Stories from the history and science of cosmetics, skin care and early Beauty Culture.

Recent Stories

Marie Earle


Marie Earle operated salons in Liverpool and Manchester well before opening L’Institut de Marie Earle in Paris in 1909.

Day and Night Creams


In the early twentieth century some cosmetic companies had only two creams in their skin-care range, a day cream and a night cream.

Max Factor Factory


In 1946 the Max Factor company set about converting an old radar factory in West Howe, Bournemouth into a plant for manufacturing cosmetics.

Colour Matching


Maintaining consistency of colour between different batches of make-up was a perennial problem for early cosmetic firms.

Lipstick Wars


The ‘Lipstick Wars’ of the 1950s were started when Hazel Bishop began a national campaign to sell its Long Lasting Lipstick in the United States.

‘The Women’ (1939)


Released in 1939, the movie contains extended sequences showing a number of salon beauty treatments.

Glycerine Creams and Jellies


First used by the medical profession in a range of skin treatments, glycerine soon found its way into cosmetics for dry or chapped skin.

Richard Hudnut


Richard Hudnut regarded himself as a high-class perfumer rather than a pharmacist or cosmetic chemist and looked to France for inspiration.


Booklets Project

A list of booklets published by cosmetic companies in the first half or so of the twentieth century with scans of some items.

Primrose House and Marie Earle lists added 9th June 2015.

New scans

1931 The New Art of Society Make-up

Added: 23rd June 2015

1933 Marie Earle. Understanding Your Skin

Added: 15th June 2015

Story Updates

Cake Mascara

Updated: 26th June 2015

Liquid and Cream Mascara

Updated: 26th June 2015

Cosmetics Timeline

Updated: 26th June 2015

Company Timeline

Updated: 22nd June 2015

Pan-Cake Make-up

Updated: 11th June 2015


Updated: 8th June 2015


Updated: 22nd May 2015


Updated: 21st May 2015 (major)


Popular Stories

  1. Iontophoresis and Desincrustation
  2. Vanishing Creams
  3. Pan-Cake Make-up
  4. Hazeline Snow
  5. Cold Creams
  6. Early Movie Make-up
  7. Straps, Bandages and Tapes
  8. What is a cosmetic?
  9. High Frequency
  10. Petrolatum/Petroleum Jelly

Contact Me

I am based in Perth, Western Australia. You can contact me by Email or follow me on Twitter to receive information about new stories and updates. I am always keen to hear from others interested in this area. Thanks to everyone who has already been in touch.