Eyeliner

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Eye makeup of a woman.
Brown eye shadow with a brush (for applying it)

An eyeliner (sometimes written eye liner) is a type of makeup used for the eyes. It is applied around the contours of the eyes to create different aesthetic effects.

In the 20th and 21st century, the use of eye liner has also been associated with Goth and Punk fashion.

History[change | change source]

Ancient Egyptian women and men wearing kohl eye liner, from the tomb of Nakht in Thebes (15th century BC).

Eye liner was first used in Ancient India, Ancient Egypt and Mesopotamia as a dark black line around the eyes. As early as 10,000 BC, Egyptians and Mesopotamians wore various cosmetics including eye liner not only for aesthetics but to protect the skin from the desert sun. Eye liner may also have been worn to protect the wearer from the evil eye. The characteristic of having heavily lined eyes has been frequently shown in ancient Egyptian art. They produced eye liner with a variety of materials, including copper ore and antimony. Ancient Egyptian kohl contained galena, which was imported from nearby regions in the Land of Punt, Coptos and Western Asia.[1]

In the 1960s, liquid eye liner was used to create thick black and white lines around the eyes in the make-up fashion associated with designers like Mary Quant. The '60s and '70s also saw new fashion trends which made use of eyeliner, eyeshadow and mascara in new ways. As goth and punk fashion developed, they employed eyeliner for a dark and dramatic effect.

Related pages[change | change source]

References[change | change source]

  1. Studies in Ancient Technology, Volume III, (Brill Archive), p.18.