Regular use of deodorants is important. Young people however require very little make-up because they still have natural beauty and complexion. They may decide to use make-ups at later age to hide blemishes and wrinkles. It is necessary that you know how to use cosmetics and deodorants. It is also important to know how to choose and use hair care products.


Meaning of cosmetics and deodorants

Cosmetics are make-ups or substances applied on the body, mainly on the skin, in order to improve natural features. They include powders, body creams and oils, assorted face make-ups, nail vanishes, lip sticks, etc.

Deodorants are substances applied to the skin to take odour out of perspiration. Deodorants come in forms of “roll-on”, spray or sticks, with different types of fragrances or perfume.


Importance of Cosmetics and Deodorants

Make-ups or cosmetics are important for the following reasons:

  1. They are used to improve natural feature of an individual.
  2. They can be used to emphasize a person’s best skin, facial and hair features.
  3. They can be used to hide a person’s poor or undesirable features.
  4. Some make-ups can be used as treatment for such skin problems as pimples.
  5. When properly used they can make one look more attractive.
  6. Some make-ups can help protect the skin.


Points to bear in mind in the choice and use of cosmetics

The following points are guidelines for choosing and using cosmetics:

  1. Avoid heavy make-up.
  2. Use as little make-up as possible. This helps you to achieve a natural and healthy look.
  3. Choose and use cosmetics that suit your complexion and skin type. Choose those that bring out your natural look.
  4. Avoid changing your natural colour or complexion with bleaching creams or cosmetics.
  5. Choose and use cosmetics that can help to protect your skin.
  6. Close the pores on your face before you apply make-ups.
  7. Never go to bed without removing the make-up on your face.
  8. Choose good quality powder.
  9. Keep powder puff very clean by washing it frequently.


Make-up Kit

A make-up kit is made up of materials applied on the body and the tools for applying the materials or make-ups. These materials include:

  1. Assorted types of body creams, lotion and pomades.
  2. Assorted toilet soaps and bath jellies.
  3. Nail polish or varnish. Nail polish removers.
  4. Perfumes and deodorants.
  5. Hair make-ups.
  6. Face make-ups including:


  • Powders, which come in various colours and textures.
  • Eyeliners, applied at the lining of he eyelids.
  • Eye shadow, applied above the lining of the eye lid.
  • Mascara, applied to the eye lashes to make them dark.
  • Eyebrow liner, applied on the eyebrow.
  • Rouge, applied lightly at the cheek bones.


The various face make-ups are applied with special types of brushes. The eyeliner is however often in pencil form.

The Tools include:

  1. Various types and sizes of brushes.
  2. Manicuring set.
  3. Cotton balls and sticks.
  4. Facial make-up tools.


Procedures for the application of make-up 

The steps or procedures in the application of make-up are:

1) Cleansing: Clean the face and neck thoroughly with water and mild toilet soap. A suitable cleansing lotion can be used. The face must be clean before the application of make-up.


2) Toning: After cleansing, tone the skin by applying a suitable toning lotion/ cream. The skin can also be toned by simply splashing cold water on the face. Toning makes the skin of the face firm by closing up the pores.


3) Moisturizing: Apply moisturizing cream/ lotion all over the face and neck. This helps to:

  • Keep the skin fresh.
  • Prevent dryness of the skin.
  • Blend make-up more smoothly onto the skin.


4) Application of foundation cream: Apply suitable foundation cream or make-up. It helps the face powder to stay on well in the face.


5) Application of face powder: This can be applied with a clean piece of cotton wool or puff. Get the powder up to the hair line and down under he chins.


6) Application of other make-ups: After the powder, the other make-ups can be applied such as:

  • Lip stick on the lips.
  • Blush or rouge on the cheek.
  • Eye brow pencil on the eyebrow.
  • Eye shadow on the eyelids.
  • Mascara in the eye.


7) Application of perfume: Spray some perfume to complete your make-up. It gives the body a pleasant smell or fragrance. Do not apply too much perfume. Heavy perfume could be offensive to some people.



Deodorants are substances which can be applied to the skin, to prevent odour from forming on the body when a person sweats. Body odour is commonly caused by sweating or perspiration under the arms or in the arm pits. Deodorants are therefore used in the arm pits. There are different types of deodorants such as roll-on, spray or powder types.



These are special products or astringents that reduce the amount of perspiration a person secretes for several hours. It is now possible to buy products which are both antiperspirant and deodorant combined. They are called anti-perspirant deodorants.


Procedures for applying deodorants and anti-perspirants.

  1. Remove unsightly hair from under your arms (arm pits).
  2. Wash the arm pits thoroughly during bath. Rinse properly and dry with clean towel.
  3. Apply deodorant lightly according to type. Note that the skin may become irritated if you apply deodorant immediately after removing the hair.


Hair-care products

Hair-care products are the preparations which are applied to the hair or used in caring for the hair. They include hair shampoo, hair conditioners, hair oils and pomade, setting lotions, sprays etc.


Hair shampoo

A hair shampoo is a special preparation containing soaps, oils and sometimes proteins, which are used for washing the hair. When applied to wet hair, the shampoo gets down to the scalp. It also dissolves grease or oil on the hair and scalp, and then loosens any dirt in the hair. There are different types of shampoo in the market.


Hair conditioner

Hair conditioner is a special preparation that helps to restore strength and elasticity to the hair. It is particularly important for premed or damaged hair. When properly selected and used, it leaves the hair shiny, healthy, manageable and easy to comb.


Steps in the use a Hair Conditioner

  1. Shampoo the hair thoroughly.
  2. Rinse well with clean water.
  3. Dry the hair lightly with a clean towel.
  4. Apply the hair conditioner.
  5. Comb the hair through to spread the conditioner evenly on the hair.
  6. Leave the conditioner on the hair for 1-20 minutes, depending on the type of conditioner.
  7. Rinse the hair with warm water.
  8. Dry with a clean towel, comb through, style or plait the hair.


Every good hair conditioner carries instructions or directions for use in the container. Always follow these directions for best results. Some are instant conditioners, that is, they stay for just one minute on the hair. Others are protein conditions and have to stay for up to 15-20 minutes.


Hair creams, pomade and Oils

These are special preparations that help to:

  1. lubricate and soften the hair and scalp.
  2. prevent dryness of the hair and scalp.
  3. keep the hair glossy, pliable and healthy.

These preparations have either vegetable or mineral oil as their most important ingredient. There are different types and makes of hair oils, pomade and creams. Some are homemade while others are commercially made.


Guidelines for applying hair oils, creams and pomades

  1. Apply oil/pomade or cream on clean and dry hair and scalp.
  2. Apply the product lightly. Do not over-grease the hair and scalp. Over greasing causes dust and dirt to settle readily on the hair.
  3. Massage the product gently but thoroughly into the scalp.


Indigenous Cosmetics

These are naturally occurring local cosmetics. Some of them were used in the past to improve appearance. Some are still in use today. They include:

  1. Eye make-up “Tiro” (Yoruba) or “Tanjere” (Igbo): This can be ground into very smooth black powder. It is applied as eyeliner using a special thin stick reserved for the purpose.
  2. Cam wood powder “Uhe” (Igbo) or “Oshun” (Yoruba): This is a red wood which can be thoroughly dried and ground into a fine powder. It can also be made into a paste by mixing the powder with little water and palm oil. It can be used on the face and the entire body. It is said to have a smoothening effect on the skin.
  3. Body paint “Uri or Uli” (Igbo): This is a special body paint made from the bark, seeds or roots of certain trees. It also has some medicinal effects.
  4. “Lali or Lalle”: This is a special make-up made from leaves of a special tree. The leaves are ground into paste and mixed with lemon or lime juice. It is commonly used by ladies in the Northern parts of Nigeria to paint their finger and toe nails as well as the outline of the hands and feet.
  5. “Nzu” (Igbo) or “Efun” (Yoruba): This is a local chalk. It can be ground into a fine powder and applied on the face and body.
  6. “Edo or Odo” (Igbo): This is a yellow substance. It can be made into a paste and applied on the skin. It is said to have a smoothening effect on the skin.

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