Used to define the eyes for aesthetic appeal, eyeliner has made its way from a primarily female-dominated market to a growing popularity among men. Over time, the ingredients have changed but the basic styles and purposes remain constant. Explore the fascinating history of this popular cosmetic.
Used in Egypt and Mesopotamia, kohl was often painted around the entire eyelid to create an almond-shaped effect. it was even thought that the specific eyeliner used at that time could restore waning eyesight and ward off eye infections. it was used by both men and women for aesthetic purposes.
In the 1920s, Egyptian was the style of the day, likely attributed to the opening of Tutankhamen’s grave. Dark, thickly lined eyes were the fashion.
A New Use
During the 1940s, everyone was doing his or her part to aid the war effort. Little to no makeup was worn at this time to conserve resources. Eyeliner remained in use, however, as women drew long black lines down the backs of their legs to simulate the look of wearing stockings.
The outlined eye became the fashion once more in the 1960s as women sought to produce a cat-like effect around their eyes. by this time, liquid liner had been invented. Eyeliner has been worn not only as a beauty enhancer but also as a fashion statement by Emo, Goth, and Punk subcultures.
Eyeliner can be found in liquid, powder, wax, kohl, and even gel varieties. Each type will produce a different effect. Liquid eyeliner comes in a bottle and makes a precise and even stroke. Powder-based comes in the form of a pencil. Wax-based comes in pencil form or in a compact with a brush applicator. Kohl can come in a pencil form as well as loose or pressed powder but is more likely to smudge.