All Eyes on Eye Make-Up

Eye Make-Up - Face to Face

Can you believe that sophisticated, modern eye make-up, which is formulated to be hypoallergenic, non-irritating to contact lens wearers, and is dermatologically tested is not that far removed from the concoctions that were applied in ancient times?

Two Essential Cosmetic Products

The ingredients differ, as do the methods of application and conditions in which make-up is produced, but two essential cosmetic products that form the basis of formulations, which adorn the peepers, are eyeshadow and eyeliner.

The use of these products still endures, and they remain integral components of modern eye make-up, despite the intervening passage of many millennia and the ongoing introduction of new formulations with innovative characteristics and properties.


Eyeshadow has been around for some 12 000 years. Ancient Egyptians made liberal use of brightly coloured blue and green eyeshadows, made by combining crushed and powdered mineral pigments of malachite and lapis lazuli, mixed with rendered animal fat or oils to form a paste, which was adhered to the lids, once applied.


Heavy, dark eyeliner served various purposes in ancient Egypt. Eyeliner emphasised and shaped the eyes, helped to protect them from infections, and reduced the glare of the bright Egyptian sunlight. Egyptian men and women, especially those belonging to the upper classes, applied cosmetics liberally on a regular basis. The ornate golden death mask of Pharaoh Tutankhamun illustrates typical Egyptian make-up perfectly.

Other cultures, such as the ancient Greeks and Romans, who valued beauty, personal care, and cleanliness, also adopted the use of cosmetic products. During various subsequent periods, the use of cosmetics was frowned upon or widely accepted, depending on the preference of the church, the monarchy, or the prevailing norms and moral codes.

Trends and fashions come and go. Today’s new is probably yesterday’s old; such is the cycle of fashions. Nevertheless, eye make-up remains as a fashion statement and an important part of daily grooming, which enhances the appearance of the wearer, if correctly applied. If you would like to learn to apply your cosmetic products like a professional, enrol for a comprehensive short course with Face to Face Beauty and Make-Up Design School.

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