The History of Makeup

The History of Makeup - Eleman Beauty

    Makeup has been a part of human culture for thousands of years, and its history is a fascinating reflection of society's attitudes towards beauty, gender, and class. In this blog, we'll explore the evolution of makeup from ancient times to the present day.

    Ancient Times

    The earliest known use of makeup dates back to ancient Egypt, where both men and women used it for cosmetic and religious purposes. Egyptians would use a combination of natural ingredients, such as charcoal and red ochre, to create makeup that was used to decorate their faces and bodies. Makeup was also used to protect the skin from the harsh desert sun.

    In ancient Greece, makeup was used to signify social status. Women of high social status would wear white lead on their faces to create a pale complexion, while women of lower social status would wear a darker pigment to appear tan.

    Middle Ages

    During the Middle Ages, makeup fell out of favor as the Church began to associate it with sin and vanity. Women were expected to look natural and unadorned, with a focus on inner beauty rather than external appearance.


    In the Renaissance era, makeup made a comeback as women began to embrace the idea of enhancing their natural beauty. Pale skin, rosy cheeks, and full lips were all highly sought-after features, and women would use a variety of cosmetics, including lead-based powders and rouge, to achieve these looks.

    Victorian Era

    The Victorian era saw a return to the natural look, with women striving for a pure, innocent appearance. Pale skin, rosy cheeks, and a natural lip color were all highly prized, and makeup was used sparingly if at all.

    20th Century

    The 20th century saw a revolution in the makeup industry, with new technologies and ingredients making cosmetics more widely available and affordable. In the 1920s, the "flapper" look became popular, with women embracing bold lipstick colors, smoky eyeshadow, and dramatic eyeliner.

    In the 1950s, the "glamour" look was popularized by Hollywood stars like Marilyn Monroe and Elizabeth Taylor, with a focus on full, red lips, winged eyeliner, and perfectly coiffed hair.

    In the 1960s, the rise of the counterculture saw a rejection of traditional beauty standards, with women embracing bold, experimental makeup looks like bright eyeshadow, heavy eyeliner, and brightly colored lipstick.


    Today, makeup is more popular than ever, with a wide range of products and styles to choose from. From natural "no-makeup" looks to bold, avant-garde styles, makeup has become a way for people to express themselves and experiment with different looks.

    In conclusion, the history of makeup reflects the changing attitudes towards beauty, gender, and class throughout human history. From ancient Egypt to the modern day, makeup has been a reflection of the society in which it was used, and continues to evolve and adapt to changing cultural norms and values.