Today there is no woman who does not use them, but more than 5,000 years ago, the ancient Egyptians already used beauty tools and formulas for ointments and oils. Learn what ancient cosmetics were like.
In the tomb of the queen of the Sumerians Shub-Ad, 5000 years before Christ, numerous beauty utensils and tablets were found that describe ancient formulas for preparing ointments and oils.
Thus 49 jars have been preserved in the Egyptian Antiquities Department of the Louvre Museum where they have been the subject of exhaustive studies.
The ancient Egyptians had a true mastery of cosmetics. In this way, natural pigments and synthesized products were mixed with binders made of animal fats to make different types of cosmetic compositions with varied textures and colors.
In Ancient Egypt cosmetics were used by men, women and children, regardless of their social class.
This mastery discovered in different investigations allows us to better understand the multiple uses of makeup from that time, as illustrated in ancient texts, statuary (a type of sculpture that represents the human form and expresses the supersensitive conceptions of man) and painting: beautification, divine worship, medicine, etc.
For this, they had a large number of accessories such as makeup jars, mirrors, combs, applicators, hairpins…
The most popular cosmetic was Kohl made with galena, lead sulfide and discovered substances such as cerussite, laurionite and phosgenite.
With all these elements a paste was prepared that was kept in small alabaster jars, and that moistened with saliva, was applied with ivory, wood or metal sticks.
The predominance of the galena in the matters analyzed by the researchers is confirmed by the presence of black makeup in the list of funeral offerings from the time of Khufu (He ascended to the throne in 2389 BC, being the second pharaoh of the Fourth Dynasty).
Black is described by the term “mesdemet” which, applied to the eye, would mean “Make the eyes speak, make them expressive” or “Paint the eyes”.
In the graves, next to the sarcophagus, bags of crushed galena were found. The dead took their raw materials for their afterlife.
They also created the first flashes to beautify the eye, for which they crushed the iridescent shells of certain beetles in a mortar until they obtained a thick powder that they mixed with the shadows.
Green shading, a favorite, was made from powdered malachite that was applied thickly to the upper and lower eyelids.
The henna was used to give hair a bright red. Many ancient Egyptians shaved their eyebrows and applied other false hairs.
Queen Nefertiti painted her ruby red fingernails and toenails, and Cleopatra favored dark rust red. Lower-ranking women were allowed only pale shades.
The ancient Egyptians started the fashion of painting their lips with a tint made of red ocher and natural iron oxide that they spread with a brush or a stick; they also dyed their fingers and toes with henna to achieve a reddish orange coloration.
If beautification was a daily concern, makeup was also associated with eye and skin health, a relationship confirmed by ancient texts recounting religious rituals and medical papyri.
Source: Eva Salabert, webconsultas