Visual Rhetoric Research Paper Example: History of Cosmetics Using

Published: 2021-08-15
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Boston College
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Plautus a Roman Philosopher who stated, A woman who did not put paint is like food without salt. (Melynda 120). Over the years civilization has used different forms of cosmetics that today may not necessarily be considered to be cosmetics. There are various reasons attached to the use of cosmetics namely, religious rituals, protection from the sun, enhance the beauty and promote good health. The cosmetics advertisements have gone through a remarkable transition; the first crude ad was put up in European newspaper during the 17th century and the 18th century (Bresfelean 4000). At the time the Early American newspapers were featuring similar ads to entice the colonists to imitate the latest fashion that was trending in Paris and London. Maybelline is recognized as the number 2 brand of mass-marketing cosmetics behind the Cover girl. Lately, Maybelline has been producing energetic television commercials and print advertisements, and they have been credited to be some of the most relevant and most excellent posters in the cosmetic industry. The paper will explore Maybelline advertisement in the 1940s when the eyes cosmetic was the height of the cosmetics industry. In the 1970 when there was exploration of the natural look and all needed was for the companies to ensure they come on board and advertise more of their natural products. In the 2000s being the last selected decade, did not see much of fashion transformation, however, for the cosmetic industry, the nude lipsticks was the hit at the time. Maybelline advertisements have tried their level best to ensure their adverts are capable to traced with the trend to maintain their relevance.

Fashion in the 1940s

As 1930 came to a close, in the 1940s the women makeup had taken a high notch and was already a huge industry. Moreover, its recorded the rate at which the fashion was advancing in the 1940s was so rapid even a world war would not probably halt it. During the 1940s the women were required to do confident up-do hairstylists, the nails were needed to complement the arched eyebrows, and the lips were redder. At the time many women found themselves working in unfeminine conditions that this made them ensure their makeup was on point to the extent they could easily pop out in a crowd (Bresfelean 5000). There are important identified makeup looks of the 1940s. First, many women preferred to keep an effortless and convenient look as they were mainly working in the factories. Significantly the red lips made for many girls, and in the USA they were considered to be essential for all the girls as it was referred as result of the war effect.

Additionally by embracing the red color of confidence morale was kept up all the time. Some of the critical cosmetics gestures other than the red lips included: Nails which were filed to a point with the tips left unpainted, rose colors were applied to the cheek apples. Lashes used were cake mascaras like Maybelline which were applied with a brush, the eyebrows were done thicker in comparison to the 1930s, and there was the use of Vaseline to ensure glossiness was maintained (Ma 270). The eyes were understated with understated where light, medium brown was used with beige highlights. During the 1940s is when the women started to apply makeup at their teens onwards in 1920s this was unthinkable. To boost the morale of the soldiers in the war, women were asked to send letters and put kisses on the front page.

Maybelline advertisements during the 1940s introduced the iridescent eye shadow sticks what a hit was. Also, the company produced a liquid liner that was important as at the time the women were applying darker shades in the eye. Moreover, in following years in 1959 Maybelline advertisements introduced a slogan to indicate its products were preferred by brilliant people in the world over (Javed 275). After that, the company expanded and started to shift overseas, and this enabled the company to grow. Additionally, with the company specializing in producing eyeliners and eyeshadows, it was the company to eye at the time. The company focused on getting some of the high profile models who could deliver the company expectations and ensure the brand was selling. However, critics were raised on the company experimenting on the animals, and this resulted in many people shying away to use the products as they were afraid of any side effects. But after some time the company products were recognized, and it was capable of taking its products to the runways as they were preferred by many fashion houses all over the world.

In the 1970s

Maybelline advertisements in the 1970s were considered to be the king and queen of the eye makeup. Maybelline Company was recognized to exclusively specialize in everything that was used to make the eyes beautiful (Budiani 45). The company advertisements were concentrated to offer the clients many options in which they could consider in their purchases. Moreover, the company assured all its users quality and fair prices. With the introduction of well-priced makeup, the company was able to increase consumer base and also attract a more massive crowd that was seeking to get into powder, but they considered them to be very pricey. This influenced many of the customers to make their purchases and also during this time is when the company was able to make significant profits as the aim of the group was to ensure all the women who used these products were not only able to appear perfectly groomed but also were fashionable (Fitriyah 456). Having gone global sometime back, the company was given an opportunity to be considered one of the best in the country and beyond the borders. At the time when makeup was being used by all ages of women the company ensured they produce some of the best products to provide, they cared for the skin. The company slogan geared to entice the people to consider their products every time they hoped to make any purchases.

In 1971 the company cemented its hold in the women lashes by launching the iconic pink and green Great Lash Mascara. During this time the company was a perfect reflection of the multiple roles that were associated with the modern women. This was the time for the first time makeup was chosen based on the situation rather than in response to the monolithic trends. During this era, many women decided to go back to their natural look and only were applying heavy makeup in the evening to ensure they were glamorous at the party and capable of impressing the fashion photographers (de Melo 325). At the time punk and glam were very influential, and the cosmetic companies were straggling made a comeback in the company by using new marketing skills and manufacturing practices. As noted earlier many of the feminists in the 1970S they did not wear heavy makeup. However, it was a tradition that the women used had to stand out and thus many celebrities at the time used Maybelline as it was a trusted global brand that was capable to standout, especially during the photo session. In contrast to the ladies who preferred to keep it natural, there are those who preferred to make their makeup dramatic, and they mainly wore it in the evening. These kinds of ladies were characterized even to use glitter eyeshadow and nail varnish.

In the 1970s the women were wearing very light foundation which significantly increased the market for skin care products with the introduction of anti-aging products. Additionally, there was the introduction of waterproof mascara along with better lash lengtheners and thickeners by the company to ensure they were capable of continuing to please the clients (Kaur, Nalini and Norima 61). Therefore, Maybelline advertisements concentrated on the use of matte colors which was very popular for the eyes. To further advertise the excellence of the company products the company used models who had a wide variety of eye shadows some were smoky dark gray, dramatic, natural beiges and also transparent. The company is noted to face some decline in the 1970s as the growth of the cosmetic sales was not able to keep up with the pace of the overall increase in the personal spending. Therefore, to counter this company in place of developing new products it used the increment prices to ensure it gets the anticipated profits.

In the 2000s

Having a glance at the 2000s cosmetic application that was no iconic trends at the time (Oancea 115). There is no sited contemporary change. Moreover, it has been noted beauty has changed in the past ten years; this is the decade that is responsible for some much of what is happening today. Maybelline advertisements at the time have been very intentional to ensure they maintain their customer loyalty. Moreover, the company slogan stated that makeup was just made easy by the use of these products. Maybelline express makeup 3 in 1 was characterized to be liquid smooth to ensure the consumers were capable of experiencing the best while using the product.

Additionally, during this decade was a complete change in comparison to the 1940s wherein 1940 the red lips was the signature look, during 2000, the look was nude. Additionally, Maybelline during the 2000 primary target is the middle-aged women from the ages of twenty-five to forty-five years of age (Oancea 115). Therefore, the advertisements made by the company are noted to have used attention-getting techniques to grip the attention of the audience. To ensure all the women are encompassed in many of the ads. Thus, by the Company ability to include all, they prove their capability to care for all types of skin types. In the 2000s the lips and the eyes are noted to be the focal point of the cosmetic industry. As illustrated in the 1970s there was the excessive use of highly exaggerated eyelashes and many people considered natural cosmetics (Oancea 117). However, in 2000, the trend was different; many people were comfortable to choose a variety of cosmetic products only to ensure they look glamorous. As of 2006, the American cosmetics and beauty industry are noted to have made over $20 billion in sales. The skin dominates the make, and hair care products with many of the ads run in print and on the television.

In summary, Maybelline advertisements have seen a transition in their development and output as demonstrated in the last timeframes, the 1940s, 1970s, and 2000s. During the 1940s, cosmetics were linked with the world war at the time. Moreover, many women were working in male-dominated environments. Therefore, at the time Maybelline advertisements concentrated on the eye products produced. With many of the women embracing the red lips as it was a confidence approach for the ladies. Interesting, the female was asked to put red lips on the cover of the letters so that they could encourage their husband's soldiers at war and give them hope and strength to come back home. In the 1970s it is witnessed many of the ladies preferred to use natural products. This made many of the companies to ensure they used natural products to attract a large customer base. Finally, during the 2000 Maybelline advertisements embraced the use of both red lipsticks and nude lipsticks. To ensure they were capable of keeping up with the ever-changing beauty industry, the company provided they were able to produce the best products but at very affordable prices. As illustrated Maybelline advertisements have undergone transformative changes but what is constant is the company has managed to ensure it maintains to please its customers by producing some of the best cosmetic brands in the world.


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