Cosmetics are a wide-range category of beauty and health products which are applied externally to enhance or alter the appearance of a person, or to cover up blemishes. Cosmetics can be made from natural organic substances or by man-made chemicals, depending on how they are needed and their shelf life. The use of cosmetic products has been widespread all over the world, both for individual use and for commercial purposes.
Makeup is not only found in cosmetics bottles; it is also produced in other materials such as lipstick, mascara, foundation, and blushers. Cosmetics products have recently undergone a rapid expansion into the market place, especially with the advent of the internet. There are now online shops selling everything from lipstick to nail polish. However, cosmetics and the terms that pertain to their production still continue to be linked in many ways to labor, and therefore to high end fashion and showbiz.
It is sometimes difficult for people to differentiate between cosmetics and make-up, especially since the two terms are often used interchangeably. However, one word usually stands alone as the more appropriate synonym of makeup, and that word is cosmetics. The indefinite article ‘ware’ in the English language denotes something thin, and this is perhaps why we refer to the thinness of one’s make-up as ‘appearing ‘glamorous’.
Cosmetics, meaning “applied makeup” is derived from the Greek word keratoi, which means “applied skin”. This was the first recorded usage of the word in English, dating from the early seventeenth century. The origin of makeup making is probably linked to the ancient East, where cosmetics were a part of religious rites and ritual. Some early writings from the Indian and Chinese civilizations indicate that makeup was used for a number of medicinal purposes, such as for wounds and to heal illnesses. In fact, much of the early Asian textiles, including some of the earliest rugs and wall paper were decorated with complex images of human faces, sometimes combined with flowers and other objects. From these paintings, the word eventually developed into makeup.
A related noun that describes the act of applying makeup is cosmeceuticals. However, when applied to makeup, it is this term that is used most commonly as a noun, while the word masseuse is most likely to be used as a verb. Masseuse is a noun that literally means “hand man or woman”, while makeup is usually used in an adjectival context, as a description of the act of applying make-up, usually to describe an activity performed by a woman. One other word that describes women who perform these tasks is hygenic; it may come to seem as if makeup was originally intended to replace the woman’s natural beauty, when in actuality it is simply one more tool that helps to enhance that beauty.
The simplest way to classify makeup is to use a sliding scale, starting with the very obvious (make up for adults), and proceeding down from there. The most common word that describes this process is adjectival. An adjective can follow a noun, to describe a thing that does something (a product does something to a product to create it). For example, the words spandex and gym are adjectives describing the action of wearing athletic gear, while the word cynics describes the activity of working out. So in order to describe the action of putting on make up, one would say, “A woman who puts on a light makeup takes cynics.” Another example would be, “A man who exercises with a set of weights uses cynics.”
In combining the above example with the previous example using Gymnics (which was also given earlier), we get the phrase, “The use of cynics (or lifting weights) to increase physical strength”. The same goes for cosmetics, which can also be used as a phrasal verb to describe an action. “Load up with cosmetics before heading out into the world.” The beauty of this example is that the action of putting on make up has been included as a verb and the subject has already been changed from “she” to “you”. We also have a clear indication that all nouns and compound nouns are able to take the plural form, as we see in the sentence “A girl packs her bags and heads out into the world.”
When it comes to mixing nouns and compounds with make-up, keep it simple. Do not try to include too many adverbs or adjective to describe your activity. Take care to describe your action in only one sentence and stick to the bare essentials. Always remember to write the subject out, even if you feel it’s unnecessary. Grammar Software will do this for you.