Because of my love of makeup and history I’ve decided to do a couple of blog posts focusing on makeup throughout history.
If you look at makeup throughout the ages it’s fascinating how our beauty ideals have changed ( or how they haven’t) and it’s quite shocking to read how many dangerous ingredients were used to make cosmetics.
I’m starting with Egyptian makeup because it’s probably the most famous and one of my favourites.
In ancient Egypt both men and woman wore heavy eye makeup focused heavily on black Kohl eyeliner and green eyeshadow.
The green eye colour which was made from the toxic powdered copper carbonate Malachite which was the favourite colour of the Egyptians as it was intended to summon the protection of Hathor, the Egyptian goddess of beauty.
The use of Kohl made from crushed Galena (lead sulphide)created an illusion of a ‘ cat eye’ was a much more dramatic take on today’s winged eyeliner and inspiration was probably taken directly from cats which were a huge part of Ancient Egyptian culture.
A rouge and lip colour was often made from Red Ochre clay that was used to add colour to the lips and cheeks.
Makeup was not only used for physical enhancement like it is today but it also was a way of protecting their skin from the sun , keeping away flies and preventing eye infections as the lead content in the makeup acted as a toxic way to ward of diseases.