AskDefine | Define cosmetics

Dictionary Definition

cosmetics n : a toiletry designed to beautify the body [syn: cosmetic]

User Contributed Dictionary



  1. Preparations applied externally to change or enhance the beauty of skin, hair, nails, lips, and eyes.
  2. The study of such products.


preparations to change or enhance the beauty
the study of such products

Extensive Definition

Cosmetics (pronunciation: cosmetic) are substances used to enhance or protect the appearance or odor of the human body. Cosmetics include skin-care creams, lotions, powders, perfumes, lipsticks, fingernail and toenail polishes, eye and facial makeup, permanent waves, colored contact lenses, hair colors, hair sprays and gels, deodorants, baby products, bath oils, bubble baths, bath salts, butters and many other types of products. Their use is widespread, especially among women in Western countries. A subset of cosmetics is called "make-up," which refers primarily to colored products intended to alter the user’s appearance. Many manufacturers distinguish between decorative cosmetics and care cosmetics.
The manufacture of cosmetics is currently dominated by a small number of multinational corporations that originated in the early 20th century, but the distribution and sale of cosmetics is spread among a wide range of different businesses. The U.S. FDA which regulates cosmetics in the United States


Further reading

  • A Consumer's Dictionary of Cosmetic Ingredients: Complete Information About the Harmful and Desirable Ingredients in Cosmetics (Paperback)
  • Don't Go to the Cosmetics Counter Without Me(Paperback)
cosmetics in Bulgarian: Козметика
cosmetics in Catalan: Cosmètic
cosmetics in Czech: Kosmetika
cosmetics in Danish: Kosmetik
cosmetics in German: Kosmetik
cosmetics in Spanish: Cosmético
cosmetics in Esperanto: Ŝminko
cosmetics in French: Cosmétique
cosmetics in Indonesian: Tata rias wajah
cosmetics in Italian: Cosmetico
cosmetics in Hebrew: קוסמטיקה
cosmetics in Latin: Medicamina faciei
cosmetics in Dutch: Cosmetica
cosmetics in Japanese: 化粧品
cosmetics in Polish: Kosmetyki
cosmetics in Portuguese: Cosmético
cosmetics in Russian: Косметика
cosmetics in Simple English: Cosmetics
cosmetics in Finnish: Kosmetiikka
cosmetics in Swedish: Smink
cosmetics in Thai: เครื่องสำอาง
cosmetics in Turkish: Kozmetik
cosmetics in Urdu: تزویق
cosmetics in Chinese: 化妝品

Synonyms, Antonyms and Related Words

base, clown white, cold cream, compact, drugstore complexion, eye shadow, eyebrow pencil, foundation, foundation cream, giftware, greasepaint, hand cream, hand lotion, knickknacks, lip rouge, lipstick, makeup, mascara, mudpack, nail polish, notions, novelties, odds and ends, paint, powder, powder puff, puff, rouge, sundries, talcum, talcum powder, toilet goods, toiletries, vanishing cream, vanity case, war paint
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