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

Recent Stories

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.

Coronation Cosmetics


Planning for the coronation of Queen Elizabeth II in 1953 went on for over a year, so there was plenty of time to ensure that the Queen’s make-up was in order.

Enlarged Pore and Blackhead Treatments


In the nineteenth century, no advice on how to achieve a flawless complexion would be complete without mentioning the skin’s pores.

Circulation Creams


As the name suggests, the primary function of a circulation cream was to stimulate sluggish, sallow skin by improving its blood circulation.


Booklets Project

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

New scans

Help Yourself to New Beauty by Du Barry

Added: March 2nd 2015


Cosmetics Timeline

Updated: 2nd March 2015

Company Timeline

Updated: 2nd March 2015

Hormone Creams, Oils and Serums

Updated: 25th February 2015

Liquid Face Powders

Updated: 24th February 2015

Albumin Wrinkle Smoothers

Updated: 10th February 2015

Muscle Oils

Updated: 9th February 2015


Updated: 9th February 2015

Dorothy Gray

Updated: 27th January 2015


Popular Stories

  1. Cold Creams
  2. Iontophoresis and Desincrustation
  3. Vanishing Creams
  4. High Frequency
  5. Pan-Cake Make-up
  6. Straps, Bandages and Tapes
  7. Petrolatum/Petroleum Jelly
  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.