Skin care oils and perfumes were also used to protect the skin and eliminate any bodily odors that might offend the Gods, or each other. Nails were even painted by the ancient Egyptians and many dyed their hair. Their civilization was the first known to place such an emphasis upon their appearance. Imagine how excited they would have been had someone invented eye lash extensions all those years ago!
Iconic actress Elizabeth Taylor is perhaps best remembered for her 1963 chic portrayal of Egyptian Cleopatra in the eponymous epic, in which she wore saturated blue eyeshadow and thick, dark eyeliner. Glamorizing the ancient queen, she helped us perceive Egyptian civilization as being seductive, sensual and intensely beautiful.
We’re certain she would have enhanced her eyes for the performance with the use of eyelash extensions too, and as Elizabeth Taylor was renowned for her glamorous appearance off the big screen, it’s likely that she often wore eyelash extensions even when she wasn’t acting.
Depicting themselves with wide, almond shaped eyes enshrouded with copious amounts of eyeliner in both hieroglyphics and sarcophagi, they were known to have worn it every day and believed that it allowed Horus and Ra, the ancient gods, to prevent them from ever becoming sick.
Made from lead salts (somewhat surprisingly!), the eyeliner they wore every day helped to boost their immune systems due to the nitric oxide produced by the salts, and the black liner they’re so frequently seen wearing, was made from a lead-based mineral found in abundance in the desert. Stored in stone pots, soot was added to the liner to make Kohl or Mesdemet (their name for the eyeliner), and sometimes they also wore green eyeliner made from crushed malachite stone. Water or animal fat was then added to the powder to make it into a paste that could be easily applied around the eyes with a bone or stick, and the substance was known to have been a fantastically effective fly repellent and sunscreen! For added definition, the liner could also be applied to the eyebrows and eyelashes, and a cat-like shape was favored.
Even when the ancient Egyptians died and were mummified, their eyes were painted with liner.
No ancient civilization has been known to focus on their appearance quite like the Egyptians, and we probably have them to thank for some of the beautiful make up creations still in use today. To get your very own Cleopatra look, try eyelash extensions; the safe, simple and glamorous way to achieve iconic beauty, without all the fuss!
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