A Century of Cosmetics

Elizabeth Arden changed the face of cosmetics in 1915, making makeup respectable in an age when it was considered tawdry. Arden and her company produced the red lipstick worn by suffragists on their 1912 march down Fifth Avenue, in New York City, and was heralded as one of the overall best-known American brands in the world by the 1930’s.

Although Arden cosmetics are still very popular today, one of my go to brands is Mary Kay. Mary Kay Ash of Hot Wells, Texas, was an executive in an era unfriendly to women in business, something I can attest, too! By the late 50’s, after being passed over for promotion yet again, she decided to create a paradigm shift for herself, and others like her, by creating a direct marketing company designed to resonate with the women that would become its sales force.

Today, Mary Kay Cosmetics is a global success by any measure…not just by the iconic pink Cadillacs awarded to top saleswomen.

Of interest, a museum is located in the company’s world headquarters in Dallas, Texas; thus, securing its place in history. Visitors can hear Mary Kay’s motivational speeches and enter the Keepers of the Dream Independent National Sales Director Hall of Fame. I, for one, had no idea she has a Hall of Fame for her sales ladies.

To be honest with you, although I love my Mary Kay cosmetics, for my foundation I still use Cover Girl and my hairspray is still AquaNet.

Covergirl is certainly a cosmetics leader, celebrates authenticity, diversity and self-expression through their makeup. Developed six decades ago, they opened up their flag-ship store in Times Square in New York City. They offer affordable and easily accessible makeup for all generations.

One of the interesting facts I found about them is that Covergirl, in 2018, became the largest makeup brand to be Leaping Bunny Certified by Cruelty-Free International, which means all of their products are certified cruelty free, regardless of where they are sold.

                           What cosmetic could you not do without?


To a lucky winner who leaves a comment, I will give you a choice between receiving a Bath and Body Works gift certificate or an eBook of my latest Kasota Springs Romance “Out of a Texas Night”.

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A native Texan, New York Times and USA Today bestselling author Phyliss Miranda still believes in the Code of the Old West and loves to share her love for antiques, the lost art of quilting, and the Wild West.

Visit her at phylissmiranda.com

54 thoughts on “A Century of Cosmetics”

    • Hi Glenda, good to hear from you. That sounds good to me, but I do have to put some color on my cheeks. I call it my 5 minute make-up treatment. Have a great day. Hugs, Phyliss

  1. My Mother used Elizabeth Arden and Max Factor products. I admit Mary Kay products are wonderful. Many years ago there was a Mary Kay Cosmetics store in town and they had makeup artists who offerd free makeovers for the purchase of one of their products. At seventeen my friend and I had those makeovers and bought a lipstick.I too still use Aquanet hair spray & Cover Girl foundation. Lipstick & foundation are a “must” for me.

    • Hi Carol, good to hear from you. My Cover Girl and Aquanet goes back to my teenage years, too. Later Mary Kay, but I don’t think I ever used Elizabeth Arden and maybe a little Max Factor. I agree with lipstick and foundation being a must. Have a beautiful day. Hugs, Phyliss

    • Hi Jerri Lynn, good to hear from you. Most days I could go with a paper sack over my head, too. But when I go out, I always try to apply make up, but I have a very short routine. I love my lipstick, too. Have a wonderful day. Hugs, Phyliss

  2. I use Mary Kay powder as my foundation, blush, but use cover girl as my eye shadow and maybeline as my mascara.
    I use Roden and Fields as my moisturizer, masks, and toner.
    Great blog Phyliss. I hope you and you DH are doing well and staying healthy. Love you my Sweet Texan Friend.

    • Hi Tonya, Phyliss is having computer problems and unable to stay connected long enough to answer your comment. It looks like you spread your business around. 🙂 You use a lot of different products. I love you dearly.

    • Hi Diana, I’m answering for Phyliss who’s unable to get online. I wish I could get by with just two beauty products. Sure would be cheaper. Good luck in the drawing.

  3. I had a deluxe set of Mary Kay once upon a time. I had a sales lady sell it to me via a Mary Kay party on a payment plan. I love it. I’ve used a lot of Avon cosmetics over the years because my Nanny was an Avon representative and gave me whatever I wanted. I still miss going through her boxes and boxes of Avon and taking anything I wanted. I use all different kinds of OTC cosmetics now. L’oreal Infallible pencil eyeliner is the one think I couldn’t live without because it stays where you put it. I can even sleep with it on all night and in the morning it looks like I just put it on. I also use the Loreal Voluminous Mascara and eyelash primer as my exclusives on those. Great blog!

    • Hi Stephanie, I used Mary Kay for a long time but lost my representative when I moved and never found another. I buy everything from Merle Norman now. Always need eye liner and mascara, regardless of anything else. Love you, lady.

  4. Phyliss, Thank you for this fascinating post! When I’m not planning to go anywhere, I don’t wear make-up. Being a redhead, I need brow liner or I would not have any! LOL

    • Hi Caryl, I’m answering for Phyliss who’s unable to get online right now. Thank you for coming. I hear you on the brow liner! I’m a redhead too. I also use eyeliner and mascara even if I don’t put anything else on. Good luck in the drawing.

  5. I have enjoyed not wearing any makeup since I have been stuck at home. But the one thing I could not live without would be lip balm. I don’t like when my lips get dry.

    • Hi Janine, thanks for coming over. Yes, this lockdown has been good for that one thing. I haven’t worn much makeup either. I absolutely can’t stand dry lips either. Balm is a must. Good luck in the drawing.

    • Hi Alisa, thank you for coming. I’m glad you enjoyed Phyliss’s post. It’s very interesting. I’m answering for her due to the fact she has no internet access. Good luck in the drawing, dear.

    • Hi Debra, I think fresh face looks started coming into style when Alicia Keys stopped wearing makeup. If she can do it, others can too. You’re in style. Good luck in the drawing.

  6. What a fun post! I dabbled in Mary Kay way back when, but it is just mascara that I can’t live without now. I hate spending the time to do makeup so I keep it to foundation and mascara.

    • Hi Susan P, Thanks for coming. I’m answering for Phyliss who has no internet connection. You know, those two items are the basics. If you have foundation and mascara, you’ll in good shape. For me, I like eyeliner and mascara. Good luck in the drawing.

  7. I used to wear makeup all the time, no matter what! Now, I don’t put anything on! I’m allergic to some products, so there are more I can’t use than I can, but I’ve gotten to the point where what you see is what you get! Lol! My Daddy would be proud, as he didn’t like my sisters and I wearing makeup!

    • Hi Trudy, Thank you for stopping by. I’m having to answer for Phyliss because she has no internet connection. I think more and more women are following Alicia Keys’s example and giving up makeup. She was really brave to perform in a fresh face. But she’s so pretty. Some people definitely look better with makeup on. I don’t think men like makeup much. Good luck in the drawing.

  8. I don’t really use any cosmetics anymore. I use to many years ago but now I just don’t bother with them.

    • Hi Quilt Lady, I think we reach a point age-wise when we just don’t want to mess with makeup. Sure saves a lot of money. I hope you’re doing well these days. Good luck in the drawing.

    • Hi Melanie, thanks for coming. Phyliss has internet problems so can’t comment. I’m sure you look beautiful in your lipstick. That’s one thing I’ve never worn. It just always ended up on my teeth. Good luck in the drawing.

  9. I’ve never been a routine makeup wearer. I have a daughter with several skin sensitivities and found that the little makeup I did own caused her to break out in terrible rashes. So I’m happily makeup free. I’ve been looking into natural makeup options as my daughter gets older so she can at least have options when she wants them. But I’m also emphasizing her own unique, natural beauty.
    Great post with awesome information!

    • Hi Jess, I’m so glad you came. I’m answering for Phyliss because she has no internet. Good for you! I think Alicia Keys started a new trend when she threw her makeup away. A lot of women really don’t need it. I only use the bare minimum. I’m sorry about your daughter. Allergies are horrible. Maybe she’ll outgrow some of that. I’m glad you enjoyed Phyliss’s post.

    • Hi Laini, I’m so happy you came. Phyliss has no internet so you get me. Ha! I can’t go a day without lip balm. My lips stay really dry also. Good luck in the drawing.

  10. Mary Kay started in Dallas, which is kind of cool. And my DIL when my granddaughters were babies, she sold Roddan and Fields. History of cosmetics and what everyone uses is fascinating!

    • Hi Hebby, great to see you. Thanks for coming over. I’m filling in for Phyliss who has no internet. I think the history of everything is so interesting. But I never knew makeup went back so far. I learned something. I hope you’re doing well and managing this stay-at-home order okay. I’m about to go batty!

  11. An interesting post, Phyliss. I was a big Mary Kay fan but switched over to Merle Norman. I like their products even though they probably cost a little bit more. The only things I cannot do without is eye liner and mascara. I never used Elizabeth Arden and find it surprising that they go back so far. Wow!

  12. Since I live where there is abundant sunshine I need moisturizer and sunscreen. Other than that I never use makeup.

    • Hi Sharon, sounds like you that moisturizer and sunscreen is a must where you live. Alicia Keys showed us all that it’s okay to not wear makeup. Good for you. Good luck in the drawing.

    • Hi April, thank you for coming. I’m happy you enjoyed the post. Sounds like you live in a sunny part of the country. Sounds lovely. Good luck in the drawing.

  13. I’m lazy so my go-to makeup is my Covergirl tinted moisturizer–it takes care of foundation, lotion, and sunscreen (SPF15) for me in one quick step. Add a little pressed powder and a dash of lipstick (usually Avon), and I’m ready to go.

    • Hi Carrie S, Thanks for coming. Wow, I’m going to have to look for that tinted moisturizer. Sounds like a quick solution to makeup. Wishing you lots of luck in the drawing.

  14. Hi, I wear makeup when going out, not too much though, the one cosmetic I could not go without is my Maybeline eyebrow powder, my eyebrows have gotten pretty light, I have told my daughter to Please make sure that I have my eyebrows made up when I die. LOL I can go without most of the makeup, but my brows have to be on. LOL I enjoyed reading this post. Thank you.

    • Hi Alicia, thank you for stopping by. I’m glad you liked Phyliss’s post. She has no internet so I’m helping. I think we all have our priorities. Mine is my mascara. Have a great evening.

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