Eye Makeup: Pre-4000 B.C., Egypt
Perhaps because the eyes, more than any other body part, reveal inner thoughts and emotions, they have been throughout history elaborately adorned.
The ancient Egyptians, by 4000 B.C., had already zeroed in on the eye as the chief focus for facial makeup. The preferred green eye shadow was made from powdered malachite, a green copper ore, and applied heavily to both upper and lower eyelids. Outlining the eyes and darkening the lashes and eyebrows were achieved with a black paste called kohl, made from powdered antimony, burnt almonds, black oxide copper, and brown clay ocher. The paste was stored in small alabaster pots and, moistened by saliva, was applied with ivory, wood, or metal sticks, not unlike a modern eyebrow pencil. Scores of filled kohl pots have been preserved.
Fashionable Egyptian men and women also sported history’s first eye glitter. In a mortar, they crushed the iridescent shells of beetles to a coarse powder, then they mixed it with their malachite eye shadow.
From: Extraordinary Origins of Everyday Things by Charles Panati