What’s the deal with eyeliner, why do we use it and how?
An introduction to eyeliner, where it came from, how we use it, and why we go to all this trouble in the first place!
Many moons ago in ancient Egypt and Mesopotamia, women (and men) started to draw dark, black lines around their eyes to accentuate their features. Some say that it was also to protect those who wore it from the evil eye that could bring bad luck and misfortune upon them. In those days, eyeliner was made from a wide range of ingredients including copper ore, antimony, galena and kohl.
Eyeliner faded out of fashion through the centuries until the 1920’s when the tomb of Egyptian Pharaoh, Tutankhamun was discovered. With eyes heavily lined in black, the use of eyeliner was introduced to the West and as women became more free to experiment with their looks and styles of makeup.
By the 1960s, eyeliner became fashionable in a big way- women wore thick black and white lines around their eyes with lashings of mascara. Associated with designers such as Mary Quant, eyeliner became eponymous with the decade. Through the 60s, 70s and 80s, eyeliner became a quintessential staple in every woman's makeup bag and it became available in many formats; pencil, liquid, powder, and paint. As goth and punk became fashionable, eyeliner cemented its place in contemporary fashion and has been used ever since to create subtle, and daring looks.
Today, eyeliner is used by women and men of all ages- cat eye flicks, thick lines, and subtle strokes are used to draw attention to the eyes, brightens the face, and give confidence. It can be used to make the eyes look longer or wider, depending on where it is used. For example, winged eye liner or liner along the eye line is used to elongate and when used above the eyelashes, it can make the lashes took longer and thicker.
There are various different types of eyeliner available. Liquid eyeliner is an opaque liquid that often comes in a little bottle with a small brush. It creates a tight, clean line and is often used for winged eyeliner looks on the upper lid, rather than for use on the lower lid. Powder based or wax based eye pencils come in a pencil format and are usually in dark and matte shades. Sometimes they come in a pot with a brush, but these take a lot more experience to apply. Another popular type of eyeliner is gel eyeliner which is a soft gel that is applied with a slanted brush and is much softer than other forms.
Many commercial products use a range of chemicals and dyes to achieve their effect and to ensure longevity, but of course when we are putting things so close to our eyes we should be mindful of what they contain.
At Peace With The Wild we have a great selection of natural eyeliners in various formats, that also come in refillable, reusable, and plastic free packaging.