Lessons From The Past: Timeless Beauty Secrets From The Ancient Egyptians

Ancient Egyptians were known for their sophistication and reverence of beauty. Read on to learn their beauty secrets, and achieve your own timeless look.
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For a long time, Egypt has provided us with a wealth of culture. And remember, if you’re reading this with your favourite lipstick and perfectly arched brows, the Egyptians were arguably the first to do so around 6000 B.C.E. Men and women of all socioeconomic backgrounds liberally applied eyeliner, eyeshadow, lipstick, and rouge.


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Sacred Luxuries: Fragrance, Aromatherapy and Cosmetics in Ancient Egypt

The art of modern fragrance-making owes much to practices developed in ancient Egypt. The Egyptians attached great importance to perfumes and cosmetics, which men and women wore to make themselves attractive and alluring, to restore vitality and good health, and as a means of venerating the gods and of negotiating a passage to the realm of the hereafter. In this lavishly illustrated, oversized book, Lise Manniche looks at the role played by scents and cosmetics in ancient Egyptian society and discusses their preparation―in some cases providing actual recipes.


Makeup today might seem unlikable for some, a trillion-dollar business that offers nothing stimulating or challenging. Cosmetics were, however, a necessary aspect of life for the ancient Egyptians. They regarded beauty as a sign of holiness. Everything they used had a spiritual connection to it, including cosmetics. In tombs, cosmetic palettes were buried in gold with the deceased as grave goods, further reinforcing the idea that co

Daily, both Egyptian males and females wore cosmetics and other cosmetic aids such as perfume. They were self-conscious about their appearance and used cosmetics to feel positive. Cleopatra and Nefertiti, two of Egypt’s most famous queens, were instrumental in putting Egypt into the spotlight. Several well-known women have portrayed these two characters on television and in magazines. Elizabeth Taylor popularized the elegant Egyptian look when she played Cleopatra in the eponymous classic. On the cover of Vogue Arabia in 2017, Rihanna gave a beautiful tribute to Nefertiti.

Lessons From The Past: Timeless Beauty Secrets From The Ancient Egyptians The Witty Poet
Lessons From The Past: Timeless Beauty Secrets From The Ancient Egyptians The Witty Poet

According to Artsy.com, the most opulent beauty treatments were performed in wealthy Egyptian women’s toilettes. A typical Middle Kingdom woman’s regimen (circa 2030–1650 B.C.E.) was lavish. She exfoliated her skin before applying makeup. Popular treatments included exfoliating with Dead Sea salts, relaxing in a milk bath, and applying milk-and-honey face masks. She used incense pellets to deodorize her underarms and flowery or spice-infused oils to soften her skin. Egyptians also devised a natural waxing method that involved honey and sugar mixture. Modern beauty companies utilize sugaring as a less unpleasant alternative to hot wax.

Ancient people had to use what was available to them in their surroundings. For their cosmetics, Egyptians turned to the natural resources that surrounded them. Let’s look at how to make an ancient homemade makeup collection. In Ancient Egypt, popular cosmetics included: Malachite, a copper ore that provided the popular green eye makeup colour. 

Lessons From The Past: Timeless Beauty Secrets From The Ancient Egyptians The Witty Poet
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They used Kohl to draw thick, distinctive black lines around the eyes, giving them an almond shape. For the rouge or lip colour, they used Red ochre. They also had Henna, commonly used to stain the fingers and toes. Minerals were ground into powder and mixed with a carrier agent (usually animal fat) to make them easy to apply and stay on the skin.

Lessons From The Past: Timeless Beauty Secrets From The Ancient Egyptians The Witty Poet

Much of what we do now with cosmetics has its origins in antiquity. According to Shannon Boyce, a Live Glam Certified Makeup artist, everything from cat eye makeup to bright red lipstick and cheek stains has Ancient Egyptian roots.

Egypt’s influence is apparent, whether you’re a history buff or a cosmetics connoisseur. Their ideas and innovations have left an unforgettable impression on the world, and they continue to inspire.


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