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Even the most seasoned beauty lover may not realize that “What’s New” may not necessarily actually be new. The practice of painting one’s face or using seemingly bizarre concoctions for beauty purposes has been around since ancient times all over the world, and though how it’s done or what ingredients are used may have fluctuated over time, it’s not something that will ever change.
Trends tend to come and go over time in fashion, and beauty is no exception. From the Ancient Egyptian practice of lining one’s eye to the naked skin look with a barely there flush on the cheeks that was popular during the Edwardian era(both of which, oddly enough, happen to be en vogue right now), beauty has continuously repeated itself while also constantly evolving in many different ways that you may not consciously be aware of.
Red on the lips and cheeks is a fashion statement that has truly endured the test of time, though the reason for this may not be quite what you think. Yes, red is the color of power, but it’s also the color of youth. Blushed cheeks and a red pucker is associated with the flush of youth and vitality, as well as virility, passion, and love. So it’s no wonder it’s something that has endured the test of time.
The color red is the longest-standing beauty item in the history of the world, as well as the most multipurpose color, from lips to cheeks and even eyes and brows, though that is relatively a contemporary fashion. How red has been used through the ages has varied wildly, but the use of this color has remained. Walking into a store, there are now hundreds of variations and formulas of the color red in makeup, from blue toned reds to orange ones, as well as in finishes, from sheer finishes to the ultra-pigmented.
The color red has been around for thousands of years, and will likely be around for thousands more...so if you’re one of those beauty lovers who thinks that they can’t rock a solid red lip, think again and keep trying until you find the right one for you! It’s out there, and luckily for you, it won’t have toxic vermillion in it like they had to use in Ancient Greece! Yay for living in modern times, right?
Darkening the lash line with products is a trend that has been around since ancient times, and with good reason! There’s nothing quite as eye-opening and seductive as a perfectly lined set of eyes. What is considered attractive when lining one’s eyes varies from era to era as well as culture to culture, but the goal is ultimately the same and the importance of the eyes, whether they are lined or not, remains the same. After all, as the old saying goes: “The eyes are the windows to the soul”, right?
As far as eyeliners themselves go, the variations we have are relatively new when talking about pencils, gels, liquids, or creams. However, the most enduring TYPE of eyeliner is kohl. It’s difficult to pinpoint throughout history where or when certain beauty products have originated, but the origins of kohl are very clear, and you probably know the answer even if you don’t know much about makeup. Yup: Ancient Egypt! You’d be hard pressed to find a piece of Ancient Egyptian artifacts, from sculpture to art, that doesn’t have the subject with those oh-so-perfect cat eyes.
So the next time you find yourself lining your lash line or winging out that eyeliner for cat eyes, remember that you are emulating many of those who came before you, and are now part of that history too! As a history buff, I find that so freakin cool!
If you want to know more amazing stuff like this, check out Facepaint: The Story of Makeup by Lisa Eldridge, which can be found at www.lisaeldridge.com