The Chemistry of Cosmetics by Keerthi Malladi

Introduction

            When our group began working on our job to make Arda more habitable and closer to what the settlers were accustomed to in their lives on Earth, we originally focused simply on very basic, functional clothing. However, we soon realized that while those clothes would serve their purpose, they would lend themselves to a bland appearance that might detract from the settlers' morale. Consequently, we decided to also investigate cosmetics, in order to give the settlers the option of sprucing up their appearance in a way other than wearing heavily decorated, overly stylish clothes, which would be impractical for the tough work of colonizing Arda.

 

(Fig. 1 - Eyeliner, a sample cosmetic on Earth)

 

            Cosmetics are a seemingly simple way to improve one's appearance, which we felt would boost the morale of our settlers, who might otherwise feel unattractive and dissatisfied with themselves.

Cosmetics have been used on Earth for thousands of years; for example, records have been found of the Ancient Egyptians using kohl to darken their eyes and lashes and ground minerals to color their eyelids, drawing attention to their best features. Since cosmetics have such a lengthy history on Earth, it makes sense that they would be something colonists on Arda would also want.

 

(Fig. 2 - The effects of eyeliner)

            Two major cosmetics that I felt the Arda settlers would be most interested in were lipstick, used to color the lips, and mascara, used to darken, lengthen, and thicken the eyelashes. These cosmetics all undergo lengthy processing to be created; however, all of them contain elements that can be found naturally, or derived from fairly simple processes. Although I could not determine one magical equation that would spit out the perfect lipstick, due to the complex processing involved, I was able to determine how to come up with some of the more simple or naturally occurring elements to these basic cosmetics.

 

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