History of Makeup

It has been around for 6,000 years in human history

Cosmetics date from Egypt and Greece

In the Old Testament in The Bible, 2 Kings 9:30, Jezebel painted her eyes in 840 BC

Have been used across the globe from:


Egypt, eye liner was applied as Nefertiti the Great Royal Wife wore it.


Middle East

Persia, black Kohl powder used to smear and darken the edges of eyes like eyeliner.


Chou Dynasty, plum blossom leaves a floral imprint on the forehead to enhance beauty.



Crushed safflower petals to paint eyebrows and lips. Rice powder colors the face and back, indicating that she is still “new.”japan


White lead paint was used to attempt to lighten skin, however it was poisonous and killed many women. Spanish prostitutes wore pink makeup to contact pale skin and in   the 13th Century, Italian women wore red lipstick to show they were elites.

The Americas and Australia

Native American tribes painted faces for ceremonies or war battle.



As we compare to the history of makeup and how it has evolved, women can see that it derives from traditions, cultures and representation of how a woman or man should look. Like in Africa and the Middle East, the “cat eye” known as eyeliner today is still very popular and we can see how it has stuck to many cultures today. In Asia, the white-powdered face represents a woman still being “new”, like a virgin ready to get married and become a wife. As well as the Europeans staying true to their pale skin, white lead paint was used to stay pale but it is a toxic that can be dangerous to the skin. Today, powered isn’t used to an extreme, but women use powder to cover flaws, extract shine from the skin and look and feel beautiful as the Asian and European culture felt.