History of Makeup



    Modern-day makeup has come a long way and has gone through many different phases since its first appearance to become the makeup we all love today. And over the years it has used many different ingredients, even nowadays, ingredients in makeup are still changing! An example of an ingredient that is no longer used in makeup was shown in an article titled “Earliest Mercury Poisoning From Cinnabar Pigment In Makeup” it says,” Makeup was lethal 5,000 years ago because it was laced with mercury.”  Another article named “Mercury In Makeup” revealed that the FDA only banned mercury from being used in most makeup products in 1974. Meaning, that if you were wearing makeup over 5,000 years ago or up to 1974 your skin could’ve been badly damaged or even could’ve become a grayish color! Of course, this ingredient is no longer used in makeup but it’s still interesting how far makeup has come. Which makes me wonder, where did makeup start and how did it get to the point it is now?

Modern-Day Makeup


    Well, It all started off in Ancient Egypt, where makeup dates back to 4,000 B.C.E. An article titled “Why Did We First Start Wearing Makeup?” stated that the first creator of makeup was unknown, so unfortunately we don’t really know who to thank for the amazing invention. What we do know, was that the earliest culture to ever wear cosmetics was Egypt. The most well-known makeup product from Egyptian times was black eyeliner.  Black eyeliner was worn by both men and women and was worn to mark wealth, it was also believed to appeal to the gods. Some makeup ingredients used to make this black eyeliner were extremely poisonous to human skin. A website named “Facial Makeup In Ancient Egypt” stated,” This makeup mixture was made of carbon, lead sulfide, and manganese oxide and was used to enhance the beauty of the eyes.” Another popular makeup product was crushed-down malachite which was turned into eyeshadow, specifically in the shade of green. The Article made by “Thrive Causemetics” explained that the reason the shade green was so popular was that it represented the gods “Horus” and “Re.” It wasn’t long till other countries followed. A website named “Beauty Archive” informed me how in Greece around 1,000 BC makeup became a big sign of femininity, and in Rome around 100 AD men and women used lip paint, as well as Kohl which was used to darken eyelashes and rouge on the cheeks to work as blush. Some Romans even went as far as using chalk to whiten their skin! 


Black Eyeliner Shown In Ancient Egyptian Paintings


    While makeup was taking off around the world, in Victorian England it was seen as improper and vulgar because in Victorian England natural beauty was “favored.” When Queen Victoria entered the monarchy she wanted to make it respectable again and she didn’t see anything respectable about makeup. So women in victorian England weren’t allowed to wear makeup for a while, and people who did wear makeup were seen as ill-mannered. Nowadays someone can get bullied for not wearing makeup, Isn’t that crazy?

Victorian No Makeup Style

     But in the 1880s that all changed when the social view about makeup gained the title of “Socially Acceptable” around the world. “Beauty Archive,” said that this was also when the makeup products like red lipstick and dark eyeliner reentered the mainstream, but the problem with these makeup products was that they were made out of harmful materials. “The Changing Face Of Makeup,” says,” Women began using dangerous lead-based face powders to whiten their complexions, and due to the concern that women were being poisoned.” Thankfully in the late 90s, safer materials started being used. It was also around the time when the makeup brand “Loreal” was made, and the incredible thing is that even after all this time it has stayed as the most popular makeup brand!

90s L’Oreal

    Now in 2022, we have been blessed with makeup that is made out of safe materials and access to the internet that teaches us how to perfect our makeup skills. But the history behind makeup is really interesting and I’m glad you could learn about it with me since I’m glad I could learn about it as well!

More Modern Styled Makeup