the hair shaft. He also starts a business called Clairol. In 1950, the Miss Clairol Hair Color Bath, a one-step hair coloring product, began.

1933: A fresh new technique is introduced to withstand waves, using chemicals, which does not need machinery or electricity.

1935: The famous Max Factor made pancake makeup, initially developed to appear natural on tint film.

1941: Sprays have not actually been tested, paving the way for hairspray.

1944: Benjamin Green, a Miami Beach pharmacist, develops sunscreen to protect the skin of soldiers in the South Pacific.

1958: Mascara wands appear, eliminating the need to apply mascara with a brush.

1961: Noxema starts Cover Girl cosmetics, one of the first brands to be sold in grocery stores and is aimed at teenagers.

1963: For the first time in the history of cosmetics, Revlon offers its first powder blush.

The next four decades in the history of cosmetics can be summarized as follows:

The 1970s – A softer look with painted eyeliners and eyelashes came into vogue which reduced sales. White highlighters and soft eyeshadows were popular.

The 1980s: Anti-aging, skincare and beauty treatments (therapy) were fashion trends that evolved and there was an emphasis on tanning and the link to cancer.

The 1990s: Yves St. Laurent’s Touch © was launched and became the item to have as part of your cosmetic regimen.

2000 to 2010: History will make this the decade of certified organic and / or natural cosmetics. A period in which many companies around the world will launch safe and toxic-free products, but the United States will be left behind.

Regulations will be developed globally to certify that cosmetic products are organic and / or natural, but through strong lobbyists in Washington, DC, the U.S. cosmetic industry will fight legislation to remove toxic ingredients from cosmetics, claiming that their products are perfectly safe. Ultimately, when looking at the history of cosmetics in the future, it will be shown that the industry puts revenue and profit ahead of consumer health benefits.

Certifying organizations will emerge, mainly in other countries, and although each one will use different criteria, in the end they will have provided the consumer with safe and toxic-free cosmetic products. The hope is that the US $ 50 billion cosmetic industry will somehow be encouraged to do the same.

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