The healing Side of Make-Up

Body care was really important for ancient Egyptians. They used creams, ointments and perfumes in order make the skin softer and good smelling. Women used to clear their skin with a compose made from white lead, available in differnet colours, form the hellest one to the ambrest, generally used for lips.

Egyptians used to wear black or green kohl (they were extracted from goleena or malachite) in order to highlight the eyelid. Nails were made coloured, as well as feet and hands’ breadths. And sometimes also the hair with a paste based on hennè. They used mirrors, tweezers for hair removal and manicure. Perfumes were extracted by flowers, made distressed and pressed. They were used from both women and men. All the smelling essences had Shesmu as their personal god. They were producted in laboratories associated to temples and put in small pots called “faience”.

For ancient Egyptians makeup had the function to protect themselves from reverberations and irritations due to hot and dry weather and to sand as well. From ancient found papyruses it was discovered how malachite (a green smerald mineral) and galeena (dark grey, originated from lead) were applied onto the eyes to cure the tracome (eye infection), the eyesgiht reduction and congiuntivity, while the red ochre was used for lips and cheecks as modern lipsticks and phards. Recent studies revealed the chemical composition of dustes: black galeena, white cerussite, laurionite and fosgenite as well.

These last substances can’t be found in nature but they can be obtained through special chemical processes, which let man to perceive a deep knowledge in this field. Ancient texts reported all the necessary instructions about the used methods: black galeena was heated to get the lead oxidize (red colour), which was mixed with water and salt  with some salt.

All the forty following days the mixture obtained was filtered and mixed again with salt in order to get the very white dust of laurionite. Fosgenite, on the contrary, was obtained with the same process except for the supplemetary add of natron (a type of sodium carbonate available from rocks). The variety of processes of these substances (more or less thin millnesses) permitted to obtain different colours and and brightnesses so that anybody could be allowed to personalize his own makeup.

Laurionite and fosgenite, according to the particular dosage used, associated to black galeena, produced the different tones of grey. Saturated fats were furthermore added and beeswax or resines which could enhance the densities and the care property of  the products. Makeup products were considered “divine fluids” and they belonged to the mortuary equipment as well.

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~ by makeupyourlife on June 11, 2010.

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