Want to know how and why ancient Egyptian women achieved those feline shaped eyes? Then keep reading!
Culture behind cosmetics:
Both men and women wore eye makeup and other cosmetic products such as oils to prevent the skin from burning in the sun. Men and women of higher economic status wore more clothes and makeup. The ancient egyptians darkened their eye lashes, eyelids, and eyebrows and used the colors black and green to make their features distinct. Powders were used as makeup by ground up minerals and rocks in palettes. Then, they mixed this with water to form a paste.
Ancient Egyptians used makeup not only for beautification purposes. They also used it for medicinal reasons. They prescribed the use of kohl to combat eye diseases and to shield the eyes from the sun. Egyptian mothers would apply eye makeup to infants to strengthen the child’s eyes and prevent his/her eyes from becoming cursed. Also, the green eye makeup was used to replicate the eye of Horus, the God of the Sky and Sun.
Udju was made from green malachite, green ore of copper. This material was found in the mines of Sinai which was considered to be ruled by the Hathor, the ancient goddess of beauty. However the beautiful green pigment that it produced is harmful. “The exposure would eventually lead to irritability, insomnia and mental decrease,” says Dr. Joel Schlessinger, a dermatologist in Omaha, Neb. The skin can absorb the materials quite easily and lead to levels of copper in your body.
Kohl was made of soot and minerals. It was found around Aswan on the Red Sea Coast. This substance can be dangerous due to the high levels of lead. However, its dark opaque pigment was what gave ancient Egyptians their signature makeup look.