The Ultimate Glow (In the Dark)
It may seem pretty unthinkable that anyone would sell, let alone buy, a radioactive lipstick or powder today, but when radium was first discovered by Marie and Pierre Curie in 1898, there were no regulations in place to control the safety of new beauty products, or ensure that they were tested before they were released.
Following the Curiesmajor scientific breakthrough, which changed the face of science and medicine, many people believed that radium was an almost magical substance and could cure anything. So it is unsurprising that radium started being used as the new wonder ingredient in makeup.
There were two main purveyors of radioactive cosmetics: the London-based Radior and the French Tho-Radia. Radior started advertising its products around 1917 and they had no shortage of takers, with Boots, Harrods, and Selfridges all stocking them! For the woman who wanted that radioactive glow, there was a wide variety of items to choose from: powder, rouge, night cream, and pads that you could strap to your face.
Tho-Radia so called as it contained both thorium and radium was set up slightly later, in 1933, by a pharmacist, Alexis Moussali, and a possibly invented Parisian doctor, Alfred Curie (no relation to Marie or Pierre ). They offered a similarly wide range of products (including lipstick and toothpaste) and made a very clear link in their advertising between beauty and science, with a tagline under the ad proclaiming the product to be method scientific de beaute.
Silicone technology allows today’s lipsticks to apply smoother, feel more comfortable, and wear longer on our lips.
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