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The Evolution of Makeup Throughout History

The Evolution of Makeup Throughout History

We’re talking about makeup throughout history, and finding out how it’s developed into the vast array of incredible techniques and products we use today.

Ever stop to wonder what the makeup you buy and wear was inspired by? Exploring the development of makeup throughout history provides some intriguing answers.

Cosmetics have been around for centuries, but not as we know them now!

The progression of makeup throughout history provides a super interesting insight into the ever-changing trends in the wide world of cosmetics today.


Ancient Egypt: the original cat-eye

Some of the earliest records of makeup come from the First Dynasty of Egypt. You guessed it — that includes the true icon that is Cleopatra. Heavy makeup and thick kohl were used liberally by all genders. Think the cat-eye is a 21st-century look? Think again!

Ancient Greece: no-makeup makeup

Things toned down dramatically in the classical Greek period — although it was extensively worn, obvious makeup was frowned upon. A dusting of powder and a hint of color on cheeks and lips were common.

Venetian high society: bold red lips

In 16th century Venice, aristocrats enjoyed an endless stream of parties, where extravagant makeup was in vogue. Flaming red cheeks and lips and highly pigmented foundation were all the rage, but the chemicals used to make them were highly toxic.


Fashionable France: feeling flush

France in the 18th century was the era of blush, blush, and more blush! Rouged cheeks were seen as a sign of health and wealth, with a popular deep pink shade being named after Madame de Pompadour.

Values of the Victorians: stripped bare

Queen Victoria had a huge impact on the stripping back of makeup, favoring clean, scrubbed skin. This would all be overturned at the end of the 19th century.

Modern makeup:

From the glamorous flappers of the roaring 20s to the wide-eyed cut creases of the 60s, neon 80s looks to contemporary cosmetics trends, modern makeup is for the masses. Let’s celebrate expressing ourselves!

Feeling inspired by makeup throughout history? Got a big event coming up, or fancy trying a new look? Book a session with a PRO makeup artist through the MOBILESTYLES App, wherever you are.


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