Tuesday, March 6, 2012

Makeup in History: Egyptian Makeup

The first archaeological evidence of cosmetics usage was found in Ancient Egypt in 4000 B.C.  Ancient Greeks and Romans also used cosmetics.  The Romans and Ancient Egyptians, not realising their dangerous properties, used cosmetics containing mercury and white lead.  Lead seems to have been around since time began!  The Ancient Egyptians adored their fragrances, particularly frankincense and myrrh, both are mentioned in the Bible.  They also used a wide variety of makeup tools and utensils.

 Kohl was used to outline the eyes and was made up of several different ingredients such as: lead, copper, burned almonds, soot, and combined with other ingredients.  It was believed that eye makeup could ward off evil spirits and improve eyesight.  If it were true, I'd have the best eyesight around, we love eyeliner at The Makeup Theory!  Even the poor Egyptians wore eye makeup.  The production of cosmetics during Ancient Rome, was usually done by female slaves called 'Cosmatae'.  Kohl was originally used as protection against eye ailments and glare from the sun.  Kohl, along with malachite (copper carbonate mineral) green in colour, and lipstick made from ochre oil.  Ochre oil is derived naturally tinted clay containing mineral oxides.  Cleopatra is known to have coloured her lips with carmine dyes.

Elizabeth Taylor as "Cleopatra"

Egyptian Makeup & Hair design worksheet

Egyptian Makeup Chart

Above are various Egyptian eye makeup designs we've created.  Note the inclusion of modern colours, eyeliner design and brow definition.  You can alter a traditional eye makeup design and give it a modern edge, great for runway styling, fashion photo shoot or performance.

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