Thursday, October 27, 2011

The Brief History Of EYE SHADOWS

The Brief History Of Eye Shadow

Cosmetics have been used for as long as there have been people to use them. Face painting is mentioned in the Old Testament (Book of Ezekiel 23:40 ) and eye shadow was used in Egyptian burials dating back to 10,000 BC. The word "cosmetae" was first used to describe Roman slaves whose duty was to bathe men and women in perfume.


As early as 10,000 BC, men and women used scented oils and ointments to clean and soften their skin and mask body odor. Dyes and paints were used to color the skin, body and hair. They rouged their lips and cheeks, stained their nails with henna, and lined their eyes and eyebrows heavily with kohl. Kohl was a dark-colored powder made of crushed antimony, burnt almondsleadoxidized copperochre, ash, malachite, and chrysocolla (a blue-green copper ore) or any combination thereof. It was applied with a small stick. The upper and lower eyelids were painted in a line that extended to the sides of the face for an almond effect. In addition to reducing sun glare, it was believed that kohl eyeliner could restore good eyesight and reduce eye infection. Kohl was kept in a small, flat-bottomed pot with a wide, tiny rim and a flat, disk-shaped lid. According to images of the time, the use of makeup was not limited to women. Highly polished silver and copper mirrors aided the application of makeup.



In Greece, precious oils, perfumes, cosmetic powders, eye shadows, skin glosses, paints, beauty unguents, and hair dyes were in universal use. Export and sale of these items formed an important part of trade around the Mediterranean. During the 7th and 8th centuries BC, Corinthian, Rhodian and East Greek traders dominated markets in perfume flasks and cosmetic containers. The containers included aryballoi, alabastra, pyxides and other small specialized shapes.
Men and women in the Near East painted their faces with kohl just like the Egyptians did. This was to protect them from the ‘evil eye.’ After the defeat of the Greeks by the Romans, the original Egyptian intention suffered its final bastardization beyond any reasonable recovery. The Romans were unabashedly hedonistic; Egyptian oils that were once used for sacred purposes became nothing more than sexual accouterments in Rome. There was some dignity amended when the Romans discovered medicinal applications as well. Plagues were so rampant throughout Rome, that aromatic gums and resins were burned to repel demons and bad spirits.

Common ingredients in eye shadows consist of talcmicasericitemagnesium stearate, colorants, and preservatives. Fillers in eye shadows are primarily talc. The liquid binders are typically a silicone and the dry binders are typically magnesium stearate. In order to make an eye shadow, there has to be a balance between the fillers, dry binders and liquid binders. Once the ideal combination is found the shadow are pressed using 700-900 psi.

Something  to know:

Kohl:   Kohl was the first recorded eye shadow. many people mistakenly believe that Kohl was just  crushed charcoal, but real kohl has a surprising amount of stuff in it. Specific formulations of crushed antimony, lead (ugh) oxidized copper, ochre. burnt almonds, ash, malachite and chrysocolla were all part of the popular recipe- wow, if  you didn't get bite by an ASP, your where destine to die a slow death from being poisoned whoa!

Protective Eye Shadow: 
That Black rim eye of kohl that the ancient Egyptians wore wasn't just to make them pretty, wearing black around the eye protected the from glare. They also believed that the black rim of kohl would restore lost vision and protect there eyes for infection. for this reason that eye shadow was worn by both men and women of all ages and social classes.

In  ancient Greece and Rome, colored eye shadows were used for decorative reasons. The Iraqis thought that's the colored shadow would protect them from the "evil eye" but the Greeks and Romans just thought it was pretty. These shadows where created from using herbs, crushed minerals, and stones as well as dried flowers and crystallized dyes from plants and animals sources.  


  1. Hey Myke, this post is really helpful and interesting. Do you mind if i reblog it to my tumblr? I didn't see a share option for that and wanted to be sure : )


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