Do you think an Ancient Egyptian put on their bold eyeliner and crushed beetle lipstick only to turn to their friend and say, I don't think this is "me" though-
Over 5,000 years ago, men and women both put makeup on to display their social status among each other, and the more they had on the richer they were. Don't take me as some sort of historical expert when it comes to Ancient Egyptian culture though, I'm still new and learning myself. I thought it could be fun to discuss scenarios comparing them to each other. After some fact checking I did my very best to get all of my information from reputable places. Links to where I got this will be listed at the bottom.
Could you imagine if we asked our family to bury us with our makeup palettes now? We'd be called materialistic or vain if we worried about our beauty products that much we request they toss them in a casket with our dead bodies.
Ancient Egyptian men and women were commonly buried with their makeup kits considering them to be holy and magical. Well-to-do women were often found with two pots of lip paint buried alongside them. Perhaps since they believed the afterlife consisted of a challenging journey to get to the next world, they wanted to have the best version of themselves arrive properly dressed. Makeup was a spiritual connection to the afterlife, something our culture has certainly NOT adopted now. See ladies, that's all we need to do in order to excuse our Ulta purchases, tell everyone it's important we have it to protect our immortality.
If you were to ask me, makeup could totally be considered part of my personal religeon.
Doing my makeup is a ritual of relaxation, putting on music or a podcast, and zoning out in my beauty room. I'm often thinking about my day to come or reflecting on the dream I had. It's peaceful.
Some of the ingredients put in our current lipsticks are finally getting away from animal fats, with most brands going fully vegan in their formula's so they're marketable to a larger audience who believe all products should be cruelty-free (100% agree).
In Egyptian times of days past, crushed bugs (carmine) were used to get vibrant colors, popularized in their bright red hue by those who were of high class such as Cleopatra. Eye makeup was the cultural standard on the daily for them and colorful lips would be just a bonus point of social stature and wealth- so imagine this scenario 5,000 years ago:
You're with your dude...both of you are waking up from your straw floor mat, cracking your backs, you put on a pot of tea and sit down to get ready for the day. You realize your man has stolen your eyeliner branch to do his makeup so you move on to your clay that you wet a bit to work up a good pigmentation for dabbing onto your cheeks for a nice natural flush- After all, you spent a good portion of the previous day baking it in the sun to get it to just the right hue. You then look over and see your fella has chosen a nice combo of blue/black lip paint and figure "heck let's be matchy-matchy today boo", so you paint your lips black too. You both step out of your home onto the streets of Egypt and parade around proudly with ten lbs of eyeliner and lipstick on looking for a cat to adopt which is easy to do cause they're literally everywhere. You name it "Nile". The end.
I guess it's just weird to put into perspective that thousands of years ago, people were confidently going for it in their cosmetic routine, and still to this day I hear women regularly say they don't have the confidence to wear a bold red lip or experiment with their eye makeup more. Dudes I know want to wear makeup but aren't sure where or how to start. It blows my mind how society can still influence what's considered accepted at any given time in the ebb and flow of that particular era. What once was common and no bid deal, is now taboo.
Chicks were painting flowers on their cheeks in the 60's and wearing Twiggy style lashes, but now would look like they were attending a kid's party. So what will be the observed token style of this time but in the future, say 3,000 years from now? Will people look back and think "WOW can you believe women went to shops and had acrylic and plastic glued to the tips of their nails, inhaling toxic chemicals for an hour that even the manicurists wore masks to protect themselves against?" They will uncover digital videos on hard drives of people (me) taping other people's hair into our heads. "What an odd civilization" they will think as they scratch their bald brain domes with dragon-scaled hands and skin that shines like a crystallized geode. "We must study them more and try to find why they felt the need to attach mink hair to their eyelids. Let's take these files back to our home planet since this one is totally wrecked by this odd species." They will say without speaking since they can literally just think a thought and it is so.
Ok, I'm done pretending I know what future people will be like, but it sure is fun to imagine.
I hope that was a fun quick little bloggy of then and now. I love the history of things, especially topics I'm interested in specifically cosmetics and fashion. I hope to dig up more entertaining topics like these and base some beauty looks off of them.
I refuse to feel confined into the social chains of mediocrity and will always allow creativity through makeup and style to be my expressive freedom, that's what social media and blogs are for right? Showing off your skills-
Thanks for reading.