The discovery of the art of photography and of films, particularly, provided the impetus to a sudden growth in cosmetics. As watchers saw images of famous people with perfect complexion and strong sexual appeal, the standards of a woman’s beauty started to change. Cosmetics have become a means to beautify one’s physical appearance.
During the 1920s, cosmetic history increased quickly. Between the year 1927 and 1930, advertising expenses on the radio increased from $300,000 to $3.2 million. At first, a lot of feminine magazines declined advertisements on cosmetics. However, near the end of the 1920s, cosmetics had progressed and cosmetic advertising in magazines became one of the magazine industries’ largest revenue producing resources.
Here is a brief chronological overview of cosmetics from 1900 to 2010:
1900: Annie Turnbo, a black entrepreneur, starts selling hair conditioners, hair treatments as well as harmless hair straightening products, and hair growers door-to-door.
1904: From Lodz, Poland, Max Factors moves to the United States, and 4 years later to the state of Los Angeles, where he puts make-ups up for sale to movie celebrities that does not crack or cake.
1909: Eugene Schueller, a French chemist, creates the very first harmless commercial hair dye. In the year 1910, his company was named L’Oreal.
1905: Sarah McWilliams starts to sell hair growers from door to door. After being wed to Charles J. Walker, she became recognized as Madame C.J. Walker and integrated her business in Indianapolis in the year 1911.
1909: Cosmetologist Elizabeth Hubbard and Florence Graham open a shop on 5th Avenue in New York City. After some time, Florence Graham renames their shop Elizabeth Arden.
1914: Maybelline has been discovered by T.J. Williams. The cosmetics company of Maybelline specializes in mascaras.
1922: The bobby pin has been invented in order to control or deal with short or bobbed hair.
1932: Charles Lackman, a supplier for nail polish, and Joseph and Charles Revson, distributors for nail polish, discovered Revlon. Revlon is a cosmetics business that sells nail polish in a broad 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 named Clairol. In the year 1950, he commences Miss Clairol Hair Color bath, a one step hair coloring product.
1933: A fresh, new technique for enduring waves, making use of chemicals, which does not need machinery or electricity, is introduced.
1935: Pancake make up, initially developed in order to appear natural on dye film, was made by the famous Max Factor
1941: Aerosols are actually untested, paving the way for the hairspray.
1944: Benjamin Green, a pharmacist of Miami Beach, develops the sunscreen in order to shield soldiers’ skins in the South Pacific.
1958: Mascara wands come out, doing away with the need to apply mascara using a brush.
1961: Cover Girl cosmetics, one of the 1st brand names put up in grocery stores for sale and aimed to teens is started by Noxema.
1963: For the first time in the cosmetic history, Revlon offers its very first powdered blush-on.
The next four decades of cosmetic history can be summed up as follows:
The 1970’s: a softer look became fashionable with painted eyeliners and eyelashes taking a downturn in sales. White highlighters and soft eye shadows were popular.
The 1980’s: anti-aging, skin care, and beauty treatments (therapy) were the fashion trends that evolved and there was an emphasis on tanning and the link to cancer.
The 1990’s: Touch© by Yves St. Laurent was launched and became the item to have as part of one’s cosmetic regimen.
2000 to 2010: History will make this the decade for certified organic and/or natural cosmetics. A period in which safe, toxic-free products will be launched by many companies around the world, but the US will be left behind.
Regulations will develop globally to certify cosmetic products as being organic and/or natural, but through strong lobbyists in Washington, DC, the US Cosmetic Industry will fight legislation to remove toxic ingredients in cosmetics, claiming their products are perfectly safe. Ultimately, when cosmetic history is studied sometime in the future, it will show that the industry placed revenue and profits before the health benefits of consumers.
Certifying organizations, mostly in other countries, will emerge, and although they will each use different criteria, in the end, they will have provided the consumer with safe, toxic-free cosmetic products. The hope is that the $50 billion US Cosmetic Industry will be somehow encouraged to do the same.