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The History of Full Coverage Foundation

When and how have people used full coverage foundation? It goes back a long way. Choose full-coverage for a smooth, finished, and flawless look.

Full Coverage Foundation: Uses and Facts

When I think of makeup, I think of the '80s and the heavy eyeshadow, deep shades of lipstick, and striking colors to contour any woman or man’s face. Some people may think of different eras, such as the victorian age where the powder was a person’s best coverage against facial sores. And others may think of a different period altogether, but chances are, if you are thinking about foundation as makeup, you will have an idea of what it is. But, do you have an idea of where it comes from? Who invented it? How did using full coverage foundation start? Why do we use a foundation the way we do? How has it evolved since it was created?

What was the first full-coverage makeup?

In 1914, Max Factor created pancake makeup. Before that, people were actually using toxic substances to achieve lighter-looking skin!

In the Roman, Greek, Middle Ages, and Renaissance eras pale skin was a symbol of privilege. People used chalk or lead paint to make their skin appear lighter than what it was. Of course, the lead paint ended with fatalities and poisonings, and unfortunately, this madness stopped only long enough for the plague to hit.

With the reign of Charles the second in the seventeenth century, the plague hit England ferociously. During this time, people threw away the ideas of lighter skin for a darker pallor with the idea that darker skin kept the disease away. Again, not the best thoughts, but it was the trending idea of the time.

As the eighteenth century rolled around, pale skin came back into fashion, and along with it, the chalking and painting continued into the nineteenth century. If it wasn’t for Max Factor in 1914, the people who enjoyed lighter skin might have continued to kill themselves off.

Because the lead paint killed those who use it, Max Factor came up with greasepaint, a complex formula of zinc oxide, glycerin, and calamine lotion. While this mixture was used to cover up facial imperfections, it only came in three colors — white, pink, and red.

How makeup changed because of Hollywood Movies

Along with motion pictures, Max Factor decided to give the foundation another makeover in the 1930s and came out with a powered foundation. Movies were the inspiration behind the change because he didn’t like the way that the cake foundation looked on the big screen. Foundation continued to evolve into the '40s and '50s with liquid foundation, and the pancake foundation of the past slowly began to lose popularity as the formulas of the liquid foundation began to match more, and more skin tones.

Did people really wear makeup on their legs?

The liquid foundation idea started as “leg makeup” as a way to get rid of nylon stockings. Women would add the leg makeup to their legs to give the illusion of wearing pantyhose. Leg makeup was rub-resistant, sweatproof, and non-transferrable. By 1952, a cosmetic company called Coty came out with a product called “Instant Beauty.” This formula was a light, tinted foundation that sat on the skin and contained no grease. Instant beauty also promised to never over-dry and packaged the foundation in similar bottles that are still used today.

How has modern-day foundation gotten better?

Once we fast-forward to the present, the shades come in all tinctures, pigments, and colors; the foundation is oil-based, water-based, silicone-based, and more. While popular foundations come in more than just three shades, there is still room for improvement on the color-scale.

The last couple of years brought grand innovations when it comes to makeup inclusivity. Pigments now blend to the color of the wearer’s skin, and the colors continue to grow with the recognition that beauty comes in all colors.

Using Full-coverage foundation today

While forcing yourself to be pale is a thing of the past, and embracing your natural color is perfect for now. It is important to remember that the foundation for foundation sake is a great way to express yourself but making sure that you like what is underneath the foundation is equally as important.

Resources— MakeUp.com, New Beauty