Archaeologists have discovered that the ancient Egyptian temples illustrated men wearing makeup in their daily life. Thus, finding the portrait of an Egyptian whose eyes are not lined in an intricate fashion by kohl is almost next to impossible. Egyptian eye makeup formed an extremely important part of their daily prerequisite during all the dynasties and periods. Today we are going to take a look at the reasons which triggered Egyptian men belonging to all age groups and sects of the society seek out the assistance of makeup.
Egyptian eye makeup was extremely elaborate in nature and could be traced back to 4000 B.C. The earliest burials belonging to pre-dynastic period contained eye makeup equipment such as grinders, palettes and applicators which was thus deemed to extremely crucial in the afterlife. A plethora of cosmetics such as rouge, eye makeup and perfumed oils were used by ancient Egyptians which softened their skin and prevented damage which could be caused by the onslaught of sandy winds and sun burn. Galena powder has been accredited for possessing both fly-deterrent and disinfectant properties thus making it a top pick on ancient Egyptians. It was also believed to provide adequate protection against the intense sun rays which could otherwise harm the retina.
Ithinted at the usage of kohl both for ritualistic and practical purposes. Apart from warding off infection, protecting the eyes from the harmful rays of the sun and repelling flies, makeup was also used in impersonating the look of gods. Green and black hues were largely used in Egyptian eye makeup for lining the eyes and creating a feline or almond shape with its high pigmentation.
Psychic protection could also be rendered by the Egypt makeup as the word eye-palette was derived from “protect.” Ancient Egyptians held the common belief that unprotected and unadorned eye was vulnerable to the Evil Eye. Thus, it was considered an absolute must to outline the eyes as they served as a personal protective amulet which was drawn right on the skin and could bring along magical healing powers.
Cosmetics as we all know serve the main purpose of beautification in modern times. But in ancient Egypt, eye makeup had a bigger role to play than just painting a pretty face. While animal fats and oils rendered protection from harsh heat, sunlight radiating from Nile soothed their aching muscles. This is the main reason why Egyptian employers included them as a part and parcel of workers’ compensation. They were pressed into primitive moisturizers and thick lotions for catering to an Egyptian man’s health regimen.
Prior to leaving their house for taking up the day’s work, an Egyptian man used to take a few moments for adorning his eyes. Black kohl liner which extended up to the temples was pretty much in vogue amongst ancient Egyptians which could easily be perceived from the sarcophagus of King Tutankhamen. Egyptian makeup also included the application of bold highlights with a smoothed and flattened piece of bone or wood for sweeping the powdered mineral to the base of their nose from the brow line. While crude emerald eye shadow crafted using malachite was the talk of town in between 2650 to 2134 B.C, black shades entered the center stage of fashion in the later stages.