The Roman philosopher Plautus (254-184 BC) wrote, "A woman without paint is like food without salt", referring to makeup. Indeed, if you trace the history of makeup you will find that it is as old as the human civilization. And judging by the quote of the philosopher you can get an idea of how the ancients considered makeup-less women. To understand how makeup has ruled the lives of women, and of men to a certain extent, it will serve to one’s advantage if a brief idea of the history of makeup is known. Indeed the history of makeup is a roller coaster ride through centuries of styles, statements, and values. Like the present, where makeup styles come in and go, from its birth makeup had been undergoing several trends. Thus, the inherent wish of humans to look good is not just a recent phenomenon, as the history of makeup will show you. From Egyptian queens to European prostitutes, makeup is the one factor that binds all the women together, and it has been doing so since the time, beauty became a part of the consciousness. Read below for the interesting and amazing information on the origin and background of makeup.
Interesting & Amazing Information On Origin & Background Of Makeup
The Egyptians were pioneers in the field of makeup. The earliest known record is from the 1st Dynasty of Egypt circa 3100-2907 BC. Excavations of tombs of this era reveled unguent jars. Unguent was used by the Egyptians to avoid wrinkles from dry heat and also to keep the skin hydrated and soft. They also made kohl from antimony and used this to blacken the lashes and upper lid of the eye. They were also known to decorate their eyes with dark green color.
References to the painting of faces also appear in the New Testament and it is believed that the Jews probably got to know about makeup from the Egyptians. By the middle of the 1st Century AD, makeup was widely used by the Romans. The most common cosmetics that they used were chalk as a fairness lotion, kohl as mascara and eyeliner, and rouge on the cheeks. During the Greco-Roman period, the women would decorate their faces with lead and chalk while the Persian women during that period extensively used henna to dye their skin and hair.
During the middle ages, in Europe, the sign of wealth was portrayed by pale skin. This they achieved by bleeding themselves. During those times, Spanish prostitutes were distinguished by their pink makeup. In the 13th century, synthetic makeup first made its appearance in the form of lipstick. Pink lipstick denoted the affluence of women during that period.
In Elizabethan England, makeup was frowned upon as it was considered as a health hazard though women then put on egg whites to glaze their face. Heavy makeup surfaced during the reign of Charles II. This was the period of epidemics and heavy makeup was used to hide the pallor of illness, while in 18th Century France, lipstick, and rouge denoted a healthy and fun loving spirit.
In Europe, rural people made makeup using herbs, flowers, brandy, fat, vegetables, spring water, and strawberries. Early makeup also included the use of white lead and mercury, which caused various adverse effects on the body like hair loss, stomach problems, and sometimes even death. Another lethal substance used as makeup was belladonna, to make the eyes appear luminous.
During the Victorian period, makeup was associated with prostitutes and actresses. So, makeup was looked down by the society. The only makeup that Victorians used consisted of facemasks made from oatmeal, honey, and egg yolk. To cleanse the skin they used rosewater or vinegar. It was only during the 20th century that makeup found a wider audience. This era saw the birth of pancake makeup, mirror, puff, and powder blush. Gradually with the entry of mass marketing and with movie stars portraying the glam look makeup became a part of every woman’s lifestyle.