Adorning Eternity: Makeup in Ancient Egypt

Last Updated: 20 Jul 2023
Pages: 2 Views: 103
Table of contents


The civilization of ancient Egypt extends to take captive us with its rich cultural legacy and mystique. One intriguing aspect of their society was the extensive use of cosmetics. From the carefully developed eye cosmetics to vibrant lip colors, cosmetics held significant cultural, religious, and even medical significance. This essay explores the lovely world of cosmetics in ancient Egypt, radiating light on its historical significance, symbolism, and patient heritage.

Historical Significance of Makeup

Order custom essay Adorning Eternity: Makeup in Ancient Egypt with free plagiarism report

feat icon 450+ experts on 30 subjects feat icon Starting from 3 hours delivery
Get Essay Help

Cosmetics in ancient Egypt dates back to over 6,000 years, making it one of the very old known cosmetic traditions in the world. Egyptians from all social classes, like men as well as women, dressed with cosmetics. The use of cosmetics was not simply for aesthetics but also held monkish, social, and practical meanings. They believed that cosmetics not only increased their appearance, but also defended them from the bounty and harsh sun.

Symbolism and Religious Practices

Cosmetics in ancient Egypt had deep symbolic meanings. The use of kohl, a black powder made from galena, was not only to darken the eyes but also considered a way to invoke the protection of the gods and ward off illnesses. Additionally, green eye makeup, made from malachite, was associated with fertility and rebirth, reflecting the ancient Egyptians' profound connection with nature and the cycle of life.

Medical and Practical Applications

Beyond the symbolic and religious significance, makeup in ancient Egypt also served practical purposes. Kohl, used as eyeliner, protected the eyes from the glare of the sun and repelled flies, reducing the risk of eye infections. Moreover, they used a combination of lead ore and animal fat as foundation to protect their skin from the desert sun's scorching rays.

Legacy and Influence

The use of makeup in ancient Egypt has left a lasting impact on cosmetic practices throughout history. From the kohl-lined eyes of ancient Egyptian royalty to the development of modern eyeliners and mascaras, the legacy of Egyptian makeup endures in contemporary beauty trends. The fascination with ancient Egyptian aesthetics continues to inspire art, fashion, and makeup styles across the globe.


The tradition of makeup in ancient Egypt represents a captivating blend of art, culture, and spirituality. It symbolized more than just beauty, with deep-rooted religious and cultural significance. Makeup served as a means to connect with the divine, protect against the elements, and express their identity. The influence of ancient Egyptian makeup continues to be felt in modern cosmetic practices, highlighting the enduring legacy of this ancient civilization.


  1. Aldred, C. (1986). Egyptian Art in the Days of the Pharaohs. Thames & Hudson.
  2. Lucas, A., & Harris, J. (1999). Ancient Egyptian Materials and Industries. Courier Corporation.
  3. Robins, G. (2008). The Art of Ancient Egypt. Harvard University Press.
  4. Tyldesley, J. (1994). Daughters of Isis: Women of Ancient Egypt. Penguin Books.

Cite this Page

Adorning Eternity: Makeup in Ancient Egypt. (2023, Jul 20). Retrieved from

Don't let plagiarism ruin your grade

Run a free check or have your essay done for you

plagiarism ruin image

We use cookies to give you the best experience possible. By continuing we’ll assume you’re on board with our cookie policy

Save time and let our verified experts help you.

Hire writer