Cavemen may have been more stylish then we thought. Photo: Jupiter Images

In a discovery proving that vanity is as old as the ages, paleontologists have found that Neanderthals wore makeup. Apparently, they even carried their cosmetics in nifty shell compacts. (For dragging their lipstick to the club perhaps?)

Okay, we couldn't help ourselves, but this serious discovery comes from research on the living habits of Neanderthals in the Murcia province of Southern Spain.

Paleontologist Dr. Joao Zilhao told the BBC his discovery of yellow powder (for foundation) and crushed red pigments (for blush) are the "first every discovery of cavemen wearing make up."

We can totally embrace the idea that cave folk worried about their appearances as much as us more evolved Homo sapiens, but we are skeptical that this discovery is proof that cave folk had a beauty regimen.

Zilhao was emphatic that he had discovered the cave version of a cosmetics bag. "The use of complex recipes is news. It's more than body paint."

Um, sounds like some of the hype we hear from the cosmetics industry.

Still, we like the idea of cave beauty. Imagine the natural cosmetic discoveries that may have preceded us. We're thinking the original mineral makeup, crushed berries for lip stain, flower petal eyeshadow. Just add a new animal skin and you are good to go.

And, of course, there's the thrill of an approving grunt from our favorite cave sweetie. "Me like lip gloss."

Now check out prehistoric-inspired fashion.