Today’s people, especially women, go to great lengths to decorate themselves to make them look more appealing and attractive. Most of the ancient people used various types of paints to decorate their faces. These were spiritual practices designed to protect, to show stages of growth and to identify with natural rhythms and occurrences in the environment.
Ancient Africans in Egypt outlined their eyes with pigment to create an almond or feline shape to protect themselves from bad spirits and to recreate the image of the Sun god, Re. The ointments they used also served as an insect repellent, disinfectant and helped to protect their eyes from the sun’s glare in the hot Egyptian desert.
Eye make up provided psychic protection as well. The Egyptian word for eye-palette seems to derive from their word for “protect.” An unadorned and thus unprotected eye was believed vulnerable to the Evil Eye. Outlining the eyes thus became a personal protective amulet drawn right upon the skin; an amulet that once applied could not be lost or misplaced.
In other African countries as well as with the natives of North America, South America, etc., tribal face and body painting was also used for spiritual reasons and for hunting, war and to signify advancement as in rites of passage.
The reason tribes use face and body art, including tattoos, to transform themselves may be varied. Sometimes they choose to do so as a part of a tribal ritual or at other times they do so to mark their status, but the colorful and dynamic language of the face painting remains the same.
Indigenous peoples of the Amazon have said that in this power to change ourselves, we demonstrate our humanity and set ourselves apart from the world of the animals.
So, there is a long history of facial painting, tattoos and what we now refer to makeup and cosmetics. Our modern reasons for cosmetics are different now. It is a practice to make us look more attractive and appealing to others, especially those of the opposite sex.
Why do we even have eyelashes and eyebrows? The scientific explanations make perfect sense in terms of functionality. Eyelashes serve as dust filters and as an early sensor for the blink reflex to prevent small foreign bodies from hitting the eyeball.
Our eyebrows help keep moisture out of our eyes when we sweat, or if we happen to be out in the rain without an umbrella. The arch shape diverts the rain or sweat around to the sides of our face enabling the eyes to stay relatively dry. The most obvious advantage is that it lets us see clearly under these conditions.
Make up on our faces also mimics the look of sexual arousal. When the body becomes sexually aroused there is an increased flow of blood into the face, the lips become more red, the checks become flush looking and the soft tissues surrounding the eyes will darken. This appearance generates a primal response in members of the opposite sex.
So men’s conscious minds might be thinking something else, deep down their biological imperative recognizes the signs that a woman is sexually aroused. It’s sort of like pheromones, which are the chemicals released when you get aroused to help entice the opposite sex. You smell them, but you aren’t aware that it’s the pheromones the member of the opposite sex is giving off. All you know is she, or he, smells good to you and you want to experience more.
Red lips are one example of mimicking natural arousal as well as blush on the checks.
Now you know just a little bit about the history and purposes for makeup! If there are things that you have learned about the history and the art of makeup, please feel free to leave your comments.
We all want long, beautiful lashes and to be able to grow longer lashes naturally. Mascara is one of the most prevalent cosmetics in use in today’s society. Mascara brightens and opens the look of the eyes by depositing color onto the lashes making them appear thicker and darker.
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Whatever your preference for making up your face and designing your body, always do it your way – your style. If you are inexperienced with makeup, you can visit beauty counters in the malls to get some advice and actual applications. This way you can try different things until you find what you like.
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