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

Recent Stories

Soap and Water

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Although all beauty culturists agreed that skin cleansing was the basis for a flawless complexion, views differed about whether or not to use soap.

Patent Medicines and Cosmetics

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The cosmetic industry, perhaps more than any other, capitalised on the advertising expertise developed to sell patent medicines.

Face Moulding

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Some facial treatments were said to mould the contours of the face in the same way that a sculptor would use their hands to fashion a clay bust.

Avocado Oil

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Avocados were a food source for the Aztecs, Incas and Mayans who also applied the oil-rich fruit pulp as a skin treatment.

Marie Earle

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Marie Earle operated salons in Liverpool and Manchester well before opening L’Institut de Marie Earle in Paris in 1909.

Day and Night Creams

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In the early twentieth century some cosmetic companies had only two creams in their skin-care range, a day cream and a night cream.

Max Factor Factory

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In 1946 the Max Factor company set about converting an old radar factory in West Howe, Bournemouth into a plant for manufacturing cosmetics.

Colour Matching

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Maintaining consistency of colour between different batches of make-up was a perennial problem for early cosmetic firms.

 

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.

Houbigant list and three others added 4th August 2015.

New scans

Trust Dorothy Gray

Added: 19th August 2015

Dorothy Gray: Blueprint for Beauty

Added: 19th August 2015

Story Updates

Arden Screen and Stage Make-up

Updated: 11th August 2015

Iontophoresis and Desincrustation

Updated: 6th August 2015

Chemical Depilatories

Updated: 21st July 2015

Cosmetic Stockings

Updated: 8th July 2015

Vapourisers (Steamers & Atomisers)

Updated: 5th July 2015

Cosmetics Timeline

Updated: 1st July 2015

Company Timeline

Updated: 1st July 2015

Facial Irons

Updated: 30th May 2015 (major)

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Popular Stories

  1. Vanishing Creams
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  4. Cold Creams
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  8. Early Movie Make-up
  9. High Frequency
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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.