Etymology
Advertisement
cosmetic (n.)

c. 1600, "the art of beautifying, art of anointing or decorating the human body," from Latinized form of Greek kosmetike (tekhnē) "the art of dress and ornament," from fem. of kosmetikos "skilled in adornment or arrangement," from kosmein "to arrange, adorn," from kosmos "order; ornament" (see cosmos). The adjective is feminine because tekhne is a feminine noun.

Meaning "a preparation for beautifying, preparation that renders the n soft and pure or improves the complexion" (originally also the hair) is attested from 1640s. Related: Cosmetics.

Related entries & more 
Advertisement
cosmetic (adj.)

1640s, "pertaining to beauty, improving beauty," from French cosmétique (16c.), from Latinized form of Greek kosmetikos "skilled in adornment or arrangement," from kosmein "to arrange, adorn," from kosmos "order; ornament" (see cosmos). Related: Cosmetical (1550s). Of surgery, from 1926. Figurative sense of "superficial, affecting the appearance only" is from 1955. Related: Cosmetically.

Related entries & more 
cosmos (n.)

c. 1200, "the universe, the world" (but not popular until 1848, when it was taken as the English equivalent to Humboldt's Kosmos in translations from German), from Latinized form of Greek kosmos "order, good order, orderly arrangement," a word with several main senses rooted in those notions: The verb kosmein meant generally "to dispose, prepare," but especially "to order and arrange (troops for battle), to set (an army) in array;" also "to establish (a government or regime);" "to deck, adorn, equip, dress" (especially of women). Thus kosmos had an important secondary sense of "ornaments of a woman's dress, decoration" (compare kosmokomes "dressing the hair," and cosmetic) as well as "the universe, the world."

Pythagoras is said to have been the first to apply this word to "the universe," perhaps originally meaning "the starry firmament," but it later was extended to the whole physical world, including the earth. For specific reference to "the world of people," the classical phrase was he oikoumene (ge) "the inhabited (earth)." Septuagint uses both kosmos and oikoumene. Kosmos also was used in Christian religious writing with a sense of "worldly life, this world (as opposed to the afterlife)," but the more frequent word for this was aiōn, literally "lifetime, age."

The word cosmos often suggested especially "the universe as an embodiment of order and harmony."

Related entries & more 
eye-liner (n.)
also eyeliner, 1955, in the cosmetic sense, from eye (n.) + liner (n.2).
Related entries & more 
Botox 
a commercial name for botulinum toxin, and composed of elements from those words, approved in U.S. as a temporary cosmetic injection in 2002.
Related entries & more 
Advertisement
eye-shadow (n.)
also eyeshadow, 1918 in the cosmetic sense, in Elizabeth Arden ads in "Cosmopolitan," from eye (n.) + shadow (n.).
Related entries & more 
vermilion (n.)
late 13c., "cinnabar, red dye," from Anglo-French and Old French vermeillon "red lead, cinnabar, (cosmetic) rouge" (12c.), from vermeil (see vermeil). As an adjective, from 1580s.
Related entries & more 
slick (n.)
1620s, a kind of cosmetic, from slick (v.). Meaning "smooth place on the surface of water caused by oil, etc." is attested from 1849. Meaning "a swindler, clever person" is attested from 1959.
Related entries & more 
mascara (n.)

"cosmetic for coloring eyebrows and eyelashes," originally used by actors, 1883, mascaro (modern form from 1922), from Spanish máscara "a stain; a mask," from same source as Italian maschera "mask" (see mask (v.)).

Related entries & more 
henna (n.)
c. 1600, "dye or cosmetic from the henna plant," from Arabic hinna, name for the small thorny tree (Egyptian Privet), the leaves of which are used to make the reddish dye for the body or hair; said to be of Persian origin, from Arabic. Related: Hennaed (1860).
Related entries & more