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Ancient Egyptian Make up.

Updated on January 31, 2012

Think Egypt, What comes to your mind? Pharaohs, mummies, goatees, pyramids, bob hairstyles, elaborate make up specially eye make up. Be it a male or a female not one picture of an egyptian is without make up! When I think of Egypt, I am transformed to another time and place where I am standing in front of a pyramid, marvelling at the beauty of it!

Egyptians were big on cleanliness and considered facial or body hair a sign of neglect and uncleanliness. Tweezer with blunt or sharp edges were used to remove hair. Various oils and perfumes were used to protect their skin from the hot climate and counter body odor.They were fond of strong scents and made perfume by extracting scents from flower, fruits and seeds.

They made pomades by soaking layers of flowers in fat. A popular form of pomade was cone shaped and worn on top of the head, which would melt slowly and run down the face and neck of the wearer. These cones were filled as soon as they got empty throughout the evening!

Egyptians were very particular about their eye make up , popular shades of eye make up were black and green. The green color was made of malachite, an oxide of copper. Black kohl was called galena. Both malachite or galena were ground on a pallette with gum or water to make a paste. it was applied with sticks which were round ended and were made up of wood, glass or bronze.

Henna was used to color hair, lips and nails. Tattooing was also practised, some mummies have tattoos on their chest, shoulder and arms.

Human hair wigs were also popular. Ancient egyptians shaved their hair, replacing their natural hair with wigs. These wigs were precious to them and they kept them clean by washing and beautifully scented by placing cinnamon in the box in which wigs were kept. They believed that one needs wigs even after death for the after life and the dead were buried with their wigs!

Coming back to make up, The egyptian were a beauty consious lot! They were quite keen on making themselves beautiful and attractive.There were different dress codes for people of different status. The rich wore more clothes and more make up. The egyptians were using galena, kohl or malachite powder on eyes as early as 4000 BC!

There were sevral reasons the Eygyptians used this eye make up for --:

>It had disinfectant qualities

>As a deterrant to flies

>To protect them from evil eyes

Green malachite eye make up was made by grinding malachite and mixing it with wax. They believed that there was a deep connection malachite had with Horus, the God of sky and sun, so malachite was used to evoke blessings of Horus.

Egypt eye make up--:

Saffron--:Its an expensive yellow color spice which they used as an eyeshadow

Jasper--:Its a mineral which they ground and used as a medicinal eye treatment

Burnt Almond--:They created beautiful eye color with this

For lips and face

Ceruse--: It was used to lighten their face

Fat--: They used goose or bear fat as wax base to hold the pigments

Red ochre--: This clay was used as a rouge

Wine--:The dregs from wine was used on lips as now what you can consider as a lipstick

Chalk--: This was used to whiten the face

Out of these henna and kohl are still being used today!

Kohl application

>Dampen kohl stick with a little bit of water or oil

>Dip the kohl stick in the kohl and gently twist it so that the kohl sticks to it.

>Shake off the extra kohl, we would need just a thin film on the stick

>Apply it to the inner corner of the eye and slide the stick, closing the eye

It gives your eyes a smoky, smudgy, sexy look !

Talking about make up and beauty, who can forget the beautiful and bewitching Cleopatra? She used to bathe in donkeys milk to make her skin soft and glowing!!!


The egyptians were using make up as early as 4000BC!
The egyptians were using make up as early as 4000BC!
Ancient egyptian eye make up
Ancient egyptian eye make up
Egyptian women probably looked like this!
Egyptian women probably looked like this!

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    • profile image

      Gigi 

      5 years ago

      thnx for the help i hve a project due this ucoing monday so this helped out alot :)

    • profile image

      jaz 

      5 years ago

      thnx i was doing a project. And its to hard but thnx.

    • profile image

      JAZ 

      5 years ago

      thnx i have a project comming up in Feb.21 2013 and i have alot to do.

      I LOVE IT!!!!!!:)

    • profile image

      jaz 

      5 years ago

      COOOOOOOL!!!!!:)

    • profile image

      Me 

      5 years ago

      HEHEHHEHEHHE

    • profile image

      Petra 

      5 years ago

      Hi zeni, I also from India and I'm a cosmotologist and I love makeup!

    • profile image

      zeni 

      6 years ago

      hi i am from india ,i am a cosmotoligst so i want to know where the beauty come from how they used to make up ,i am doing a project on it thaks if u help mw

    • profile image

      lynn love 

      6 years ago

      Helpful but Cleopatra was BLACK! She was of dark skin a women of color am jus saying

    • profile image

      Luvandi Cloete 

      6 years ago

      It was very cool and helpful

    • profile image

      your worst nightmare 

      6 years ago

      this sight was very helpful hahahaha

    • profile image

      MyBum 

      6 years ago

      hello this is bum. how are u today...good thing this....but needs more info on the face and what they did to their face and maybe how and what they used.....

    • profile image

      your worst nightmare 

      6 years ago

      this sight is very helpful

    • profile image

      ashley 

      6 years ago

      I Thought That It Was Really Awesome And That The First Pic Was REALLY Creative I LOVED IT SOOOOOOOOOOOOO MUCH I Fell IN LOVE With It!!!

    • profile image

      cassandra 

      6 years ago

      It's good info but i need the bibliography just like ali said

    • profile image

      mariana 

      6 years ago

      Thank you so much that was helpful!

    • profile image

      ali 

      6 years ago

      thx I'm doing a project and i need the publishing date and more like author name for a bibliography plz!!!!!!!

    • profile image

      JessicaLove 

      6 years ago

      This was very helpful. ThankYou! ;P

    • profile image

      G4eleven 

      6 years ago

      I caught a few things like you missed the h on Pharoahs and some other things, but other than that, I got good information

    • crayonbrains profile imageAUTHOR

      crayonbrains 

      6 years ago from The World Is Mine !

      Thank you Rose :)

    • crayonbrains profile imageAUTHOR

      crayonbrains 

      6 years ago from The World Is Mine !

      Only if done right :) Thank you for commenting Leii.

    • crayonbrains profile imageAUTHOR

      crayonbrains 

      6 years ago from The World Is Mine !

      I second that Rose :) Thank you for commenting.

    • crayonbrains profile imageAUTHOR

      crayonbrains 

      6 years ago from The World Is Mine !

      You are welcome Cassidee :)I hope u did well :)

    • profile image

      Cassidee 

      6 years ago

      Thnx! im doing a project in my history class about this..(:

    • profile image

      rose 

      6 years ago

      i love make up its fun!

    • profile image

      leii 

      6 years ago

      i thought make up was pretty

    • profile image

      rose 

      7 years ago

      clia looks nice

    • profile image

      meina 

      7 years ago

      tnx so much for the info really helped on project. here is a link to another website to put even more info on here. tnx

    • eventsyoudesign profile image

      eventsyoudesign 

      7 years ago from Nashville, Tennessee

      Good article. Interesting information. Even the ancient Egyptians were vain. I will read more. Teresa

    • profile image

      aFGAHHS 

      7 years ago

      There should really be the authors name on the homepage!!!!

    • profile image

      alan 

      8 years ago

      kohl is really dangerous because it has lead in it

    • profile image

      hi allan 

      8 years ago

      good egytpian pictures

    • profile image

      enjoy 

      8 years ago

      great picture or would you like me to say good pictures

    • crayonbrains profile imageAUTHOR

      crayonbrains 

      8 years ago from The World Is Mine !

      Thank you Gail Force for the info..I appreciate it and am glad you visited my hub and commented :)

    • profile image

      Gail Force 

      8 years ago

      Kohl, made from Galena is toxic because of the lead it contains. Malachite, from copper, is also toxic. Sure was beautiful though. Today, charcoal replaces kohl in most make-ups...

    • crayonbrains profile imageAUTHOR

      crayonbrains 

      9 years ago from The World Is Mine !

      Thank you so much Aqua! I appreciate your stopping by and commenting.

    • Aqua profile image

      Aqua 

      9 years ago from California

      Looks like women have been using makeup, plucking, and shaving for centuries! The Egyptians were certainly creative in the materials they used for makeup. Now days most if it is just a bunch of chemicals, but the substances they used were all so healthy. This was a very interesting read!

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