If you had to stop and think about what the Best Beauty Inventions were, what would you say? I was recently asked to come up with my list of favorite beauty inventions – and there were a few that seemed obvious (the blow dryer and curling iron) but other than that – what’s the best beauty invention? The tweezer? The eyelash curler? Lip plumper? I sat down, thought about it long and hard – and came up with what I consider to be the top 5 beauty inventions, which was no easy task.
Here are my top 5 Beauty Inventions – in no particular order.
#1 – The blow dryer. Invented in the 19th century, I would say that the blow dryer is one of the most important beauty inventions of all time. The first hand-held blow dryer was created in 1920. I can’t imagine there are many women out there who don’t own a blow dryer.
#2 – Lipstick. Lipstick is a beauty invention that can transform a woman from bland to beautiful with a single coat. No one could argue that lipstick is one of the best beauty inventions of all time. Lipstick is special in it’s own way. It’s set apart from all the other makeup, seems more special than eye shadow or foundation. Lipstick has a way of changing a woman’s face in a way that not many other beauty products can.
Ancient Mesopotamian women were possibly the first women to invent and wear lipstick. They crushed semi precious jewels and used them to decorate their lips. Cleopatra had her lipstick made from crushed carmine beetles, which gave a deep red pigment, and ants for a base.
Lipstick started to gain popularity in England the 16th century, during the reign of Queen Elizabeth I, who made piercing red lips and bright white faces a fashion statement. By that time, lipstick was made from a blend of beeswax and red stains from plants. The first lipstick was invented in 1884. The first lipstick was invented by perfumers in Paris, France. It was covered in silk paper and made from deer tallow, castor oil, and beeswax.
#3 – The curling iron and hair straightener. The curling iron (or a form of) was invented back in 1890, when Adam Frisby came up with the idea of using a heated rod to curl hair. Believe it or not, the hair straightener was invented shortly after in 1906. The two have been used by women for decades, and like the blow dryer, it would seem most women have either a curling iron, or a straightener (I have a couple of both).
#4 – Mascara. Mascara is a beauty product that like lipstick, can change how a woman looks with just one coat. Mascara is that one beauty product that even if you skip all the other products, just one coat of mascara can make a huge difference. There are days where I don’t have the time to put all my makeup on, but one coat of mascara will suffice. This makes mascara one of the best beauty inventions of all time. It’s a must-have for women. I can’t think of anyone I know who doesn’t have at least one tube of mascara lying around.
The word mascara derives from the Italian maschera, which means “mask” from Middle Latin masca or from Old Occitan masco. Modern mascara was created in 1913 by a chemist named T. L. Williams for his sister, Mabel. This early mascara was made from coal dust mixed with Vaseline petroleum jelly. The product was a success with Mabel, and Williams began to sell his new product through the mail. His company Maybelline, whose name is a combination of his sister’s name and Vaseline, eventually became a leading cosmetics company.
Mascara is used to darken and thicken lashes, and was composed of colorants and carnauba wax. Users wet a brush and rubbed it over the cake, then applied it to the eyes. Mascara is used to enhance the appearance of the eyes as well as draw attention to them.
The modern tube and wand applicator was more appealing to the market than the old “cake” mascara. Max Factor was the first to create a mascara with a wand applicator in the product tube, which started the modern mascara products available today.
#5 – The tweezer. Tweezers are known to have been used in predynastic Egypt. There are drawings of Egyptian craftsmen holding hot pots over ovens with a double-bow shaped tool. Asiatic tweezers, consisting of two strips of metal brazed together, were commonly used in Mesopotamia and India from about 3000 B.C., perhaps for purposes such as catching lice. There is evidence of Roman shipbuilders pulling nails out of construction with plier-type pincers.
Needless to say – tweezers have been around for centuries, for many, many different purposes. For women – they serve a very important purpose – plucking eyebrows. Women have been using the handy tool to pluck eyebrows for centuries making this invention one of the top 5 beauty inventions of all time.
Would you agree with my top 5 Beauty Inventions? If not – which ones do you think deserves to be in the top 5?
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Disclosure: Compensation was provided by Sprint via Glam Media. The opinions expressed herein are those of the author and are not indicative of the opinions or positions of Sprint