Introduction

Beauty is something that everyone wants, regardless of the culture they belong to. Being beautiful is often associated with morality, and political cartoons often capitalize on these notions to convey meaning. Someone who is seen as unjust and disliked is usually portrayed as ugly, whereas someone who is adored is usually portrayed as beautiful. However, beauty is often a cultural construction, and what one culture sees as the standard of beauty, another sees a foreign and strange.

Since not everyone is born with the traits that are associated with their society’s conception of beauty, they must wear makeup if they wish to be considered beautiful. However, different classes of people tend to have different levels of access to the very best makeups. The elite are usually able to afford high quality, professionally made products, whereas the lower classes are limited to poor quality products or homemade makeup recipes.

It is also interesting to note that many cultures associated other ideals such as class, political identification and medicinal use with makeup. However, these concepts again tie back to beauty, as being upper class is often viewed as beautiful, being associated with a certain political group can be perceived in a favorable light, and being healthy is usually considered essential to being considered beautiful.

By taking a “virtual tour” of five different places from different time periods, it becomes clear that each society had a unique conception of beauty that was embodied through the different makeup trends that emerged. Despite the fact that the standards of beauty differed from society to society, it becomes clear that each society valued their conception of beauty and sought to embody that conception through makeup. Thus, the distinctive makeup trends that emerged in different societies demonstrates the people’s universal conviction to embodying their society’s conceptions of beauty.