Beauty, Cosmetics, And The Ancients

BEAUTY, COSMETICS and THE ANCIENTS
BEAUTY, COSMETICS and THE ANCIENTS

Beauty Is A Mystery From Times

Beauty is a mystery from times immemorial and cosmetics are the top-ups of that enchanting mystery. Philosophers, mathematicians, intellectuals, psychologists, and all have panted in defining beauty and failed to come to a common conclusion. Sometimes beauty has been imprisoned in physique and sometimes its shackles were broken to lift it for its sublime definitions. Keats, the poet, immersed it in truth and said ‘beauty is truth, truth beauty and Margaret Wolfe Hungerford, the author, submerged it ‘in the eyes of the beholder.

Yet nowadays what pops up immediately after hearing this beautiful word ‘beauty’ in our minds is its external and physical aspect- a beautiful dame or a handsome guy. And so we have spas, beauty parlors, and even men’s beauty parlors- ready with skin-care creams, lotions, powders, perfumes, lipsticks, fingernail, and toenail polish, eye and facial makeup, permanent waves, colored contact lenses, hair colors, hair sprays, and gels, deodorants, hand sanitizer,  bath oils, bubble baths, bath salts, butter, and whatnot. The make-up material. The guys and gals, ladies and gentlemen stepping out of the parlor with the confidence of beauty on their shining faces.

Cosmetics Are Dogging Beauty From Times

But it’s not so modern. We should not pat our backs for the setup. Cosmetics are dogging beauty from times far back where the hands of history reach. Some 100,000 years ago. The materials have been found in Western Cape Province. South Africa, and treated clinically and they indicate some type of body paint. At least theoretically the make-up material for ritual performances. Although for 6,000 years, we can very confidently say. Cosmetics have shown their powerful presence in almost every society on the globe. 

 The ancient societies were not ignorant of the fashion trends in beauty – tattoos, piercing, and massages which appear so exciting parts of modern lifestyle and fashion have an almost 5,000 years old aroma in them! They knew the skin surfacing- dermabrasion and chemical peel techniques also. Bone, horn, salt, pumice and ground grains, acid, metals, botanical extracts, and animal fats helped to perform them.

Roads Of Ancient History

As we saunter back on the roads of ancient history. We are astonished to see the cosmetics and the taste and desire for looking beautiful were so common irrespective of class. Whether it was ancient Egyptian, Greek, Roman, Parthian, or Indus civilization, cosmetics were there significant in their presence.

The use of cosmetics was one with the lives of the Egyptians, wherein the boom of the Roman Empire a major part of the budget of people went to have cosmetics. Without make-up women were not regarded that beautiful and those rich imported very costly cosmetics from China, Germany, and Gaul for their use.

Cleopatra Was Aware

Surprisingly, this ‘fair and lovely’ craze is also not a modern mania. The ancient Romans had the view that fair and white represented high status and riches. For looking fairer, the women took the risk of applying even lead-based whiteners. And they were regularly fighting against sunspots, blemishes, freckles, skin flakes, and wrinkles as their counterparts are doing today. Another surprise is that breath fresheners were used. They took special care of even the minute details that could affect their beauty.

When we look at the materials and ingredients used as cosmetics in this ancient make-up. We cannot help praising their detail. When we look back we see, each and every ancient civilization all over the world had the concept of beauty, of course. The physical and external beauty of their own, and profound knowledge of cosmetics. We go back as far as 5,000 BC and find with all other materials in the Iranian make-up kit tweezers also. As soft skin was one of the indicators of beauty. And the beauty of all times Cleopatra was aware of it so she preferred to take a donkey milk bath.

The physical beauty may be skin-deep and it may not be a ‘joy forever but carrying. Our sense of beauty stepping into or stepping out any cosmetic store or beauty parlor, we should never look down upon the ancients as the cosmetics are just their legacy, which we are trying to enrich.(written by sanjay kumar kundan )

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