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Fact or Fiction: The History of Makeup
by Staff
This might be stating the obvious, but makeup sure has come a long way since the days of ancient Egypt. You might be shocked at what women do in the name of beauty today. Test your knowledge with this history of makeup quiz.

The ancient Egyptians made their makeup out of sand mixed with ink.

  • fact
  • fiction
  • almost fact: They used sand mixed with crushed insects.

Members of a certain ruling class in ancient China could be identified by their blood-red fingernails.

  • fact
  • fiction
  • almost fact: Gold or silver nails were the fashion.

Women in ancient Rome lightened their skin with creams made from talc.

  • fact
  • fiction
  • almost fact: The fashion was for darker skin, so they mixed talc with river mud.

Makeup production and application in ancient Rome was usually performed by female slaves called cosmetae.

  • fact
  • fiction
  • almost fact: Cosmetae were male.

Roman philosopher Pliny the Elder thought that women should make sure to have long eyelashes to prove their chastity.

  • fact
  • fiction
  • almost fact: He thought that straight teeth were a sign of purity.

The poisonous plant belledame ('beautiful lady') might have gotten its name because women would put drops of it in their eyes to dilate their pupils, making them look sexually aroused.

  • fact
  • fiction
  • almost fact: Women used belledame on their cheeks for blush.

Queen Elizabeth I of England's signature thick white makeup probably contained lead and arsenic.

  • fact
  • fiction
  • almost fact: It definitely contained lead, but not arsenic.

Up until the late 1800s, Japanese women would dye their teeth black as a sign of maturity.

  • fact
  • fiction
  • almost fact: Women in Japan made their teeth red.

In the early 1900s, George 'the Beauty Doctor' Burchett made a career out of tattooing eyeliner.

  • fact
  • fiction
  • almost fact: Burchett tattooed lipstick.

Lipstick exploded in popularity when the metal lipstick container was invented in 1915.

  • fact
  • fiction
  • almost fact: Lipstick did take off around then, but it was because of all the new colors that were being made available.

Fashionable American women in the 1940s drew their lipstick in a Cupid's-bow shape.

  • fact
  • fiction
  • almost fact: Cupid lips were all the rage in the '20s.

Maybelline started out with nail polish in 1932 and then added lipstick in 1940.

  • fact
  • fiction
  • almost fact: This was how Cover Girl entered the market.

Max Factor created his Platinum makeup shade for screen siren Bette Davis.

  • fact
  • fiction
  • almost fact: Platinum was for Betty Grable and Medium was for Bette Davis.

In the 1950s, Revlon's unprecedented marketing campaign for the Talk of the Town products forever linked the company name with frosted pink lips and nails.

  • fact
  • fiction
  • almost fact: It was the '60s, and Talk of the Town was a raspberry shade.

The Japanese brand Shiseido was the first makeup line to be created by dermatologists.

  • fact
  • fiction
  • almost fact: The first dermatologist-driven line was Guerlain.

Demand for brand-new makeup line Urban Decay soared in 1995 when Alicia Silverstone wore its products on the 'David Letterman Show.'

  • fact
  • fiction
  • almost fact: The brand in question was Hard Candy.

Cheryl Tiegs became the first exclusive 'face' of a makeup company when she signed with Cover Girl in the '70s.

  • fact
  • fiction
  • almost fact: Lauren Hutton was the first 'face' and it was for Revlon.

The Jessicas Biel and Alba are now Revlon spokesmodels.

  • fact
  • fiction
  • almost fact: Jessica Biel is with Revlon, but Alba's a spokesperson for Lancome.

Maybelline's Great Lash mascara is the fastest-selling item in the history of makeup.

  • fact
  • fiction
  • almost fact: That would be Max Factor's Pan-Cake makeup.

Cosmetics giant L'Oreal sparked controversy in 2006 when it bought socially responsible beauty company The Body Shop.

  • fact
  • fiction
  • almost fact: L'Oreal bought Bare Minerals, and it was in 2002.