Throughout history people have been enchanted by ancient Egyptian culture. I often wonder what cosmetics would be like if it wasn’t for these visionaries. From skin care creams to kohl around the eyes, the influence of the ancient Egyptian people transcends generations. Thats right.. Kim Kardashian wasn’t the first person to pull off smokey eyes!
Today people often associate common beauty rituals with the desire to be more beautiful. Interestingly, cosmetics hasn’t always been about vanity. The ancient Egyptian people believed that their cosmetics had both medical and spiritual significance. I’m not sure if being buried alive with a mascara wouldn’t help the situation but I guess the afterlife would be a lot more glamorous with makeup so I can’t disagree.
Katy Perry’s homage to ancient Egypt in her ‘Dark Horse’ video turned heads, but they certainly didn’t have her fluro clothes or disco lights.Colour and defined eyes were however, very much on trend. They believed that particular products brought them closer to god. Vivid green Malachite, originally mined from the Holly grounds of Mount Sina, was said to embody the essence of their much loved deity Hathor, the goddess of beauty and femininity.
The stereotypical Egyptian eye shape so dramatically characterised by Elizabeth Taylor in the classic film Cleopatra, signified the Eye of Horus; a symbol for protection, royal power and good health. Good health must have been a term loosely used by the ancient Egyptians who lathered their faces in white lead. However, caking their eyes with black kohl actually helped repel bacterial eye infections and even dulled the suns glare off the dessert dunes.
Makeup was commonly used by both men and women, of all social statuses. The main difference was the tools they used to apply them. Those with a high social status had beautiful, functional tools, while the poor lower classes would use basic bowls and sticks. The better the tool, the better the result and the same can be said today.
Applying your everyday makeup doesn’t have to be as difficult, as expensive or as time consuming as building a pyramid. But having good quality makeup and tools can be the difference between looking like Cleopatra or Anubis… So we recommend investing in a couple of superior tools and products over a draw full of ratty brushes and tacky old products. And please, please; if your makeup passed its used by date when the Sphinx lost its nose, it is time to THROW it out!
All jokes aside, there seems to have been a resurgence in the popularity of Egyptian themed fashion and makeup looks. As fantastic as it looks on the runway, in photo shoots or on film, most of these dramatic Egyptian looks aren’t exactly wearable. We can however, be inspired and utilise some simple technique to give our makeup a fresh edgy Egyptian look.
TIP (A): USE COLOUR
So many people are still recovering from their 80’s colour indulgence… Boy George has some explaining to do. But colour is your friend! Using a vivid blue or green pencil along the lash line will make your eyes pop. If you use a good quality, firm Angle Brush makes the application easy! Blending slightly out beyond your upper lash line with create a subtle wing elongating the eye.
TIP (B): SMOKEY EYES
You have probably heard the expression ‘there are many ways to skin a cat’; well there are many ways to smoke out your eyes. In my opinion a smokey eye isn’t complete without defining the waterline.
Black Pencil: For those who don’t mind a dramatic look, creamy black pencil along the water line will make the whites of your eyes whiter.
Nude pencil: Knocks off the pink hue from around your eyes giving your eyes a fresh, healthy awake look.
White pencil: It has long been a favourite of makeup artists to make the whites of our eyes look Larger for a wide eye look. Great for people with smaller eyes.
TIP (C) BLACK IS THE NEW BLACK
Even without shadows and pencils; thick, long and BLACK lashes will define your eyes and make them pop! Not all mascaras are a like so look out for these qualities:
Jet black – Not kinda black, not grey, just BLACK
Waxy texture – We don’t like watery mascara that bleeds black tears down your face so make sure yours is thick and waxy to last longer, repel water and apply effortlessly
Short life – After a few months any mascara is ready for renewal. If you don’t replace them you run the risk of them harboring nasty bacteria and not effectively shaping and defining your lashes.
Ingredients – It’s your eyes after all so do your research about what goes into your mascara to make sure you don’t have any undesirable reactions.
Australian, family owned and operated cosmetics company EYE OF HORUS makes beautiful quality eye products which are definitely worth checking out. They don’t have a huge range, but what they do, they do to perfection plus the price point won’t leave a hole in your wallet! The image to the left was created with their creamy Teal pencil, Black pencil (on the waterline), precision liquid eye liner and super black mascara. To purchase their products or discover more check out www.huxleymakeup.com