History of Cosmetics: Why Did Women Start Wearing Makeup

History of Cosmetics: Why Did Women Start Wearing Makeup

Nowadays, makeup is used by a great number of women and even men apply makeup daily too. Obviously, the reason behind this is that they want to look good. Either you’re wearing subtle or full makeup, putting touches of pigment and shade can flatter your face and make a huge difference. With makeup, you may hide your flaws and even enhance the natural appearance of your strong facial features.  

So how did cosmetics start and why did women start wearing makeup? Finish reading this article to learn more about it! 


Somehow, this type of reason back then was the same as it is today–just like modern women, the wealthy women of ancient Egypt aims to look their best and learned that the particular application of face-paint is the answer to what they’re looking for. 

Women today either use makeup for different purposes–to look presentable at that important job interview, to impress a cute guy, or just to accentuate their features. Egyptian women back in the days weren’t trying to be cute in front of muscular construction foreman working on the pyramid or catch the attention of the local Pharoah either. Their objectives are deeper and aimed a little higher. The goal is to try to impress the gods. 

Prehistorian evidence claims that Egyptian women were dolling themselves up as early as 4000B.C. Primarily, this was done or at least in good part, to please the gods, since they felt that their appearance was directly connected to their spiritual worth. This is why the Egyptians are really the first ones who’ve created cosmetics. 


Egyptian women are known for their bold eye makeup which is called “mesdement” which is a combination of copper and lead ore that they put around their eyes. Then they also have green shades that go under the lower eyelids; black and dark grey colours were applied to the lashes and upper eyelids. Dark colours were believed to negate “evil eyes”. 

To finish the ornate look around the eyes, they normally add almond shapes of dark-coloured powder that might have been a blend of natural ingredients including burnt almonds, copper ores, lead, ash, oxidized copper, lead, ash, and ochre. 

When it comes to their lips and cheeks, they create a combination of red clay or ochre and water or animal fat on their cheeks and lips–first is blush and lipstick. They even apply henna to their nails. To remove all of those cosmetics on their face, they would use this kind of soap that’s made from vegetable and animal oils and perfumes. 

This type of spirituality that has been correlated with beauty remained for hundreds of years until the Romans colonized them and obtained power. 

Today we can see how women throughout history have put their health at danger with so many explorations when it comes homemade cosmetics. In different cultures, for instance, women even use lead, mercury, and arsenic just to have fair skin and pale appearance that’s believed to be beautiful during the old days. Fortunately, dermatologist and cosmetic manufacturers have learned and come to a long journey from the days of utilizing toxic and deadly mixtures just to improve the way we look. 

The multibillion-dollar industry of cosmetics today has been following strict government regulations about what should and shouldn’t be included in the products and must meet certain safe manufacturing guidelines. Nowadays, the most severe injury you can get from your cosmetics is irritation from a product that is too harsh for your skin or an allergic reaction from a fragrance or preservative in the product. 

Author Bio: Ivandrea is a daytime writer for Napoleon Perdis Makeup Academy, one of Australia’s leading makeup and skincare brand with 85 concept store, over 100 department store counters. Ivandrea loves anything skincare-related and also believes that makeup is another form of art. She is also a content crafter who researches and writes custom content about travel, fashion, finance, business, home improvements, health, and beauty in order to provide helpful information and tips for her readers. Ivandrea graduated from St. Scholastica's College, Manila, with a Bachelor's Degree in Broadcast Journalism in 2016. 

About Ivandrea


Ivandrea Ollero is a content writer who researches and writes custom content about home improvements, travel, finance, law, fashion, health, and beauty. She graduated from St. Scholastica's College, Manila, with a Bachelor's Degree in Broadcast Journalism in 2016. Ivandrea provides helpful tips and hacks on various topics for her readers. If she's not in the mood to write, you can find her eating ice cream while listening to rap music.

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