c.1600, "art of beautifying," from Latinized form of Greek kosmetike (tekhne) "the art of dress and ornament," from fem. of kosmetikos (see cosmetic (adj.)). Meaning "a preparation for beautifying" attested from 1640s (now often cosmetics).
1640s, from French cosmétique (16c.), from Greek kosmetikos "skilled in adornment or arrangement," from kosmein "to arrange, adorn," from kosmos "order" (see cosmos). Figurative sense of "superficial" is from 1955. Related: Cosmetically.
cosmetic cos·met·ic (kŏz-mět'ĭk)
A preparation, such as powder or a skin cream, designed to beautify the body by direct application. adj.
Serving to beautify the body, especially the face and hair.
Serving to modify or improve the appearance of a physical feature, defect, or irregularity.