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Immortal Muses the Ancient Egyptians

Elizabeth Taylor Cleopatra


The Egyptians wore make-up before 4,000 B. C.

Eye makeup was the main form, and it was used daily. There were other types of makeup for the lips, cheeks and skin, but those were usually used only on occasion and not by everyone.



The Ancient Egyptians, both men and women, wore distinct eye make-up, rouge and perfumed oils that softened the skin and prevented burning in the sun and damage from the sandy winds.

As seen in the movie Cleopatra starring Elizabeth Taylor, captivating elements of this movie were the costume and makeup design. The cat eyes and glittery shadows, with the array of spectacular costumes, created a magical image of ancient Egyptian queens. The truth is, though, makeup was not really that elaborate.


Elizabeth Taylor Cleopatra


The favourite eye make-up colours were black and green. The powders used to create the eye make-up were ground on a palette then mixed with water to form a paste.

Eye make-up provided psychic protection as well. The Egyptian word for eye-palette seems to derive from their word for "protect."

Kohl shielded the eye against the sun

Kohl also acted as a deterrent to flies!


John Galliano Spring 2004 Dior couture collection


Religious & Magical reasons - The green eye make-up used by the Ancient Egyptians Eye was believed to induce or evoke the eye of Horus, the God of the Sky & Sun.

Egyptian mothers would apply kohl to the eyes of infants soon after they were born believing its application would strengthen the child's eyes and preventing the child from being cursed by an "evil eye".


Illamasqua collection visual


Ancient Egyptians used a form of henna to paint their nails and colour their hair. The colour and condition of nails have long been an indication of social status.

As you can see from the photos I've included, even today we take influence from the Ancient Egyptians in fashion, make-up trends and film.


MAC McQueen collection visual


Elizabeth Taylor portrayed her as a queen who seduced many great men. History shows her to be ruthless, but a generally well-liked, leader. Who was the Queen of the Nile? Although she has been glamorized in the movies, books and plays, Cleopatra remains one of history’s most enduring figures.

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