Simply put, cosmetology is the art of making a person more beautiful. No matter what your starting appearance, cosmetology enhances and exaggerates natural assets. Among thespians, nobility, the rich and those for whom appearance very much matters, this skill is a vital one. From the teenager applying a touch of blush to her cheeks to the actor putting the final touches to his hair before he performs in front of the King, cosmetology transcends notions of class or gender and works to enhance and emphasise whatever good points nature gave, while attempting to hide those aspects best left unseen. It should also be noted that, whilst many of the basic techniques are known by people unskilled in the skill (ponytails for hair, basic application of make-up etc), even with just a few points in the skill the difference in these techniques will be noticeable, with hair being more smooth and skintone more even. The difference between unskilled and novice is in the level of polish and finesse in these basic techniques.
You never get a second chance to make a first impression. Cosmetology allows the individual to look their best, to fit in with a group, function or situation they find themselves in and to enhance their physical beauty. The noble who is going to be attending a party and who knows they will be 'on display' all night is very aware of the need for the right outfit, correct hair and to look like they are naturally as stunning as they appear. The prostitute who wants to be able to maximise what they charge for their services are beholden to cosmetology to make the best impression. Certainly, every other person in the room (in the case of the noble) or touting for business (in the case of the prostitute) will be utilising every tool they have to look their best ~ anything less is a dangerous oversight.
Cosmetology can be used short term, for example, applying make-up before an event. It can also be a more long term endeavor in terms of products which care for the skin and hair and daily beauty regimes.
The context the individual is in is very important to Cosmetology. Usually, it is used in one of three contexts:
~ trial-by-trial use, both in terms of skin care and in choosing outfits, applying make-up
~ formal events. The preparation for formal events includes the choosing of the outfit and accessories and ensuring that the individual looks the best they can.
~ stage make-up. Cosmetology is also used by thespians up and down Idalos for the choosing of appropriate costumes and the application of stage make-up.
Aspects of Cosmetology:
Application of Make-Up
~ Make-up is a luxury for many on Idalos, yet it is found on every continent. Blush or rouge for cheeks, foundation powder or cream to even out base skin tone, eyeshadow and kohl to decorate the eyes and stain on the lips are the basics of this. Applying make-up requires a steady hand and a clear understanding of what looks good on each individual - each type of make-up will require a specific application technique and often a brush or sponge to ensure even application and a smooth look.
: Basic make-up application is what might be seen day to day. Minimal use of blending, limited variation of colours etc.
: Individual make-up application, highlighting specific facial features and also the use of detail to make small adjustments. This might include, for example, eye make specifically suited to the shape and shade of an individual's eyes. Basic stage make-up.
: Intricate and highly personal application of make-up to the individual. Complex stage make-up. Using make-up to create temporary tattoo-like designs etc.
~ From intricate styles to the weaving of trinkets, coins or jewels in the hair, this aspect of cosmetology includes arranging hair in a variety of unusual ways; piling atop the head, buns, braids and many other techniques are used for hair styling.
: Basic hair care and styling which includes pony tails, buns, braids etc, but all very basic.
: More complex styles, combining techniques (braided and bun, for example), adding items to the style, styles needing pins etc to hold them in place. Simple stage hair.
: Intricate and highly personal hair styles, suited to the outfit, make-up and occasion and usually created specifically for the individual. Highly complex styles.
~ To the cosmetologist, dressing someone is about choosing clothes which will suit them. Their height, weight, build, hair colour, skin colour and so on will all play a part in the choice of clothes. Shoes, jewelry, hair accessories and bags are all examples of 'finishing touches'. Whether to wear a belt or not, to what height of heel goes best with a particular skirt are all vital parts of the decision making when choosing an outfit. Dressing for an occasion, to give a message or to fit in with an expected role all fall under this aspect of the skill.
: Choosing colours and length of clothes to fit with the person's body shape. Basic accessorizing.
: Picking outfits which more than fit, but which flatter and enhance the person's appearance. Accessorizing to enhance this.
: Being able to identify outfits, down to tiny details and accessories, which make the individual truly stand out in the crowd.
Skin, Nail & Hair Care
~ The use of products to moisturise the skin, cleaning and caring for the nails, talcum powder following a bath, shampoo or hair conditioner, applying perfumes and so on are all part of skin, nail and hair care. Cosmetology is the art of absolutely maximising physical appearance and so a regular skin, nail and hair regime is important to ensure that the individual always looks their absolute best. The use of hair dyes and massage also fall under this aspect of cosmetology.
: Washing, keeping clean and very basic care of skin, nails and hair. Basic massage techniques.
: Skin care regime such as moisturising, washing with shampoo (not the same soap you wash your skin with) etc. Basic hair dye techniques can be used, as can more complex and advanced massage techniques.
: Personalising the products to the skin, nail and hair type of the individual for maximum effect. Hair dye effects can be created, also.
: The shaping of nails and application of coloured polish is as much an art form as any other. This aspect of cosmetology involves shaping and styling nails and then adding colour and sometimes small jewels etc, to make the nails look attractive.
: Washing, keeping clean and very basic nail shaping
: Applying nail colour and more unusual nail shaping.
: Complex nail art and use of further accessories (small crystals etc).
As with most things the use of appropriate tools helps, or sometimes hinders, the cosmetologist in their role.
Application of Make-Up
~Make-up is usually applied with either brush or sponge, depending on the item. The quality of brush can make an enormous difference as stray hair which comes loose from the brush can ruin the finish of a look. The particular type of animal which provides the hair is a source of individual preference for the cosmetologist with some swearing that badger-hair brushes are the best, yet others believing only horse-hair will do and so on. There are literally hundreds of different types of brushes and each one is down to the individual. Sponges tend to be small and easily held between two fingers; they are used to apply foundation cream, often, and sometimes are part of putting on eye shadow.
~ Combs and hair brushes are the main items used here, needed to get rid of knots and tangles. Also used in the styling of hair are pins for holding it in place and decorations such as small items to decorate. Small combs can be left in the hair to hold it in place and these are often decorated also.
~ Mostly the tools used for dressing are the items themselves, but a good cosmetologist will utilise clothes pins in order to adjust size of garments as needed.
Skin, Nail & Hair Care
-Most of the products are applied by hand to the relevant part of the body and so limited tools are needed. However, nail care involves using small, sharpened sticks to push back cuticles, for example, and files for shaping nails.
~ The paint is applied with a small brush, which is dipped in the paint and then applied in a thin coat. Some cosmetologists use small amounts of glue to attach crystals and so on to nails also. If this is the case, precision tweezers are also needed ~ and a steady hand!
A Note About Tattoos:
In order to successfully apply tattoos, one must have both Cosmetology and Medicine. Medicine allows for the use of needles etc in order to ensure that the ink is applied correctly beneath the skin and Cosmetology is the skill which encompasses every other aspect of tattooing. The characters skill as a tattoo artist is equal to whichever of the two skills is lower
Design ~ This skill can be useful for the professional Cosmetologist, maybe in planning outfits etc. Specifically, fashion design and cosmetology go hand in hand as the designer uses their knowledge of what will look good on the individual to plan the best they can.
Needlecraft ~ The ability to take in or let out clothes is obviously useful but Needlecraft can also be used to add a trim to a shirt, a frill or flower to a skirt and so on.
The novice cosmetologist is focusing on learning basic tools and techniques. They will tend to focus on one or two aspects of cosmetology, such as application of make-up and hair styling. As they progress through this level, the character begins to realise that they need to look at the whole picture in order to be most effective in their use of Cosmetology. At this level, the character is able to make someone look nice, but they tend to do so by utilising a very general approach, not really able to tailor their approach to the individual.
At Novice, the character knows all basic techniques for two aspects of cosmetology, usually application of make-up and hair styling, though not always
At this level, the character is able to competently use all basic techniques and tools and is becoming adept in the one or two they focused on initially, developing some of the intermediate techniques for those. Now able to approach cosmetology in a "whole picture" manner, they start to see links between the aspects and are able to make someone look good, increasing their attractiveness.
At Competent, the character knows intermediate techniques for the two aspects of cosmetology identified above, and all basic techniques for all aspects.
: 76 - 150
As the character achieves expert cosmetology, they become able to undertake all techniques for the one or two aspects they focused on initially, and are able to utilise intermediate techniques in all. The character is able to truly enhance how someone looks, emphasizing good points and negating flaws with apparent ease. Someone who has expert cosmetology is able to prepare an individual and ensure that they look, and feel like they look, their best.
At Expert, the character knows advanced techniques for the two aspects of cosmetology identified above, and all intermediate techniques for all aspects.
The master cosmetologist is able to use the techniques they have learned to deliver the full package. With advanced techniques in all aspects, they can do more than enhance the good and negate the bad, they are able to make someone truly stand out from the crowd. On the stage, in the ballroom or at work, the person who has been prepared by a master cosmetologist draws the eye and attention and is, essentially, exquisite in every detail. Every inch and every aspect has been considered and they are sure to be the focus of attention.
At Master, the character knows all advanced techniques for all aspects.