In the tomb of the Sumerian queen Shub-Ad, 5000 years before Christ, numerous beauty utensils and tablets that describe ancient formulas for preparing ointments and oils. Thus, 49 jars have been preserved in the Egyptian Antiquities Department of the Louvre Museum, where they have been the subject of exhaustive studies.

The Egyptians had a true domain of cosmetics. In this way, the natural pigments and the synthesized products were mixed with binders made up of fats of animal origin to make different types of cosmetic compositions with varied textures and colors.

In ancient Egypt, cosmetics were used by men, women and children, regardless of their social class. This expertise discovered in different investigations allows us to better understand the multiple uses of the makeup of that era, as illustrated in ancient texts, statuary (type of sculpture that represents the human form and expresses the suprasensible conceptions of man) and painting: embellishment, divine worship, medicine, etc.

For this, they had a lot of accessories such as makeup jars, mirrors, combs, applicators, hairpins ...

The most widespread cosmetic was Kohl made with galena, lead sulphide and discovered substances such as cerussite, laurionite and phosgenite. With all these elements a paste was prepared that was kept in small alabaster jars, and that moistened with saliva, was applied with sticks of ivory, wood or metal.

The predominance of galena in the materials analyzed by the researchers it is confirmed by the presence of black makeup on the list of funeral offerings from the time of kéops (He ascended the throne in 2389 BC, being the second pharaoh of the Fourth Dynasty, who ruled during twenty-four years, of the Menfita Empire). Black is described by the term mesdemet which, applied to the eye would mean "Make the eyes speak, make them expressive" or "Paint the eyes".

In the tombs, next to the sarcophagi, bags of crushed galena were found. The dead took their raw materials for their life in the afterlife.

They also created the first flashes to beautify the eye, for which they crushed in a mortar the iridescent shells of certain beetles until they obtained a thick powder that they mixed with the shadows. The green shading, one of the favorites, was obtained from malachite powder that was applied thickly to the upper and lower eyelids.

Henna was used to give the hair a bright red. Many of the Egyptians were shaving their eyebrows and applying other artificial ones. Queen Nefertiti painted her fingernails and feet ruby ​​red, and Cleopatra was in favor of a dark red oxide.

Women of lower rank were allowed only pale tones.

The Egyptians started the fashion of paint your lips with a dye made of red ocher and natural iron oxide that they extended with a brush or a stick, they also dyed the fingers and toes with henna to achieve a reddish orange color, and accentuated the veins with a blue tone of her breasts and gave a golden touch to her nipples.

If beautification was a daily concern, makeup was also associated with the health of the eyes and skin, a relationship that is confirmed by ancient texts that relate religious rituals and medical papyri.

Egypt Ancient Cosmetics (November 2019).