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Arts and Crafts

Friday, May 11, 2012

Make-Up Art History

Adorning the face with make-up has been practiced for thousands of years and even though it is not clear where it finds its origin, archaeological finds from Ancient Egypt have already dated it back as far as 4,000 BC. The Egyptians used mainly eye make-up as a means to ward off evil spirits and believed it would also improve sight and therefore kohl was used by almost everyone.

Even the Romans already used in in the first century, along with chalk for a milky white appearance, rouge, and henna to dye hair and nails.

Although cosmetics were common in the Middle East, at one point the use of them was limited and could only be applied as to disguise one's real appearance for a battle.

This was also done by several Native American tribes, who use face paints for battles and ceremonial events.

As time progressed, make-up was often used as a status symbol. In Europe, a pale complexion indicated high society and white powder was used to achieve or accentuate this look during the Middle Ages. They even went as far as purposely bleeding themselves to look pale.

Maybe that is where the expression 'no pain, no gain' comes from, although I sincerely doubt it was worth it. Then again, a hundred years from now, plucking eye-brows and waxing may be looked upon in a similar fashion!

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