Egyptian makeup history | Introducing cosmetics at the time

Egyptian makeup history | Introducing cosmetics at the time 

The history of makeup in Egypt displays just how long cosmetics have been around. If you've ever viewed Egyptian art, you've no doubt noticed the dramatic eye makeup recent  on men and women. Ancient Egyptians of both genders routinely wore makeup and other cosmetic aids,like  perfume. They took great pride in their appearance and sought to increase their looks with makeup.

A Brief History of Makeup in Egypt

Ancient people had to work with what was obtainable in their environment. Egyptians turned to the natural resources surrounding them to make cosmetics.

Makeup Ingredients

As early as 4000 B.C., Egyptians utilized materials in order to design makeup. Some of the common cosmetics in Ancient Egypt contained:

  • Malachite, a copper ore, which given the green eye makeup color so greatly favored at the time
  • Kohl, utilized to draw thick, distinctive black lines, offering an almond shape to the eyes
  • Red ochre, which was utilized as rouge or lip color
  • Henna, which was broadly used to stain the fingertips and toes

Once ingredients were gathered, time-consuming preparation was required to make them ready to apply. Minerals were ground into powder and then blended with a carrier agent (often animal fat) in order to make it simple to apply and stay on the skin.

Making Up the Eyes

Egyptians mostly used galena (more commonly recognized as kohl) and malachite powder (a green mineral) for eye makeup. Galena was a black paint that shielded eyes from the sun, while malachite powder made the eyes seem larger and protected those who wore it. Both were applied utilizing ivory, wood, or sticks made of metal.

Black was mostly utilized around the eyes and an almond or feline-inspired shape was the norm. However, the galena could even be spread to the eyebrows and eyelashes for added definition. Green pigment was placed all over the eyelid and below the brow bone. Though styles varied as time went on, black and green were staples of beauty in the ancient Egypt.

Cosmetic causes played a large role in the daily application of eye makeup, but it was even used for health and protection. Both men and women participated in this elaborate ritual for a variety of reasons, like  a way to imitate the gods, to save  the skin from the sun (kohl was believed to repel flies and ward off infections, among other things), and give protection against evil (eyes without makeup were thought to be vulnerable to the Evil Eye). As a result, makeup became a source of individual power.

The most obvious way to differentiate the upper class from the poor was to look at their a applicators and storage. While everyone had access to the products utilized to decorate the skin, poorer people relied on clay pots and sticks. Those with money had ivory containers and applicators that were beautifully the carved and bejeweled.

Though the eyes had the highest importance, men and women drew curiosity to the lips as well. This was normally done with the utilize of red ocher. It was often applied alone but in several cases was mixed with resin or gum for a longer lasting appearance. As per to a Harvard paper on the history of lipstick, popular color choices contained red, orange, magenta, and blue-black.

Cleopatra wore a different red lipstick created from flowers, red ochre, fish scales, crushed ants, carmine, and beeswax. Her signature shade made red a famous choice, and as a result, the utilize of carmine became more widespread. Ingredients were mixed in either brass or wooden bowls (depending on class levels) and once the color had been made it could be applied directly onto the lips. This was done utilizing wet wooden sticks that acted as an applicator brush.

There were several cosmetic reasons the Egyptians chose to accentuate the mouth. Not only did the bold colors draw curiosity to this area but application had ties to social standing. As per to beauty historian Rachel Weingarten in a Bustle article on lipstick, members of royalty and the upper class wore lip paints to showcase their status in a society. It became a symbol of sophistication and importance, rather than just a beauty product.

Though poorer men and women even wore handmade lipsticks, it was largely regarded as something for the upper class. This is why well-off women were often buried with 2 or more pots of lip paint.

Adding Color to Cheeks

Much like paints for the lips, red ocher was generally used to add color to the cheeks. The procedure  of creating this blush started with mining naturally tinted clay (hydrated iron oxide) from the ground before it was washed to different  the sand from the ochre. It was then left to dry in the sun to create the natural color appear more vibrant. Sometimes it was left to burn in order to achieve a many intense shade.

After the pigment had been made , it was mixed with water for smoother application. This made a stain, similar to the several lip and cheek stains that are on the market today. Egyptians applied this handmade concoction to the apples of their cheeks utilizing a wet wooden brush. The end result was a noticeable flush that men and women praised.

While appearances were definitely a factor when it came to cheek adornments, red ochre did more than just make people look nice. People from this period utilized the pigment to protect themselves. Living in a hot and sandy weather meant their skin was often in danger because of extreme weather conditions and the harsh rays of the sun. Regular application offered both style also  daily skin protection.

utilizing red ochre on the cheeks was done by both the upper and lower classes. However, those with money and power normally  bought manufactured cosmetics sold in marketplaces. Poorer people often made their own versions at house.

Finishing Touches

    Moreover  to the application of face makeup, other beauty rituals were even practiced. A few of the most famous included:

    • Nail Care. The Egyptians used a kind of henna (a dye made from leaves from the henna shrub) to paint their nails. Since the length and color was often connected to social status, upkeep was mainly important. Not only did kings and members of the upper class have manicurists, human used henna to tint the nails yellow or orange.
    • Oils and Perfumes. High importance was placed on fragrance and skin care. Egyptians would keep their skin smooth, hydrated, and wrinkle free by applying creams and oils create from animal fats. Fragrances were even  very important as it was believed that good scents were godly. As a result, and they made fragrances products derived from flowers such as sandalwood, lilies, iris, and frankincense.

    Ties to the Past

    Much of our present -day makeup application is tied to the past. Just think about all from cat eye makeup to bold red lipstick and cheek stains. All date back to ancient times! Whether you are a history buff or love to obtain creative with cosmetics, there is no denying Egypt's impact. Their systems continue to influence and inspire.

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