ArtsAutosBooksBusinessEducationEntertainmentFamilyFashionFoodGamesGenderHealthHolidaysHomeHubPagesPersonal FinancePetsPoliticsReligionSportsTechnologyTravel

History of Makeup and Use of Ointments, Perfumes in Ancient Rome and Egypt

Updated on June 11, 2011
Anistorian Journal of History
Anistorian Journal of History
18th century makeup
18th century makeup
Ruby Keeler
Ruby Keeler
15th century makeup
15th century makeup
16th century makeup
16th century makeup
17th century makeup
17th century makeup

We have the evidence of use of makeup is early civilizations like Rome, Egypt and Greece. The tradition of early civilizations has continued to this day of advanced technology inputs and diversification of product range

Grave of the first Egyptian dynasties (about 3000 BC) revealed the material makeup jars ointments and perfume containers. Ointment was widely those days as a moisturizer to keep skin healthy and soft. Kohl has been a subject of makeup popular among Egyptian women. They used to make Kohl of antimony. The culture of Egypt makeup spread to other parts of the world. Jews probably learned the art of make-up of the Egyptians, as can be inferred from the face of the New Testament where we find references to painting.

Plautus, a Roman playwright, spoke of his preference for "painted women".  In the first century AD Kohl, chalk and red had been widely used in makeup. Women in the Greco-Roman culture favored white chalk and lead to add fair shade to their complexion. Pumic was popular as the teeth cleaner and rouge was used to give the rosy cheeks. The use of henna probably originated in Persia. Henna as a dye was popular among women.

Pale skin gained popularity as a status symbol in Europe during the middle ages, even as pink was popularly identified as a color worn by Spanish prostitutes. Synthetic pink lipstick, difficult to afford by ordinary women, was usually worn by affluent women to flaunt wealth.

Signora Toffna prepared face powder known as Aqua Toffna. Due to the presence of arsenic, this powder was quite dangerous to use, and consequently resulted in a large number of deaths. Signora Toffna was executed later. Elizabethan England refrained from the use of cosmetics because of their hazardous consequences, even as egg-white was popularly used to glaze to face.

At one time, especially during the Regency era, rouge was the most popular item used by almost every woman. Rouge and lipstick were also popular makeup items during the 18th century France that indicated free, healthy and warm spirit.

Even as excessive make began to be despised, color consciousness was widespread, as a result women used whiteners and stain removers to impart an impression of pale skin; and carried parasols to avoid sun-tan.

While synthetic makeup was quite popular during 1800s, women in the country side made luxurious use of flowers, herbs, spring water, henna, crushed berries and vegetables as well as fat, honey and wine as recipes to prepare cosmetics. During those days, the dangers inherent in chemicals like white lead and mercury was not quite known, even as these chemicals were widely used in beauty products. Even when the inherent dangers in cosmetic items were known, women continued to use belladonna, for instance, to impart beauty to their eyes.

The made rage for makeup was universal throughout the history, except Victorian England, where makeup was looked down upon as fit only for prostitutes, while natural ingredients eggs, fruits and flowers were used in makeup.

Today makeup industry is a multibillion industry with a truly diverse range of uncountable products. The industry has the advantages of modern science, state of art medicine and surgery to backup the claims of safety, over and above film-stars & models to promote these products.



    0 of 8192 characters used
    Post Comment

    No comments yet.


    This website uses cookies

    As a user in the EEA, your approval is needed on a few things. To provide a better website experience, uses cookies (and other similar technologies) and may collect, process, and share personal data. Please choose which areas of our service you consent to our doing so.

    For more information on managing or withdrawing consents and how we handle data, visit our Privacy Policy at:

    Show Details
    HubPages Device IDThis is used to identify particular browsers or devices when the access the service, and is used for security reasons.
    LoginThis is necessary to sign in to the HubPages Service.
    Google RecaptchaThis is used to prevent bots and spam. (Privacy Policy)
    AkismetThis is used to detect comment spam. (Privacy Policy)
    HubPages Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide data on traffic to our website, all personally identifyable data is anonymized. (Privacy Policy)
    HubPages Traffic PixelThis is used to collect data on traffic to articles and other pages on our site. Unless you are signed in to a HubPages account, all personally identifiable information is anonymized.
    Amazon Web ServicesThis is a cloud services platform that we used to host our service. (Privacy Policy)
    CloudflareThis is a cloud CDN service that we use to efficiently deliver files required for our service to operate such as javascript, cascading style sheets, images, and videos. (Privacy Policy)
    Google Hosted LibrariesJavascript software libraries such as jQuery are loaded at endpoints on the or domains, for performance and efficiency reasons. (Privacy Policy)
    Google Custom SearchThis is feature allows you to search the site. (Privacy Policy)
    Google MapsSome articles have Google Maps embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    Google ChartsThis is used to display charts and graphs on articles and the author center. (Privacy Policy)
    Google AdSense Host APIThis service allows you to sign up for or associate a Google AdSense account with HubPages, so that you can earn money from ads on your articles. No data is shared unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    Google YouTubeSome articles have YouTube videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    VimeoSome articles have Vimeo videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    PaypalThis is used for a registered author who enrolls in the HubPages Earnings program and requests to be paid via PayPal. No data is shared with Paypal unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    Facebook LoginYou can use this to streamline signing up for, or signing in to your Hubpages account. No data is shared with Facebook unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    MavenThis supports the Maven widget and search functionality. (Privacy Policy)
    Google AdSenseThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Google DoubleClickGoogle provides ad serving technology and runs an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Index ExchangeThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    SovrnThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Facebook AdsThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Unified Ad MarketplaceThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    AppNexusThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    OpenxThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Rubicon ProjectThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    TripleLiftThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Say MediaWe partner with Say Media to deliver ad campaigns on our sites. (Privacy Policy)
    Remarketing PixelsWe may use remarketing pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to advertise the HubPages Service to people that have visited our sites.
    Conversion Tracking PixelsWe may use conversion tracking pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to identify when an advertisement has successfully resulted in the desired action, such as signing up for the HubPages Service or publishing an article on the HubPages Service.
    Author Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide traffic data and reports to the authors of articles on the HubPages Service. (Privacy Policy)
    ComscoreComScore is a media measurement and analytics company providing marketing data and analytics to enterprises, media and advertising agencies, and publishers. Non-consent will result in ComScore only processing obfuscated personal data. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Tracking PixelSome articles display amazon products as part of the Amazon Affiliate program, this pixel provides traffic statistics for those products (Privacy Policy)