8 Surprising Makeup Facts from Ancient Times!

8 Surprising Makeup Facts from Ancient Times!

Well, let's celebrate Trivia Day 2024 with makeup trivia. We have found some interesting Facts about makeup you would be surprised to know. So it’s not your regular makeup ideas or makeup tips & hacks, but straight-up facts about makeup that come from eras that literally invented makeup as we know it today. Well, not exactly, because we’ve come far away from using crushed bugs for lipstick, and insect ashes for concealer. Yup!

Scroll ahead for more such amazing facts about makeup that we’re sure you never even heard about before. And don’t forget to try some of those ancient, old-timey Roman, Greek, and Egyptian makeup ideas if you will. 😛 And when you do, please tell us all about it in the comments, and we will surely add yours to our list of unknown makeup facts. 🙂

#1 Nail Polish Used to be a Rich-people Patent in Ancient China

Yup, only the ruling class would apply colored polish on their nails to look distinguished from the general public.

#2 Ancient Mesopotamia Used Crushed Gems as Lipstick!

And we’re talking about some 5000 years ago, they’d simply crush gems to powder and press it onto their lips to color them.

#3 Donkey Milk, Swan Fat, Snail Ashes Instead of Concealer

You heard it right - in Ancient Rome they used donkey milk and swan fat to soften wrinkles, and—of course, as normal as it sounds—ashes of snails to treat freckles. Hmm…

#4 Mascara = Soap & Pigment Mixture with Hot Water



A Small Brush Dipped into Hot Water was rubbed into a mixture of pigments and soap and applied to the lashes to make them look longer & darker.

#5 Cat Eye was Invented by Cleopatra, Obvs, Duh!


She used to apply kohl, made with a lead-based mineral—galena, for medicinal & beautifying purposes. Thank you, Cleopatra; we’re all indebted to you!

#6 Ancient Egypt, Again, Used Red Ochre for Lipstick & Blush

Yes, red ochre—natural clay earth pigment—mixed with water was applied on lips & cheeks for that natural flush.

#7 Oils & Cream were Used as Natural Sunscreens

No SPF 30, 50, 70 existed, nobody knew a thing about the ‘broad spectrum’. Oils & creams were the popular choice for sun protection.

#8 Beetles, Crushed to, Well, Death = Lipsticks for Ancient Aztec People


Grinding beetles gave a pigment called carmine, which was a pretty deep red color, and a natural element to use as lipstick.

So, how many of these unknown makeup facts did you already know? And are there any makeup facts that we missed out on? Tell us all of it in the comments, we’re as enthusiastic about makeup and as big of makeup lovers as you are! XOXO, darlings! 🙂