Stories from the history and science of cosmetics, skin care and early Beauty Culture.

Recent Stories

Lipstick Wars


The ‘Lipstick Wars’ of the 1950s were started when Hazel Bishop began a national campaign to sell its Long Lasting Lipstick in the United States.

‘The Women’ (1939)


Released in 1939, the movie contains extended sequences showing a number of salon beauty treatments.

Glycerine Creams and Jellies


First used by the medical profession in a range of skin treatments, glycerine soon found its way into cosmetics for dry or chapped skin.

Richard Hudnut


Richard Hudnut regarded himself as a high-class perfumer rather than a pharmacist or cosmetic chemist and looked to France for inspiration.

Du Barry Success Course


By the late 1930s, Richard Hudnut’s Du Barry line was in the doldrums so the company tried a new approach to help improve sales.

Muscle Oils


Muscle oils were used to build up facial muscles, firm the skin, improve facial contours and reduce wrinkles.

Arden Vienna Youth Mask


In 1928, Elizabeth Arden introduced a diathermic facial treatment into her salons, advertising it as the Vienna Youth Mask.



The story of diathermy began in 1892 when Doctor Jacques d’Arsonval passed a high frequency current through a person’s body without electrocuting them.


Booklets Project

A list of booklets published by cosmetic companies in the first half or so of the twentieth century with scans of some items.

Innoxa list added 24th April 2015.

New scans

Covermark: 1936 The modern Miracle

Added: 24th April 2015

Cyclax: Skin Care and loveliness

Added: 9th April 2015

Story Updates


Updated: 22nd April 2015 (major)

Indelible Lipstick

Updated: 21st April 2015

Hazel Bishop

Updated: 21st April 2015

Company Timeline

Updated: 16th April 2015

Cosmetics Timeline

Updated: 16th April 2015

Liquid Face Powders

Updated: 9th April 2015

What is a cosmetic?

Updated: 2nd April 2015

Albumin Wrinkle Smoothers

Updated: 26th March 2015


Popular Stories

  1. Vanishing Creams
  2. Iontophoresis and Desincrustation
  3. Cold Creams
  4. High Frequency
  5. Pan-Cake Make-up
  6. Hazeline Snow
  7. Straps, Bandages and Tapes
  8. What is a cosmetic?
  9. Early Movie Make-up
  10. Vacuum Suction

Contact Me

I am based in Perth, Western Australia. You can contact me by Email or follow me on Twitter to receive information about new stories and updates. I am always keen to hear from others interested in this area. Thanks to everyone who has already been in touch.