The Origin and Transformation of Eyeliner
There are many products that became popular because it was an easy way to enhance the look of youth and health. For instance, instead of pinching your cheeks for color- pink powders were developed to emulate a healthy flush. Youth and health were directly connected to wealth and had (and have) a direct connection to attraction.
…Now ill tell you something you might not know
Eyeliner was first used for the same reason that football players (and many other athletes) wear “eye black”. In ancient Egypt, men and women would wear dark pigments around their eyes in order to protect their eyes from the sun, and reduce the glare of the sun. Similarly, athletes wear streaks of thick “eye black” to produce the same result of sunglasses.
In the 1920’s the idea of eyeliner was popularized after the discovery of images of Cleopatra and King Tutt’s tomb. As a woman, asserting independence was important, and many hip women began emulating the look of eyeliner.
In the 40’s the end of World War I left ladies with a shortage of stockings, so they began using eyeliner to draw a straight line up the back of their legs to look like the seam of a stocking.
As makeup generally became more popular, eyeliner sales increased throughout the world- The usage of eyeliner is very relevant to the culture you identify with. For example, for a mod westernized look you can apply liquid winged eyeliner to the top lash line. In India, kohl is used to line eyes and creates a more smokey look. It is generally applied on the lower lash line.
I love that makeup immediately alludes to history. The way you apply your eyeliner can change the era that you refer to. Above, Mark Kanemura works eyeliner like a boss, Kohl Liner is pictured in true form, Sophia Loren emulates Cleopatra, “Eye Black” is worn by an intense athlete, and Gwen Stefani wears eyeliner and is (basically) perfection.