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

Recent Stories

Revlon (post-1960)


Revlon had bested its two main rivals in the lipstick wars of the 1950s but the 1960s introduced new competitors for Charles Revson to worry about.

Max Factor (post-1945)


In the years that followed the Second World War the Max Factor company expanded its global reach.

Prince Matchabelli


In 1926, Prince Georges Matchabelli borrowed four thousand dollars and together with Princess Norina established the Prince Matchabelli Perfumery Company.

Colour Cards


To help women select colours, cosmetic firms turned to a visual solution long used in the textile and paint trades.



In 1955 the Chesebrough Manufacturing Company, Consolidated and the Pond’s Extract Company merged to form Chesebrough-Pond’s.



Amongst the beauty products sold by Richard Hudnut from his New York pharmacy was a cream he labelled a ‘Toilet Cerate’. It came in two forms, the more expensive variety having a violet fragrance.



Known primarily for their Old Spice men’s toiletries, Shulton also developed a number of skin-care and make-up lines for women.



Hexachlorophene was used in cosmetics in the 1950s and 1960s until it was discovered to be a neurotoxin.


Booklet Updates

Beauty: Woman’s Most Precious Gift

Added: 12th January 2016

Eleven small Max Factor brochures and pamphlets.

Added: 16th December 2015

Story Updates


Updated: 12th February 2016

Cosmetics Timeline

Updated: 9th February 2016 [Major]

Company Timeline

Updated: 9th February 2016 [Major]


Updated: 9th February 2016 [Major]

Iontophoresis and Desincrustation

Updated: 29th January 2016

X-rays and Hair Removal

Updated: 12th January 2016 [Major]

Max Factor

Updated: 10th January 2016 [Major]


Updated: 10th January 2016


Popular Stories

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


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.