Get yourself clued up for your next quiz night with these super interesting make-up facts…

Make-up has a serious history, dating all the way back to the ancient Egyptians, and because it’s been around for so long, there have been many, many trends, and some interesting ways of using and preparing make-up.

Get yourself clued up for your next quiz night with these super interesting make-up facts…

1 Lipstick has been around for quite some time… like, more than 4000 years. It’s found to have been used in ancient Mesopotamia and was made from the dust of precious stones and gems.

Related: Quiz – how much do you really know about make-up

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2. Some of your favourite make-up products may contain fish scales. Yip, you read that correctly – fish scales. Those shimmery eyeshadows and lipsticks get their pearl-like glow and sheen from – you guessed it – fish scales. If the ingredient list on your make-up has the word guanine, the crystalised substance is swimming around your product (sorry, we had to!).


3. Nail polish was first patented back in 1919, and it was a pale pink colour. Some things seriously never go out of trend!

4. Before we found other ways of creating pigment for make-up, they would regularly use things like crushed beetles and other bugs or coloured dirt or dust from semi-precious jewels. Talk about natural make-up!

5. Having a tan only started becoming fashionable in the ‘20s when Coco Chanel got burnt on a trip on the French Riviera. She arrived back home with a tan, which people then decided looked all kinds of fabulous (although, they probably were unaware of the adverse effects from the sun!).


6. Women would go to some serious length back in the day to keep or get a pale, ‘porcelain’ complexion. Some would get leeches to sit on them and draw out their blood, making them look pale (and feel rather ill, too!), while others would use a white lead product, which sometimes caused hair loss and, in a few cases, death. Phew!

7. We can be glad that research exists, as back in the Elizabethan era, mascara and eyeliner was not something you could purchase at your local drugstore, and women used coal tar to do the trick. As you can imagine, this didn’t always go very well, and many women actually ended up blind from the substance.


Related: 11 skincare terms you need to know

8. Before hairspray was made available on the mass market (in 1960; thanks, L’Oreal!), women went to other extremes to keep their ‘do in place. One way was by spraying a solution of water, alcohol and shellac on their hair with a mechanical grade sprayer – that is serious commitment!

9. Underarm hair on women was never given a second glance until 1915, when a razor company placed a model on the cover of Harper’s Bazaar with hairless underarms. Talk about the power of advertising!

10. During the Roman era, lipstick would indicate your social class standing, and because of this, even men would wear lipstick to show off their social rank.


Now read: 7 Things you didn’t know about grey hair