“That’s one of the things I love about makeup. You can change your whole attitude by just doing your eyeliner or lipstick differently.” These are the words spoken by the famous American singer-songwriter Beyonce. No other artists have quite dedicated themselves to their own evolution in their career, their art, their performances, their community and their own personal style. Being an actress too, there is an unspoken compulsion to constantly look good and at this moment, beauty products work the best, quick and easy for the American singer too.
Evolution of Beauty Products
It all started in 10,000 BCE where beauty products were used for health and hygiene purposes in Egypt. Men and women used scented oils and ointments to clean and soften their skin and mask body odour and creams for sun protection. Lavender, lily, peppermint, aloe vera and rose were used for rituals. The application of lead and copper enhanced their colour and complexion. Kohl had its importance too. In 3000 BCE, the Chinese painted their nails to differentiate between the social classes utilizing beeswax, gum and egg.
In 1000 BCE, people became more conscious, which made the Grecians whiten their complexion with white chalk. Coming to Common Era, the Romans applied barley flour and butter on their pimples, took mud baths and the men dyed their hair blonde. Cosmetics in Middle Ages were when fragrances were exported to the Middle East through Europe.
Italy and France were the main cosmetic centres in 1400-1500 CE. Zinc oxide replaced the previous combination of lead and copper for facial purposes in the 1800s. It was in 1900 CE that beauty products gained popularity, though not completely. A lot of importance was given to the fresh faces among the middle-aged women because beauty parlours were entered from behind doors so that it was hidden from the society.
Research in Beauty Products
Research has shown that beauty products have affected consumers psychologically, physiologically and even environmentally today. Beauty products are promoted through many advertisements and hoardings, a tool to reach a large number of masses, especially if the images are creative enough to spark media attention.
Such images are further enhanced through Photoshop. What is Photoshop? Photoshop is a popular image changing software package that can alter or manipulate real images into unrealistic ones, indirectly affecting one’s self-confidence, self-esteem and leading to racing thoughts even in young children.
Advertisements promote products through Brand Ambassadors that provide the human aspect of marketing. We do not know how many of these brand ambassadors actually use the products they are promoting and are honest enough to express their views. Their job is to convert these viewers into brand customers even with fictitious statements.
How women are constantly reminded ‘what is beautiful’
Women are constantly being reminded of what is considered beautiful. In fact, ‘MIRACLE PRODUCTS’ compel buyers to experiment with themselves to increase their attractiveness through their products. Sadly, advertisements have built impossible standards, which has led to a feeling of inadequacy.
Cosmetic surgeries have augmented since 2007, but beauty products are the quickest and the easiest methods compared to such drastic surgeries. They help overcome blemishes, smoothen the texture of the face, enhance eye colour and brighten up the features leading to more prestigious jobs and greater potential.
How beauty can be conscious and cruelty-free
Times have evolved so has the thinking of the people. Consumers are now looking for products that take care of our looks and the planet. This can be taken care of by using natural and chemical-free ingredients. Including natural cosmetics becomes a part of core values and commitment not only to our well-being but also to protecting the environment and biodiversity. Since conventional products are petroleum-based and require considerable petroleum mining, aluminium or lead, it threatens the soil and the natural habitat.
It is heartening to know that companies are opting to cultivate plants and flowers in their pre-owned land, thereby protecting the biodiversity of wild habitats. This aids in protecting the plant species too. Many cosmetic products and personal care contain micro-beads. These small non-biodegradable solid plastic particles, when exposed to the sea and lakes, endanger marine life.
Beauty brands that are good for our environment
For instance, Mamaearth is committed to making toxic-free, natural and animal cruelty-free products. It is Asia’s first MadeSafe certified brand planting 115,313 trees, with the hope to plant many more with consumers’ sensible choices and support.
Natural skincare products are better for the environment as they grow without pesticides and fertilizers. We should switch to products in recycled, recyclable and reusable packing. We could consider refillable options and buy products that aren’t tested on animals.
Contributor: Vinisha Sidhwani
About our Writing Program Student
Lover of Spanish Idioma, agradable (pleasant) and genial (funny). A homemaker who watching her 6th grader daughter learning a new language in school decided to pursue becoming a Spanish teacher. Cooking, listening to music and painting is her passion. “Quiero escrbir en español una autobiografía basada en la vida de una persona que creyó en mí y me ayudó a seguir mí pasión” ( I have a dream. Wish to write an autobiography based on the life of a person who believed in me and helped me follow my dreams.)