It’s important for us beauty editors to do our homework.

But, of course, in this vocation, homework is quite enjoyable!


A virtual library of knowledge, 100,000 Years of Beauty was created by L’Oréal, and aims to explore the age old question, “What is beauty?”

This is seriously the most comprehensive, academic studies on beauty ever written — and entire course streams could easily be based on its contents. It has, suddenly, become my esteemed household library, and I find myself wanting to blow off deadlines to just…sit and read and absorb as much of it as possible.

Maybe I can study it! It’ll be used by the Fashion Institute of Technology (FIT) in “Innovations in the Development of the Beauty Industry,” a course in the graduate degree program in Cosmetics and Fragrance Marketing and Management. The book will provide a platform for students to explore historical, sociological and socio-economic perspectives of beauty throughout the ages and across civilizations.

But seriously, you don’t need to be a student of beauty to appreciate this. It’s history, it’s culture, it’s EVERYTHING YOU EVER NEED TO KNOW ABOUT THE WORLD.

“100,000 Years of Beauty” unites contributions from 300 writers of 35 different nationalities and 20 different disciplines including anthropology, archeology, ethnology, sociology, psychology and more. The end result is a holistic look at the role of appearance through the profound lens of social sciences.

“In a fast-changing world L’Oréal explores the fundamental question of the meaning of beauty,” comments Béatrice Daustresme, CEO, L’Oréal Corporate Foundation. “Contributing to and shedding light on knowledge of beauty and reflecting on the business of beauty – these are some of the motivations inspiring this work of social sciences research.”

Pyramid in shape, “100,000 Years of Beauty’s” innovative design is beautiful in both form and content. Published by Gallimard and under the editorial direction of Elisabeth Azoulay, the book features five volumes, spanning five major time-periods in chronological order:

· Volume 1: Prehistory – Features the origins of beauty in the earliest human societies

· Volume 2: Antiquity – Examines the great changes that transform, from a sociological and psychological point of view, the pursuit of beauty

· Volume 3: Classical Age – Explores the medieval and early modern periods as bringing about worldwide shifts in fashion and beauty

· Volume 4: Globalization – Journeys through the modern era, which are marked by the age of the individual and the desire to achieve social equalities such as fighting against racism, claiming equal rights for women, and sexual liberation

· Volume 5: The Future – Dawns the new digital age and alternative movements where beauty is a focus for cutting-edge medical and biotechnological research

One reader will win the entire 100,000 Years of Beauty book set! (This is a value of almost $300!) To have your chance to win, please share your biggest beauty history question – do you wonder about the origin of something? Or the future of it? Share! Deadline to enter is March 20.