Make-up is a form of art and expression. It’s more than just something you slap on your face to cover up flaws or accentuate features – it can be a way for people to express themselves, making their unique statement about who they are and what they want the world to see. So whether you’re looking for that perfect shade of lipstick or trying out some new eyeliner styles, make-up is always there for you!
Make-up has been around for thousands of years. The ancient Egyptians were some of the first people to use cosmetics and they have records going back to 3500 BC detailing procedures that involve applying makeup! In addition to their knowledge in chemistry, there is also evidence that they knew about certain skin care methods such as facial masks, exfoliation, and even facials.
Make-up in Ancient Egypt was not only used for aesthetic reasons but was meant to protect the skin from the harsh desert sun as well. They would often create heavy dark sooty eyeliner in order to deflect any bright sunlight away from the eyes which could be a very effective form of sun protection!
When you think of Ancient Egypt you probably picture the elegant and beautiful Queen Nefertiti. After all, she was one of the most powerful queens in Ancient Egyptian history and is well known for her iconic beauty.
Many would say that she is one of the most beautiful women ever to have lived. In addition to being a queen during ancient times, it is believed that she may have been a pharaoh herself when her husband took his place on the throne asking! Her name means “a beautiful woman has come”.
The famous bust of Queen Nefertiti which resides in Berlin’s Neues Museum was sculpted around 1340 BC by Thutmose. The bust itself was not painted unlike similar statues from ancient Egypt so it is thought that her lack of eye makeup may have just been the artist’s way of portraying the queen in an accurate light, without making her appear overly made-up.
Her skin tone for this bust was actually painted with a reddish undertone which would have made it seem like she had a suntan! The queen herself was not the only famous person to sport makeup though – there are records of the famous female pharaoh Hatshepsut applying make-up too.
Women were heavily dependent on male relatives to get ahead during ancient times so when married women went out in public they always wore some form of veiling over their face either by wearing masks or using long shawls.
The practice of veiling yourself was commonplace for married Egyptian women because it allowed them to show respect and modesty in the presence of other men. Even unmarried women usually wore some sort of covering over their face while out in public!
In addition to the veils that were worn by women during ancient times, they also painted their faces using cosmetic powders which were made from a base of white lead mixed with other ingredients such as ochre or red clay. Green malachite was used for green paint and yellow sandstone called khol was used for eyeliner.
There is a lot of evidence that suggests both gilding and black eye shadow were popular beauty practices amongst women but it is important to remember that Egyptian men also got dolled up too! This has been confirmed by finding cosmetic palettes made from siltstone amongst the belongings of mummified men.
The ancient Egyptians weren’t the only ones who used cosmetics though! Just as they had been doing for thousands of years, other cultures around the world also continued to do so as well. Parts of Mesopotamia began using kohl eyeliner as early as 4500 BC and later on other civilizations such as Greece and Rome would follow suit! It is said that Queen Cleopatra herself was a huge fan of makeup which included using a red dye called henna to paint her nails! During ancient times, it was common for people who lived near rivers or oceans because they were able to extract ingredients such as clay and seaweed.
In terms of geography, the Egyptians were restricted to ingredients that could be found either within their country or those that they could trade for. Therefore there were some restrictions on what women had access to as certain minerals and rocks such as carnelian and turquoise were generally only used by royals and elites. This meant that commoners had to use other ways to darken their eyes such as with soot which was made from burning oils or resins. It is true though that even if you weren’t a queen you still had access to cosmetics and beauty products too!
It wasn’t just ancient Egypt where men also got in on the act! There are several examples of priests, high-ranking officials, and Pharaohs who wore makeup. For example, records indicate that the ancient Sumerians wore eye makeup consisting of darkening agents such as galena which was also used to paint pottery. In addition to the Sumerians, other civilizations in Asia Minor including Assyrians and Babylonians wore copious amounts of makeup too so it is safe to say that wearing cosmetics was not a gendered practice at all!
The classic gender binary has often been considered an archaic concept for many years now but if you are still thinking that men’s almost exclusive love for sports or women’s preference towards shopping then thinks again! There are exceptions to every rule and the same goes for the way that people feel about their bodies since the evidence shows there are plenty of individuals who don’t always fit into the binary of either being feminine or masculine.
I’m not trying to suggest that you have to fit into some sort of category with regards to your appearance but if you never wore any form of makeup then would it be that bad? Of course, there is absolutely nothing wrong with wearing cosmetics and I know plenty of people who wear the stuff daily so they can feel empowered by how they look! However, for those of you who think men shouldn’t wear makeup don’t forget about ancient history because this was most definitely not the case!
What do you think about all the evidence that shows men used cosmetics throughout history? Does this change your perspective on whether or not guys should wear certain beauty products nowadays? Let us know in the comments section because I’d love to hear your thoughts on this!