Paint and Cosmetics

a project entirely written by Anton Johansson, 8E

written in physics in autumn 2006




Cosmetics and its ingredients
Cosmetics are mixtures used for enhancing human body, such as face, hair, lips and nails. You may also include things such as perfumes, which’s ingredients are esters, alcohols andoils, with smell from flowers, seeds or similar. The ingredients of cosmetics variates a lot depending on which cosmetic it is, though, some has got the same basics. For example both perfume, deoderants and more are using alcohols. Other usual ingredients are fats, wax, oils and pigments. Lots of different kinds of cosmetics are famous about including relatively strange ingredients, for example, some colors of eyeshadows have got crushed insects. Some lipsticks have even got rust for the red color.


The history of cosmetics is a quite bloody story, after all.


The oldest cosmetic every found was found in the Ancient Egypt, and it’s from an as early age as 4 000 years BC – 6 000 years ago. Later, other famous users of make up was the Romans and Greeks. These ancient cultures had mercury and sometimes also lead included as ingredients.


Cosmetics also began to be used in Ancient Persia and what today is the Middle East. Though, soon the Arabs converts these kingdoms into Islam and in some areas, cosmetics were forbidden for using to cause unnatural desire; in other words, cosmetics was called to cause desire that wouldn’t have been caused otherwise. Women using this was called to trick the men. Using cosmetics wasn’t allowed due to the Quran and Mohammed’s declerations. Some countries were even stricter following these rules, beating or ever killing the women found using cosmetics.


In the 10th century, the cosmetologist Abu’al-Qassim al-Zahrawi wrote a medical encyclopedia called al-Tasreef, including a chapter about cosmetics. Giving examples, al-Tasreef suggested solutions solving bad breath, black hair dyes, deoderants, hand lotions and more, many of these still used, often advanced a bit, ofcource. As al-Tasreef was translated into Latin, also the West world read and used the book.


In some periods, cosmetics was more or less used. Queen Victoria of England did for example declare make up as prostitute wear, and during the 19th century cosmetics wasn’t used that much; at least not as much as it is used by now.


In these days, cosmetics are every-day wear, especially used by teenage girls, but all kinds of groups and ages. The main producer of today are France, which have got some factories that started in the early 20th century, such as Ã?sadora, and L’oréal, the world’s largest cosmetics producer.



One of the most used cosmetics are the mascara. It is used to enhance the length and darkness of the eye lashes and it’s target audience is mainly teenage girls. Ones that don’t know much about cosmetics may get confused about mascara and eye liner, which is to very different things. Eye liner is used to create an attractive look, and is a pen that is used painting around the eye. Often this color is black, grey or white. Mascara is used only on the eye lashes, and is almost only black, but it has sometimes got colors such as white.


Mascara was invented quite late, in the 19th century by a Frenchman, Eugene Rimmel. The word “mascara� i believed to come from Italian “maschera� meaning “mask�. At first, mascara was soldes in a different shape than the modern (see the picture in the right top); it was sold in pieces. When someone used mascara, she had to wet a brush with water, dip it into the mascara and then paint the eye lashes. The today used mascara applicator was discovered by Polish Helena Rubinstein in 1957.



The word rouge is French meaning red. This is a powder used for redden the face, make it blush more. It is especially used for the cheeks. This is one of the oldest kinds of cosmetics, discovered in Ancient Egypt. In the beginning, rouge was also used as lipstick is used in today; to give the lips colors.


In the world of film and theathre, the rouge is very often used; in everyday use, it is not very overused. Cultures known for using this cosmetic is for example Japan, especially their geishas often used it.


As Queen Victoria during the Victorian age nearly forbid cosmetics, women were often pinching or biting there cheeks instead of using rouge.

Different from cosmetics, paint has actually been used since prehistory, for more than ten thousand years. Still, cavemens didn’t paint much more than them hunting and eventually asks for good hunt or similar to their gods.

The best artists of their time were the Egyptians, painting wonderful hieroglyfes with decorations, still as good as they was left four thousand years ago. Probably this is thanks to the climate inside the pyramids. Egyptians mixed the colors with rubber substances, using colored stones as the basic. At first they used the basic colors, mixing other, new colors by mixing these. Egyptians was first inventing this magnificent idea, which we are still using.


Thanks to the Egyptian’s discoveries, in hundreds of years man kind kept on producing new colors. For example, Dutcherland produced colors such as “Vermilionâ€? and “King’s Yellowâ€? in the 17th century. As America was discovered in the 15th century, lots of new colors were discovered as well.


In 1818, the waterproof colors were created. From this on and till now, we have been using the superfine, ultimate colors of today.



As we in the start forgot to write down sources, we have not got a complete list of this. The main source was Wikipedia (, mostly the english part but also the swedish one, the Complete Physics-book in school and different encyclopedias we found in both the main and school library. We also had a lot information taken from posters in the school hallway.

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