When you think about beauty trends from history, chances are your mind goes to the dramatic flapper bob from the Roaring ’20s or maybe the cat eyes Greaser gals made famous in the ’50s. But what about before that? Like, long before that. We’re talking BC times here. While it may come as a surprise to you, hair + makeup were just as beloved back then as they are now. But as you might have guessed, the most popular styles were very, very different. Now you can check out those ancient looks and then some in Buzzfeed’s latest trends-through-time video.
The four-minute crash course focuses not on the 20th century makeup we know and love, but rather spotlights looks we might not be so familiar with. Starting all the way back in 31 BC, we watch as a beauty with dark skin gets transformed into a mega eye-lined look that was all the rage in ancient Egypt. Then the video transitions to ancient Greece where women actually used to glue animal hair on their faces if they didn’t have a natural unibrow (say whaaat?).
After ancient Greece, the video jumps to India’s Gupta Age (320-550 AD) where eyes were lined with kohl and hair was decorated with fresh flowers. Things get a little wild as we head into the Elizabethan era (think: a glamorized version of clown makeup) and continue to take the more-is-more attitude as we arrive at the time of the Japanese Geisha.
In addition to simply showing you each look, Buzzfeed points out fun facts about each different era, like how Geishas used to paint a white “W” shape around the nape of their neck and how during the years leading up to the French Revolution, ladies used grease as lip gloss and sometimes painted on veins (pale skin was ideal back then). As interesting as these pro tips are, we can’t say we’ll be copying any of these looks to a tee.
Unlike the transformative beauty history videos that have been popular as of late, Buzzfeed’s take chooses to put more of an emphasis on global, cultural trends as a whole and we commend them for that. This isn’t the kind of beauty video you watch to learn how to replicate a look IRL but rather the kind where you walk away with a little more insight about an era you probably weren’t familiar with before. Buzzfeed, if you’re listening, we’re already ready for more.
What’s the most interesting bit of info you took away from this video? Share with us in the comments below.