With so many of today’s products and the desire to look youthful and at our most beautiful, you may have wondered where it all started. Cosmetics have been around for over 6,000 years and have evolved throughout history and cultures.
Ancient Egypt is known as the birthplace of cosmetics. We all know Cleopatra; she had that seductive look, dark hair and dark beautiful kohl- rimmed eyes.
Do you know why that look was popular and how they even applied cosmetics way back then? What kind of products were used?
Beauty in Ancient Egypt was quite interesting! Skin care was very important and keeping the skin gorgeous was a priority. The products they used to keep the skin supple were castor oil, sesame oil and moringa oil and hydrated creams were made of beeswax, olive oil, and rose water. You can find these ingredients in some of our products today. Another product that was used similar to our chemical peels we use nowadays was almond oil, (which I love to use) and is quite gentle on the skin. Sea Salt was used for exfoliation . They loved their milk baths and using honey in hydrating the skin. We use aloe vera for burns and wounds and wouldn’t you know –they were doing this thousands of years ago in Egypt.
Makeup was worn by everyone except slaves and lower class citizens. Yes, even men wore makeup! Some believed makeup had magical powers. White skin, kohl (lead based) and green eye paints( made of green carbonate of copper) were used to define the eyes. Kohl was used to protect the eyes from the bright sun. They based the shape of kohl around the eyes on the God Horus. If you wore your makeup this way, it would protect you and ward of evil spirits and was also important in the afterlife. It was important that when you were being buried right before the Hall of Justice, that you were clothed properly and your eyes were rimmed with Kohl.
Hair Styles were different for each of the classes. Women wore their hair long with a curl and a natural wave and some even wore wigs. Diadems were headbands they used for decorating their hair and also used hairpins and ribbons and flowers. Combs, tweezers, shavers and hair curlers were used. Men wore their hair short while making sure their ears were visible. To help with balding and gray hair, they used beeswax and resin. Henna was also a product they used to tint the hair and nails and was said to “connect one with the earth.”
Modern day take on Egyptian look.
Hope you enjoyed learning some history with makeup and hair!xo