Ancient Roman makeup

The Ancient Romans loved cosmetics and those that could afford it  often kept beauty boxes full of make-up and cosmetic tools and ingredients.

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Ancient roman beauty box

Face 

Like many before Ancient Roman women desired pale skin and would  use dangerous ingredients such as chalk to achieve the illusion of  a fair complexion through face makeup.

 A red rouge was made from powdered red ochre which would sometimes  be mixed with fat to create a paste that could be applied easily to the cheeks.

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Eyes.

 Before Rome conquered Egypt and started to gain knowledge and inspiration  from Ancient Egyptian women ( in particular Cleopatra) greens and blue  eyeshadow was not yet used. Women used ground saffron to apply to the eyelids which was orangey in colour.

 Soot was popular and was used as eyeliner and to lengthen the lashes.  Long eyelashes were important to the Ancient Roman’s as it represented  a woman’s virtue as lashes were said to fall out from too much sex.

Thick eyebrows were popular as they were in Ancient Greece and soot  would again be used to emphasise the brow.

 Soot was often obtained using an oil lamp, which was an essential tool  when it came to creating  makeup.

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Lips

Lips were adorned red and again Red Ochre was used.

 Berries or wine could also be used as a substitute.

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21 thoughts on “Ancient Roman makeup

  1. What a lovely idea for a post and very well researched!
    It’s so interesting to find out what women would do to enhance their looks. Even if it meant harming themselves in the process.

    Liked by 1 person

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