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

Recent Stories

Bleach Creams


In their search for the perfect complexion many women turned to bleach creams to treat hyper-pigmentation problems.

Alfred D. McKelvy (Seaforth)


In 1939, the Alfred D. McKelvy Company introduced the Seaforth line of men’s toiletries.

Mink Oil


By the 1960s a number of French companies were making cosmetics containing mink oil and there was some interest elsewhere including Britain and the United States.

Aerosol Cosmetics


The first commercially successful cosmetic aerosol was Rise, an aerosol shaving foam released by Carter Products in 1950.

Rose Laird


After moving from Philadelphia to New York, Rose Laird established her beauty business there in 1903.

Powder Creams


Face creams coloured with powdered pigments could help even out a complexion while holding face powder in place.

Harriet Hubbard Ayer


Vincent Benjamin Thomas founded Harriet Hubbard Ayer in 1907 after he purchased the name from Harriet’s daughter Margaret.

Harriet Hubbard Ayer (post 1947)


One year after being made the new president of Lever Brothers, Charles Luckman acquired Harriet Hubbard Ayer. This decision, combined with others, would lead to conflict with Lever Brothers’ parent company, Unilever.


New Booklet Scans

The New Art of Society Make-up (1932)

Added: 13th July 2016

Golden Peacock Bleach Creme (1938)

Added: 13th July 2016

Story Updates

Prince Matchabelli

Updated: 27th June 2016


Updated: 27th June 2016

Cosmetics Timeline

Updated: 27th June 2016

Company Timeline

Updated: 27th June 2016

Northam Warren (Cutex)

Updated: 16th June 2016

Pan-Cake Make-up

Updated: 14th April 2016


Updated: 17th March 2016


Updated: 1st March 2016


Popular Stories

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  7. High Frequency
  8. Stopette
  9. Hazeline Snow
  10. Turtle Oil


Books, journals, websites and other sources.

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.