Black sticks of the pigment manganese, which may have been used as body paint by Neanderthals, have previously been discovered in Africa.
“[But] this is the first secure evidence for their use of cosmetics,” he told BBC News. “The use of these complex recipes is new. It’s more than body painting.”
The scientists found lumps of a yellow pigment, that they say was possibly used as a foundation.
They also found red powder mixed up with flecks of a reflective brilliant black mineral.
Some of the sculpted, brightly coloured shells may also have been worn by Neanderthals as jewellery.