The history of makeup

Nowadays, makeup is such a huge part of our lives it’s amazing to think that there were some people who didn’t have the chance to contour their faces like Kim Kardashian, add so much highlighter to their cheekbones they looked like unicorns, or use Kylie Jenner’s famous lip kits. Yep, there was a time where the idea of makeup was just a tiny thought speck, and our ancestors didn’t spend hours of their day getting their eyebrows on fleek. But how much do you actually know about makeup and where it came from? Well, here’s everything you need to know in the history of makeup…

The history of makeup

6,000 BCE

When you think of the Ancient Egyptians, you might think about Cleopatra. After all, she was not only an Egyptian queen, but she was also the queen of the cat-eye! Yep, the Egyptians were some of the first people to incorporate makeup into their daily lives and would use products and minerals from the world around them to paint their faces. They would stain their lips, they would darken their eyes, and they would even rouge their cheeks.

4,000 BCE

As the Ancient Greeks and Romans made their presence known in the world, they did so without plastering their face with makeup. In fact, those who lived in 4,000 BCE were generally discouraged to wear makeup on their faces, as they thought it was too vulgar and eccentric. Despite this, there were many men and women from higher classes who did often powder their faces or add a touch of color to their lips. However, they made sure that they didn’t go overboard, as a woman’s place was to be in the home rather than to be desirable.

15th Century

During the 15th Century, wearing makeup was frowned upon. This was because the early Christians believed that trying to alter your true face and appearance was deceptive and the work of the devil. Because of this, women were told and taught to be as fresh-faced as possible – but many women would try and make their faces look even more pure with skin concoctions that would remove blemishes and create a flawless finish.

16th Century – the Elizabethans

By the time the 16th Century came around, Venice was the epicenter of human life. Everything was shrouded in extravagance, and those who wanted to make a statement needed to stand out from the crowd. Because of this, makeup was all the rage. Women and men’s faces were painted white, eyebrows were painted on with dark colors, and bright red blush was used on their cheeks. However, this makeup was often made with toxic lead powder, which eventually caused them health problems.

19th Century

Although makeup had been around for centuries before Queen Victoria came to the throne, the queen quickly decided that makeup was not to be worn by the masses because it was unladylike and vulgar. So, women threw out their makeup and opted for more natural looks. Yet, they did have their own methods to make themselves look more appealing. They would pinch their cheeks to give themselves a little pink tiny, and they would bite their lips to make them red and plump.

The history of makeup


In 1913, the Suffragettes were in full force. They were fighting for women’s rights in society, and they were doing everything they could to break taboos and show that women are just as powerful. Because of this, they made a statement during their marches and their protests to once again wear makeup on their face. Although they did not cover themselves, they did wear bright red lipstick to make a stand.


During the 1920s, the world was getting to know the stars of Hollywood. Their glamorous lives were there for us all to see, and their posters were on our walls. To make themselves stand out even more, these Hollywood actresses would try out new and exciting makeup looks. However, makeup was still not available for the masses. Women had to buy makeup in secret, and the idea of putting makeup on your face was still fairly embarrassing.

Since the 1920s, makeup has become much more acceptable in society. In fact, the world seems to have done a U-turn, and makeup is now just an everyday addition to our lives. Wanna know something? We wouldn’t have it any other way!