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Stage Makeup, 10th Edition by Beverly Gore Norcross, James Glavan, Richard Corson

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APPENDIX D Health and Safety

by Monona Rossol from her book on safety in Theater, Film, and TV by Allworth Press

 

Throughout history men and women have sacrificed health for cosmetic effects. Women in the court of Queen Elizabeth I persisted in wearing white lead paint (ceruse) on their faces even though they knew it ruined their skin and made their hair fall out. In the eighteenth century, one well-known actress died from using lead-laden makeup.

Lead and Mercury

Today, acutely toxic chemicals like lead and mercury are still found in foreign cosmetics—even some sold in the U.S. For example, kohl, a mascara made of lead sulfide and antimony sulfide, has been used for centuries to make up children’s eyes in the Middle East, India, Pakistan, ...

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