The History Of: Eyeliner


They say the eyes are the window to your soul. In that case, why not emphasize them with a few swipes of liner? It is definitely one of the most bold makeup items that can often be difficult to master. But once you do, the possibilities are endless.

But, how was eyeliner invented? Where does it originate from, who created it, and where did the idea even come about?

Last month, I shared my first “The History Of…” post on blush, and today I thought I’d uncover the story behind eyeliner.

Like an Egyptian

D. Vigears/C2RMF

Eyeliner has been traced as far back as 10,000 B.C. It became prevalent in Ancient Egypt and Mesopotamia (think Fertile Cresent) where high-standing men and women would use it to define their eyes and prevent wrinkles caused by exposure to the humid, dry climate of their environments.

Eyeliner was also a way to ward off the “evil eye” and bacterial infections, with the use of lead salts.

After the fall of Egypt, eyeliner fell out of fashion in Europe during the Greek and Roman empires. Though used in Asia at this time, its popularity only dwindled in other parts of the world.

The Roaring Twenties

The 1920s. Home refrigeration was invented. The “flapper girl” came about. And eyeliner found its way back into makeup bags.

In 1922, the tomb and treasures of King Tut were discovered, causing many to idealize the Egyptian civilization. The public went wild for eyeliner and sales boomed.

In the 1930s, a revolutionary idea was introduced: eyeliner directly along the lash line. This created a fresh, unique, and graphic look that instantly added a pop to those peepers.

Makeup looks with an emphasis on liner made their Hollywood debut in the 50s and 60s, sported by stars such as Brigitte Bardot, Sophia Loren, Diana Ross, Twiggy, and Audrey Hepburn.

(Found on Pinterest. Does anyone know the original link?)

Its moderate use continued, until the 70’s where a few distinct fashions were born; each with their own creative use of eyeliner. Punk and Gothic looks had an emphasis on dark, dramatic eye looks.

In modern day, Taylor Swift and Angelina Jolie keep cat-eyes and eyeliner well and alive, making it their signature staples.


2 thoughts on “The History Of: Eyeliner

  1. Pingback: Happy Birthday Dream & Scheme! | Dream & Scheme

  2. Pingback: Weekly Wrap-Ups: The Lengths I Will Go | Dream & Scheme

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