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Makeup Composition History and Facts

Spill some foundation or blush on the carpet? Or perhaps that blue eye shadow has decided to leave an unexpected trail behind.

Well have no fear, fellow cosmetic lovers – do-it-yourself makeup stain removal is just a few easy steps away. With COIT’s step-by-step guide, you can learn how to get makeup stains out with relatively little hassle.

What’s In Your Makeup?

From foundation to mascara to eye shadow, blush and more, every day, hundreds of millions of men and women go through their daily beauty ritual. Makeup makes people feel good, allows them to express themselves and keeps our visually-focused society delighted and entertained.

When it comes to the actual ingredients in makeup, across the various brands, the basic formula is essentially the same. When you’re trying to remove makeup stains, it’s good to know what kind of ingredients you’re actually working with:

  • Water
  • Oil
  • Wax – paraffin, petroleum, beeswax, carnauba wax or candelilla wax
  • Talc, mica or kaolin clay (filler that allows the makeup to be smoothly distributed across your face)
  • Pigments, i.e. iron oxide
  • Jojoba oil for dry skin
  • Zinc or magnesium derivatives
  • Olive oil, castor oil, mineral oil or lanolin
  • Vitamin E or aloe vera

There has been some concern over the safety of makeup, as research suggests that there are some dangerous chemicals lurking in everyday products. According to the Huffington Post, certain cosmetic brands use “Mercury in your mascara? Yep, it's in there. Endocrine disruptors in your lip gloss? It is possible.” For more information about how to evaluate the safety of the makeup you’re using, visit EWG’s Skin Deep Cosmetic Database.

The History of Makeup

Now that you’ve got some more information about what’s in your makeup and the potentially harmful substances that your body could be absorbing, let’s rewind a bit and take a closer look at the history of makeup.

The first traces of makeup can be found in ancient Egypt. In fact, when excavating Egyptian tombs, archaeologists have found makeup canisters and kits that were used. Did you know that Cleopatra used lipstick that was made out of ground carmine beetles? Some Egyptian women also used water and clay to add a dash of color to their lips.

During ancient Greek and Roman times, traces of makeup have also been discovered. Using ground-up stones and minerals, women were known to paint their faces, necks and chests. Thanks to a mixture known as ceruse, made of lead and vinegar, the famous Queen Elizabeth I would paint her face white. Unfortunately, ceruse contained lead, which often led to hair loss or even death!

Modern Day Makeup

The makeup the modern world uses was initially developed (and continues to evolve) in 1914 and 1915, by companies like Maybelline and Max Factor. Revlon appeared on the market in the 1950s, followed by countless other brands that exist today. With 33.3 billion dollars spent on makeup each year, the profitable cosmetic industry shows no signs of slowing.

Remove Makeup Stains with COIT’s Spot Center Guide

So the next time you encounter a makeup stain, you’ll have a better understanding of what’s inside that unsightly spot. Check out COIT’s guide to learn how to get makeup stains out.