Why did Egyptian Pharaohs wear eye makeup? That is a question I have been asked more than once when I was doing research on the makeup artisans of ancient Egypt. The short answer to that question is that the pharaohs wore eye makeup because it was part of their natural makeup.
Of course the Egyptians did not have foundation then and their eye makeup had to be done using oils, cream or powder.
Eyebrow cosmetics in those days were composed of henna, milk, butter, frankincense and myrrh. These ingredients, when applied with a thin eyeliner brush brought shimmer and color to the eyes.
In fact the Egyptians had such a variety of eye makeup products that they could change their eye color to match that of their dress. It is interesting to note that they never applied foundation to their eyes. That was reserved for the much later times. Why did the Egyptian pharaohs wear eye makeup?
Eyebrow makeup was not only worn by the Egyptian pharaohs, it was also used by the Renaissance era artists, painters and architects. The best known of these products are the “tears of a woman” from the 16th century.
Why Did Ancient Egyptian Pharaohs Wear Eyeliner?
Eyeliner is one of those cosmetics products that has been around for ages. Many famous celebrities from around the globe are addicted to this timeless classic, and its continued popularity proves its effectiveness over time.
In fact, Egyptian royalty was among the first people to use eyeliner and mascara; hence, its place of origin is still seen in the makeup products that Egyptian pharaohs wore.
As seen in the works of such artists as Rembrandt and Da Vinci, eyeliner was used to enhance one’s beauty in ancient times; this explains its presence in the royal courts of Egypt, as well as other parts of the ancient world.
According to legend, King Tutankhamen, better known as Tuthmosis, would put on eye makeup before entering the court of his palace. This practice became so common that Egyptian women would be seen wearing it even during the time of the pharaohs.
However, many do not believe this to be true; Egyptian historians say that it’s not possible for an ancient Egyptian to have taken care of his grooming needs without any help from anyone else; thus, the claim is just a myth.
What Was the Purpose of Makeup in Ancient Egypt?
In the Western culture eye makeup has typically been used to enhance the beauty of the face and neck. Although understood that the Egyptians also possessed similar makeup, such as lip-gloss, eye shadow and nail polish; these were applied only on special occasions, apparently as a part of their everyday fashion and style.
The Egyptian culture, however, took the practice of applying makeup to the eye more seriously and became the first civilization to establish a written record of this practice. The earliest Egyptian papyrus records that the ancient Egyptian Pharaohs wore eye makeup.
Although we do not know how the makeup was applied nor what the function of eye makeup was, it is clear from the Egyptian records that the ancient Egyptian women of the time regarded the eye makeup as very important and almost a religious obligation.
The true history of makeup in the ancient world comes only from the Egyptian paintings which reveal much of the ancient world’s beauty – it is clear that the ancient Egyptians revered beauty in all its forms, including the cosmetics that they wore.
The makeup of ancient Egyptians can be considered to be a precursor to the makeup worn by women in the modern age in which today we know it as cosmetic makeup. The Egyptian women of the time wore such elaborate makeup that many people believed them to be able to read someone’s mind.
Such theories did not hold water then and even today the mere idea of someone being able to read someone else’s mind seems ridiculous, but such beliefs did exist in the ancient world and it is possible that the early Egyptian women were using such makeup.
Why Was Eye Makeup Important to Egyptians?
The question I am going to answer in this article is “Why was eye makeup important to the Egyptian Pharaohs?”. This may seem like a silly question to some, but if you think about it for a minute or two you will understand the reasoning behind this question.
You see, back in ancient times all the men and women from all the different tribes and nations in those days had one thing in common, they all applied eye makeup on a daily basis.
This was necessary for them to look good and to hide any defects or imperfections that they might have had in their facial features.
Now let me put this in perspective for you, just remember the president of the United States also once told a group of people that he didn’t know why the media was so obsessing on President Obama, well when you really stop and think about that the answer to that question becomes very clear.
Back in those days it was very important for all the people to look their best, because being seen in public wearing imperfect facial features or defects of any sort was something that could potentially lead to the downfall of a government or even the overthrow of an empire.
What Were the Ancient Egyptian Beauty Standards?
Beauty is in the eye of the beholder, but beauty standards did play an important role in the society of the Ancient Egyptians. Most people don’t realize that the Ancient Egyptian culture held a very high standard of beauty when it came to beauty in women.
This is because most of the people that practiced this time period wore elaborate makeup to hide their imperfections and to make themselves appear more beautiful. Not only did the Ancient Egyptians wear makeup, but they also wore many different types of it.
Some of the most common types of makeup worn by the Ancient Egyptian women during their time period were: eyeliner, eye shadow, mascara, lip color, and eye makeup powder.
One of the most popular items that were used by Ancient Egyptian women during their time period were jostling shoes made from cloth or leather. These special shoes would often act as part of a woman’s makeup, acting as her best foot patch throughout the day.
They were not only functional but also very stylish at the time. The use of jostling shoes comes from how they would need to keep their feet supported during their everyday activities. Jostling shoes would be perfect for these women, as it would help them prevent any stress or strain from their feet during activities throughout their day.
What Did They Use For Makeup In Ancient Egypt?
Did the ancient Egyptian women wear makeup? That is the question many researchers are asking these days as they wonder what exactly did the Egyptian women use for makeup on their faces. Although much known about the cosmetics of the ancient Egyptians wore, much less is known about the makeup they used.
Although we do know that the ancient Egyptians wore lip-gloss, rouge and eye shadow, these were most likely used only on special occasions, as a matter of fashion, style and personality, and not for everyday use.
The true historical meaning of the makeup, however, probably never will be fully understood, even by specialists in cosmetics.
The true historical meaning of makeup, actually, can be understood from the earliest fragments of writings that portray women with cosmetic palettes. At the time of the pharaohs of ancient Egypt, women wore specialized cosmetic palettes on their faces to protect them from the sun and the effects of dirt and dust.
Although the true makeup was only a small part of daily life, it was an essential part of everyday beauty. Although the cosmetic palettes of the pharaohs varied according to each individual woman, the colors and shades remained consistent across the board.
Although we rarely find Egyptian cosmetics today, we do know that women during the time of the pharaohs wore makeup, and they also applied a variety of natural elements to their faces, such as wild flowers and animal skin.
Egyptians applied makeup to their face and their bodies to enhance their natural beauty. They knew that beauty was seen in the eye, and they spent time everyday applying eye makeup and creating the perfect smile for their facial features.
Today, we have the added benefit of cosmetic and eye makeup products that are designed specifically to enhance the natural beauty of the eyes. If you would like to see how ancient Egyptian women really looked, or would like to learn more about the makeup of ancient Egypt, please visit the link below for more information.