Monday, October 4, 2010
Ancient Egypt is believed to be one of the pioneers of eye make up.
For men and women, the tradition was to line the eyes with pigment to create cat-like, almond shaped eyes.
This, spiritually provided protection from the 'Evil Eye' and signified fertility and rebirth in a next life.
The pigments also had disinfectant and fly-deterrent properties which provided protection from the harsh sunlight. As Udju, a green pigment extracted from copper was found near Sinai, an area considered to be ruled by the Egyptian goddess of beauty, love and women; make-up became symbolic to female wearers who believed that it worked almost as an anti-depressant, releasing positive energy of love and happiness.
Kohl was extracted from charcoal/soot, galena or malachite to darken, lengthen and create volume in their eyelashes. This is what we call 'mascara' today (Egyptian make-up, n.d.) (Unraveling the Egyptian eye make-up Mystery, n.d), The brush only came a bit later.
So, today was my first day wearing Egyptian make up. Or at least, I attempted applying it myself so that it would look like it. My first thought of it was that it was very dark and I looked scary.
Friends of mine did not recognize me, and those who did, could not believe how much different I looked with so much make-up on. And I didn't wear foundation or lipstick.
Earlier on today, in the Cape Quarter, the hosts of the Greek restaurant's jaw-dropped heads' panned and eyes followed my face as I passed them. They were laughing in a disbelieving way. Funny enough the women I passed would glance over briefly and carry on walking.
At the bakery, with my wig friend and my friend who is dressing pregnant, we attracted numerous turning heads as we entered. While I was standing in the line, I could feel a man looking at my eyes, I turned to look at him and noticed that his whole face was covered in scratches and bruises, probably from a serious fight or a car accident. It was funny how, for that short period of time I looked back at him, we both felt perfectly at ease bluntly staring at each other. If I wasn't wearing the make-up, I would have never stared at him so bluntly. His appearance was no test or trial, it was real and probably painful. During the whole day, I had an annoyance with the itchiness of the make-up and that quickly evaporated.
Eye Make Up Tips, Unravelling the Egyptian Eye Makeup Mystery, Retrieved October 4, 2010 from www.eye-make-up-tips.com/eye-make-makeup/apply-eye-makeup/egyptian-eye makeup.aspx
Makeup Success, Egyptian Makeup, Retrieved October 4, 2010 from www.makeupsuccess.com/egyptian-makeup.html