History of Eye Liner - Invention of the Eye Liner

Eyes - Cosmetics

Eyes are the part of our face that is very susceptible to cosmetic changes. Even the smallest change or color or shape can dramatically enhance our appearance and boost our confidence. For this purpose, both ancient and modern chemists and cosmetologists alike tried to find what is the easiest way to achieve this. As with many other cosmetic products, the earlier examples of eye liners can be found in ancient Mesopotamia and Egypt, from where this fashion style expanded to all four corners of the world, managing to become important part of the modern girl cosmetic collection.

Over 12 thousand years ago, in early 10.000 BC eyeliner first appeared in Ancient Egypt and Mesopotamia. There, both males and females of high status used eyeliner to better define their eyes and protect them from wrinkles that can be formed after constant exposure to desert wind, sun and heat. Even though eyeliners were only one of many cosmetic products that were used by them, they never went out of fashion and they continued to be used by both aristocracy and lower classes all until the fall of Egypt at the hands of Roman Empire in early 1st millennia AD. As every other cosmetic product there, eyeliners represented not only fashion accessory but a connation to their religion and gods. As millennia’s went and architecture changed with them, eyeliner fashion remained constant, proving that Egyptian people celebrated their religion with devotion that lasted for millennia’s.

Sadly, after the fall of Egypt eyeliners fell out of the fashion in Europe, having little or moderate use during the reign of Greek and Roman empires. In Asia, eyeliners remained in use, but they did not managed to influence European fashion after it came out from Dark ages into Renaissance and modern age.

The moment that kick-started the era of eyeliners came in 1920s, during the time when many women have already abandoned the fashion of Victorian era and embraced new fashion that was fueled by ballet, stage actors, Hollywood, musicians and photography. After international cosmetic companies slowly saw the amounts of many this industry can create, there was no coming back. Marketing budgets soared, new inventions appeared on monthly basis, and female population was ready and willing to try anything that would make them look like their favorite Hollywood actress. The exact moment when eyeliners came into popularity was 1922, after the stunning archeological discovery of Englishmen Howard Carter and George Herbert. Deep under the great pyramids of Giza they found the tomb of the ancient Egyptian pharaoh Tutankhamun, with all of his riches and art items intact. Worldwide coverage of this event introduced Ancient Egyptian eyeliner to the west, where it was instantly accepted.

After the initial moderate eyeliner use between 1920s and 1960s, 1970s gave birth to several new fashion types that used eyeliner in new ways. Punk and Gothic fashion relied on dramatic eye effect, and eyeliner, eye shadow and mascara were some of their most used cosmetic products. In the late 20th century, Emo subculture popularized eyeliners even in male population.

Ever since the eyeliner appeared in the modern fashion, it became very popular among female population who embraced it and never let it go.