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

Recent Stories

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.



Concealers developed from camouflage make-up, both of which had their origins in the 1930s.


New Booklet Scans

Beauty’s Boudoir: Useful Toilet Hints (1886)

Added: 28th June 2016

Yardley’s Triple Compact and Lipsticks (1937)

Added: 28th June 2016

Glamour Lips (1949)

Added: 28th June 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

  1. Iontophoresis and Desincrustation
  2. Pan-Cake Make-up
  3. Vanishing Creams
  4. Cold Creams
  5. Early Movie Make-up
  6. Max and the tube
  7. What is a cosmetic?
  8. High Frequency
  9. Stopette
  10. Hazeline Snow


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.