The History of Makeup

Dive into the history of makeup to discover its origins and trace its evolution.

Join professional makeup artist Tamara Tott as she charts makeup’s journey from a superstition among wealthy landowners to a multibillion-dollar industry.

Tamara will guide you through the ancient cultures of Egypt, Rome, Greece and China, explaining how ideas of godliness, health and personal power were crucial to the emergence of makeup use among the wealthy.

You’ll be shocked to learn about some of the toxic substances used as makeup products over the centuries – some of which proved fatal!

You’ll travel through the Elizabethan and Victorian eras, learning about the surprising makeup trends and products that defined ideas of beauty in those days.

You’ll also learn about the scientific discoveries that led to a new era of makeup for the masses, characterised by the founding of various cosmetics companies that went on to become iconic global brands. As you move onto the 20th century, you’ll learn about how the rise of advertising and Hollywood movies changed makeup trends.

Tamara concludes this fascinating class by bringing you all the way up to the present day, highlighting contemporary trends and revealing the astonishing scale of today’s makeup industry.

In this class:

  • Makeup in Ancient Egypt, Rome, Greece and China
  • Makeup in Elizabethan and Victorian Britain
  • The history of iconic brands like Chanel, Rimmel and Max Factor
  • Makeup in the golden age of Hollywood and Madison Avenue
  • Makeup and the rise of feminism (c. 1970)
  • Makeup in the 21st century

This class will give you a deep understanding of the role makeup has played across human history, providing crucial context as you begin your journey to becoming a makeup master. With this in-depth knowledge, you’ll be perfectly positioned to succeed in this highly competitive field.

Questions? Please post them in the comments section below. 


  1. Gary Stasiuk

    Nice overview, thanks.. I assume makeup for the theatre has been around and in use far longer than for the general public. Were they using paints rather than makeup for theatre? Stage makeup is usually far more over the top compared to daily makeup and not really about a fashion statement.

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