Monday, 7 November 2016

The History of Foundation

Previously we brought you the history of red lipstick and how it became such an iconic look and staple item within our beauty arsenal. We enjoyed learning about the history so much we thought we'd look into another one of our favourite beauty must-haves... foundation.

Just like red lipstick, foundation roots date back to Ancient Egypt where the Ancient Egyptians were widely known to be the first generation who created and used foundation. Later on, the Ancient Greeks saw that it was deemed fashionable for women to have pale faces, so they would use white powders often made from chalk or lead to achieve this look. However, the use of toxic lead on the face often resulted in fatal poisoning.

As time moved on towards the middle ages a pale face was still favoured as tanned skin was associated with the working class beause they were the ones who were most likely to be working outdoors. Some women who were that desperate for a paler face would even go to extreme lengths by making themselves bleed to appear paler.

During the 17th century, Britain was in the height of the plague and so women stayed indoors. But that didn't stop them making themselves look pretty! Women would use darker make-up as the 'deathly pale' look that was once desired was no longer the look you wanted. For a glowy complexion, women would also apply egg whites to their face.

As Queen Victoria came into power she wasn't shy about her opinions on make-up and how it was only prostitutes that tended to paint their faces. Women would do anything to make themselves look natural and would even go as far as skin bleaching.

 In 1935 it all changed. Max Factor brought out the first commerical foundation, Pan-Cake, which was originally only meant for on-screen actresses, but it became such a hit that it was manufactured to the masses. Both a foundation and powder in one, the Pan-Cake then became the Pan Stik and is still available today.

From then on foundation evolved and now there are hundreds of different foundations available to you from all shades of skin tone to products by our favourite beauty brands to high street and designer brands. Foundation still remains to be one of the biggest beauty products out there.

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