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Wednesday, April 24, 2024

Ancient Cosmetics

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ancient cosmetics

Cosmetics might seem like a modern phenomenon, but they had a meaningful role in ancient life. In addition to making people look more beautiful, they also served a spiritual and medicinal purpose.

In addition to whitening skin, women and men used products to make their lips, cheeks and eyes appear more vibrant. They also applied kohl to their eyes to keep them from absorbing the harsh glare of the sun.

Red Ochre

When we think of cosmetics we often picture the modern industry of makeup artists that work on film sets and for special events, but there is a long history of makeup going back countless generations. One of the oldest forms of cosmetics was using red ochre.

Ochre is a naturally occurring clay earth pigment that is a mix of differing levels of iron oxide and other mineral elements. The natural colours range from yellow-orange to deep brown and even a beautiful red.

In ancient times, red ochre was a valuable commodity for trade. It was also a popular colour for paintings and clothing. During the Middle Stone Age, the pigment was used to paint cave walls and as an adhesive in the preparation of animal hides.

Today it can still be found in some regions of the world where natural deposits are found. It is a popular painting material and dye for many indigenous peoples, such as the Noongar of Australia and the Himba of Namibia.

It is also widely utilised as a natural sun protectant in many parts of the world. Some of the tribes such as the Himba in Northern Namibia use it to make a paste called ‘wilgi’ that they rub onto their skin and hair for protection from the sun’s harmful rays.

Another important purpose of ochre was as a preservative in animal hides, as well as a natural stain for wood and a coloring agent for pottery. It was also a staple of the Maori, who would make it into a paste and rub it on their large waka taua canoes for protection from the sun.

Interestingly, it has been discovered that the earliest recorded use of red ochre in paint form was by Neandertals as far back as 300,000 years ago. This was done by mixing the ochre with other minerals and using a stone tool to grind the mixture into a powder, which they then mixed into a larger seashell.


Cosmetics have been used for centuries throughout the world to beautify the body and promote good health. They are typically incorporated in religious rituals, but may also represent practical concerns like protection from the sun or indications of social status.

During the time of the ancient Egyptians, women adorned their faces with a variety of makeup including eyeliner and shadow. Their cosmetics were made from a variety of minerals and incorporated several colors.

One type of eyeshadow used in Egypt was a green pigment that was created by crushing green malachite stone and mixing it with animal fat or vegetable oils. It was believed to evoke the eye of Horus, the god of sky and sun.

It was applied to the face and was often followed by black kohl, which was used to draw thick lines on the eyes. It was a common practice for all women and was particularly popular among the royals as they could rely on it to protect their eyes from the sun’s glare.

Another kind of eyeshadow was a reddish hue that was based on ocher, which occurs naturally on earth. It was used to add color and definition to the cheeks and can be seen on portraits of Queen Nefertari (d. 1255 BC) on the walls of her tomb.

Eyeliner was applied to the upper eyelids and eyebrows, and it was often darkened with burnt almonds. It was a common practice for all Egyptians and served to enhance their natural beauty.


Eyeliner is a cosmetic that lines the eyes to create various aesthetic effects. It is applied around the contours of the eyes, and can be made from liquid liners, cream liners or pencil liners.

The history of eyeliner is a fascinating one, with many different types of liners that date back to ancient times. For instance, kohl was a black liner used by Egyptians in the 15th century BC. It was created by grinding lead sulfide and mixing it with other ingredients.

According to researchers, the ancients’ striking black eyeliner protected them against bacterial contamination to the eyes. It was thought to boost their immune system’s production of nitric oxide, which fights off infection.

It’s also believed that eyeliner is a social status symbol, representing a person’s wealth and power. It was especially important for royals, as they wore it to show their royalty and importance.

While it may have been a little out of fashion during the first millennium, eyeliner came into its own during the 1920s with flapper girls and suffragette women using it in excess. It was a look that took its inspiration from the style of Cleopatra.

But before that, women were using eyeliner in a much more discreet manner, often darkening their eyes with berries or elderberry plants. “Women were becoming more liberated during this time – they started getting the vote, they shed their skirts, and they were smoking,” says makeup artist Sarah Marsh.

In addition, the suffragette movement gave rise to the cat-eye liner on the upper lid that we now consider an essential part of makeup for the modern day woman. In the 1960s, liquid eyeliner was a big part of make-up trends associated with Mary Quant and goth fashion. Its popularity has continued to grow over the past 100 years, and has influenced both high fashion and everyday makeup looks.


Lipstick, a color-coated cosmetic product, is an important part of any fashion wardrobe. But it’s also a product that has a long history of use, dating back to ancient times.

Before modern day lipsticks were invented, women wore various stains on their lips to mark social status and denote kinship. For example, ancient Egyptians smeared red lip paint on their faces as a way to convey wealth and rank.

In Mesopotamia, upper class Mesopotamians used crushed semi-precious gems to color their lips and decorate their faces. The first lipstick, a mix of white lead and crushed red rocks, was found in Ur around 3500 BCE.

As time went on, people began using a variety of different ingredients to create lipsticks. Mulberries, lemon and rose petals were all popular choices among the ancients.

However, many of these concoctions were poisonous. When it came to modern day lipsticks, we’re accustomed to using natural ingredients like jojoba seed oil and mango butter to make lips look plump and healthy.

When it comes to lipsticks that contain toxic elements, the biggest problem is retinyl palmitate, a synthetic form of vitamin A. This ingredient can cause certain cancers if it is absorbed into the skin.

The other major concern is lanolin, which is present in many commercially produced lipsticks. It can exacerbate dry lips and can be a risk for those with sensitive skin.

This is why we at Natural Solution, prefer to avoid any toxic or artificial ingredients when creating our lipsticks. Our lip creme is created with Mango Butter and Jojoba Seed Oil to keep your lips soft and smooth. It’s also infused with polyparanen to help prevent bacteria and mold growth. It also contains a hint of blue-toned pigment to add depth to your appearance and give your lips the pop of color that makes them look gorgeous.


Throughout the millennia, ochre has been a popular pigment used in paints and cosmetics around the world. It is a hydrous iron oxide, and is available in a variety of colors including red, yellow, orange, and brown.

In Ancient Egypt, ochre was used for a rouge or lip tint. It was also an important dye for shirts and linens. Ochre can be found in many ancient sites, and it is the most common pigment in tomb paintings.

Ochre is derived from a type of bright red insect called cochineal. In ancient times, people would kill and dry these bugs, crush them, and mix them with other powders to make scarlet dyes.

It was also a popular color in France during the time of the French Empire. The mines and quarries of Roussillon, Rustrel, or Gargas in Vaucluse were major producers of ochre pigments, and they exported it all over Europe and the rest of the world.

Today, ochre is still used in paints and cosmetics. It is an essential ingredient in the rubber industry, and it is also used for a variety of cosmetic products, including lipstick.

Modern red rouge is a talcum-based powder that is applied to the cheeks to accentuate bone structure and add color. It typically contains safflower petals or a solution of carmine in ammonium hydroxide with rosewater perfumed with rose oil.

A reddish version of ochre, known as ocher, was used in Africa to decorate the body of women. It was also applied to their hair after braiding.

Greek women also wore makeup, although it was not as elaborate or as expensive as in Egypt. They did not wear eyeliner, as the Egyptian formula for kohl was too difficult to apply to their eyes. Instead, Greeks used ground charcoal to create a darker shade of eye shadow or used beeswax to create a paste for a type of lipstick or lip gloss that reddened lips.

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