A history of health and beauty
The earliest archaeological evidence regarding humanities obsession with health and beauty dates from 4,000BC in Ancient Egypt. The Ancient Egyptians were, much like us, obsessed with their self-image, cleanliness and beauty. Of course back then it wasnt at all like the industry we see today, 100 percent of the products they used would be hand crafted. It was common for both men and women to line their eyes with black kohl and accentuate their lips and cheeks with rouge crafted from ground carmine beetles.
The next most historical era for health and beauty was Ancient Rome. In Rome, bathing was once a much favoured pass-time as we can see from the ruins of their many grand bath houses across rome. Along with the usage of bath houses, Roman ladies crafted their own skin whitening formula, what we today would know as a very early form of foundation. In the Roman era they would attempt to make themselves as pale as possible to present their social standing and wealth. Paleness was indicative of the upper class because only the wealthy could afford to spend all of their time indoors indoors, whilst the poorer people of the time were forced to work all day beneath the blazing Mediterranean sun. European ladies in the sixth century even created hazardous blood-draining techniques to conform with societies love of the faded complexion. In the early ages of cosmetics, highly lethal substances were used, including mercury, arsenic and lead, with the hope of attaining an enhanced level of beauty, of course this did not bode well for the health side of things. Make-up was revered among the rich for the entirety of the middle-ages up until the Victorian era, Queen Victoria denounced it as vulgar and condemned it only to the theatres. However, not all of the Victorians wanted to completely renounce their love for their beauty routines. Women regularly plucked their eyebrows and created homemade face masks made from ingredients such as honey, oats and egg yolk to exfoliate the skin. They additionally rubbed castor oil in their eyelashes to make them look longer and brushed a rice based powder on their noses to decrease shine.
Commercial make-up only came in in the twentieth century along with the rise of hollywood film and celebrity culture.
Tools of the health and beauty trade
It is hard to say which tools are the most useful as our routines and techniques are very personal to us and the tools are highly interchangeable, no matter how specifically bigger companies will brand them. But here are the basic brushes you will need:
- Foundation brush
- Concealer brush
- Fluffy powder brush
- Blush brush
- Small blending brush
- Flat eyeshadow brush
- Precision angle brush
- Lip brush
Materials used in health and beauty
In this day and age it is easier than ever to come across revolutionary products for your daily health and beauty routine, however it is becoming more and more difficult to find natural products from trustworthy sources. with the internet being as vast as it is, we need to be sure that the products we are buying are cruelty free, natural and cause no harm to the environment.
Techniques of health and beauty
Always remember to wash and moisturise/ prime your face before you apply your make up, you will want a clear base for a smooth finish.
When applying foundation do not create lines with your brush, always dab on foundation to central areas of your face and in circular motions bring the product outwards towards the edges of your face to avoid that caked on mask look.
Remember that when applying professional make-up its not just about the colours you immediately see on your face, you also have to learn to detect your undertones, to be able to manipulate unwanted colour such as zits and other such blemishes green pigment covers redness, orange pigments cover blue. if you use beige it will make those areas look muddy.
Tips and tricks of health and beauty
One very important tip is getting the correct shade of make up for your skin tone, most people will make the mistake of testing foundations on their hand, the best place to apply your tester is actually your neck, just underneath the jaw because this is the place that will see the least sun and that is your most natural complexion. (remembering that if you want to darken your foundation you can always mix in a slightly darker tinted moisturiser.)
When applying eye shadow to a large area hold your hand further up your eyeshadow brush and when creating more precise lines hold your brush closer to the tip. Much like painting, the way you hold your brushes is key in creating the look you want.
Ideas and inspiration for health and beauty
1. Bespoke Essential Oil Blends: Drawing from the rich tapestry of British flora, makers can craft unique essential oil blends, capturing scents reminiscent of English gardens or Scottish Highlands.
2. Heather Honey Skincare: Capitalising on the benefits of heather honey, makers can produce moisturisers, face masks, and scrubs that offer both nourishment and a touch of the British countryside.
3. Seaweed-infused Cosmetics: Using seaweed harvested from the British coastline, one can create a range of products from face masks to body scrubs that tout the mineral-rich benefits of the sea.
4. Wildflower Bath Bombs: Infused with petals and scents from British wildflowers, these bath bombs can promise a luxurious soak reminiscent of a summer meadow.
5. Elderflower and Rose Tonic: Makers can harness the rejuvenating properties of elderflower and rose to craft refreshing facial tonics, perfect for revitalising the skin.
6. Charcoal and Peat Face Masks: By blending activated charcoal with British peat, makers can offer detoxifying face masks, capturing the essence of the UKs unique landscapes.
7. Bramble Berry Lip Tints: Using bramble berries found in British hedgerows, one can create natural lip tints that offer both colour and hydration.
8. Herbal Hair Rinses: Combining herbs like nettle, rosemary, and chamomile, makers can produce hair rinses that promote shine and health.
9. Oat and Lavender Hand Cream: Oats, known for their soothing properties, combined with English lavender can result in nourishing hand creams, ideal for the British weather.
10. Willow Bark Blemish Gel: Harnessing the natural salicylic acid in willow bark, this blemish gel can provide a natural solution to spot treatments.
For those in search of unique British-inspired health and beauty products, the market brims with possibilities. From bramble berry lip tints and heather honey skincare to seaweed-infused cosmetics, each product offers a piece of the UKs rich and varied landscape.