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

Recent Stories

‘The Women’ (1939)


Released in 1939, the movie contains extended sequences showing a number of salon beauty treatments.

Glycerine Creams and Jellies


First used by the medical profession in a range of skin treatments, glycerine soon found its way into cosmetics for dry or chapped skin.

Richard Hudnut


Richard Hudnut regarded himself as a high-class perfumer rather than a pharmacist or cosmetic chemist and looked to France for inspiration.

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.


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.

Elmo list added 12th April 2015.

New scans

Cyclax: Skin Care and loveliness

Added: 9th April 2015

Hudnut: 1910 Beauty Book

Added: 25th March 2015

Story Updates

Company Timeline

Updated: 16th April 2015

Cosmetics Timeline

Updated: 16th April 2015

Liquid Face Powders

Updated: 9th April 2015

What is a cosmetic?

Updated: 2nd April 2015

Albumin Wrinkle Smoothers

Updated: 26th March 2015

Water Cosmetique (Mascaro)

Updated: 26th March 2015

Hormone Creams, Oils and Serums

Updated: 25th February 2015

Muscle Oils

Updated: 9th February 2015


Popular Stories

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