Nowadays, people are constantly concerned about what’s going into their hair and makeup products, as well as whether or not the products they use are certified as animal cruelty-free. However, people in the past, particularly the ancient times, were never concerned about what went into their products. This was most likely due to the fact that they didn’t possess the kinds of science and technology we have now that lets us know what is healthy and unhealthy. Curious about ancient makeup practices? Well, read up on some of these practices that have been documented from ancient times!
10,000 BCE: Seems like a long time ago, right? And well, it was. In these times, men and women covered their bodies with different scented ointments and oils. They were more so a part of a hygienic routine than a cosmetic one. Either way, these oils and ointments came from using the ingredients from peppermint, sesame, almonds, rosemary, cedar, rose, olives, and many others.
4,000 BCE: This is the time when ancient Egyptian women began sporting what we would consider makeup. Consisting of minerals like copper and lead ore, women used to apply these mixtures to their faces for definition, highlight, and color. And that classic, ancient Egyptian eyeliner look? It was actually a mixture ash, lead, and ochre, which they called “kohl.”
3,000-1,500 BCE: Over in Asia, women began to “paint” their nails, by staining them with natural gum, egg, beeswax, and gelatin. They also began to paint their faces white by using rice powder, and shaving their eyebrows to paint them on with black henna dyes. Grecian women began painting their eyebrows too. However, rather than henna, they fashioned themselves fake eyebrows with oxen hair.
100 AD: This is when things start to get a little weird. During this era, Roman women began using the blood and fat from sheep to paint their nails. They were also more concerned with their appearances, and began using butter and barley flour to cover their facial blemishes including pimples.
Luckily, we’ve moved away from some of these practices. But it’s also important to remember that these ancient peoples paved the way for more modern (and humanitarian) forms of makeup!