For a work of fiction, I need to know how one would produce cosmetics from the available products at those times (circa 1500).

I imagine I would need - beeswax, which was probably widely available - oil - but which one? Linseed? Hemp seed? Perilla? - butter - for concealers, butter-like products. Cocoa, Shea butter I think we're not really available. Would avocado work? - pigments. I know white lead was common, probably some earth pigments as well.

Does anyone have any information about the ingredients available and used in those times?

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    Welcome to History:SE. Could you edit your question to clarify what you've looked into already, complete with links and references, and context if applicable? In particular, please let us know what you find missing or unclear about the Wikipedia entry on the topic, if one exists. This allows those who might want to answer to do so without needing to redo the work you've already done. You might find it helpful to review the site tour and Help Centre and, in particular, How to Ask. – MCW Nov 25 '19 at 17:30
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    Are you asking about Japan, China or Korea? Was there any butter in any of those regions at that time? I doubt that avocado was available. – MCW Nov 25 '19 at 17:31
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    We need more specifics: which 'cosmetics'? Make-up, wellness, ointments? For eyes, around the eyes, lips, general skin, teeth, hair; opticlly decorative, for smells/aroma; cleaning, protection… otherwise the approach chosen in the existing answer will fit nicely: once invented never (completely) out of style. Should this be about known, possible, actually in fashion, avantgarde trend or old style custom, hi/lo class…? – LаngLаngС Nov 25 '19 at 19:33
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    This question could be better. The title asked "how" (i.e. process) but then the body focuses on "what" (i.e. the ingredients) with no reference to "how" of late medieval cosmetics. Nothing wrong per se, but it could be better. – J Asia Nov 26 '19 at 8:57

Many of the following are anachonistic; I wanted to test to see if there was information on Asian cosmetics in history. I think the answer is yes; I selected the following from pages of results.

3000 BCE: The Chinese stain their fingernails with gum arabic, gelatin, beeswax, and egg. The colors are used as a representation of social class: Chou dynasty royals wear gold and silver, with subsequent royals wearing black or red. Lower classes are forbidden to wear bright colors on their nails.

1500 BCE: Chinese and Japanese citizens commonly use rice powder to make their faces white. Eyebrows are shaved off, teeth are painted gold or black, and henna dyes are applied to stain hair and faces.

Cosmetics Info

Please also consult:

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    I'd just like to mention that while this is clearly relevant, it probably does not fit the time frame given in the OP. (I assume the OP meant 1500 CE, not 1500 BCE.) – 0range Nov 25 '19 at 19:07
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    For base oil, I have just generally assumed it would be refined animal-fat during medieval times, or even prior. Unfortunately, I do not have references on this. Some parts of SEA still do this (home-made cosmetics), in the less developed regions. Again, no references off the top of my head. – J Asia Nov 26 '19 at 8:51
  • @0range: Then again, not that much evolution of techniques occurred until the late medieval era. – Denis de Bernardy Nov 26 '19 at 10:46

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