Eye shadow

Eye shadow

Eye shadow is a cosmetic that is applied on the eyelids and under the eyebrows. It is commonly used to make the wearer's eyes stand out or look more attractive.

Eye shadow adds depth and dimension to one's eyes, complements the eye color, or simply draws attention to the eyes. Eye shadow comes in many different colors and textures. It is usually made from a powder and mica, but can also be found in liquid, pencil, or mousse form. Civilizations across the world use eye shadow - predominantly on females, but also occasionally on males. In Western society, it is seen weasel-inline exclusively as a feminine cosmetic, even when used by men. On average, the distance between eyelashes and eyebrows is twice as big in women as in men. Thus pale eye shadow visually enlarges this area and has a feminizing effect.

In Gothic fashion, black or similarly dark-colored eye shadow and other types of eye makeup are popular amongst both genders.

Many people use eye shadow simply to improve their appearance, but it is also commonly used in theatre and other plays, to create a memorable look, with bright and even ridiculous colors. Depending on skin tone and experience, the effect of eyeshadow usually brings out glamor and gains attention. The use of eye shadow attempts to replicate the natural eye shadow that some women exhibit due to a natural contrasting pigmentation on their eyelids. Natural eye shadow can range anywhere from a glossy shine to one's eyelids, to a pinkish tone, or even a silver look.


Eye shadow can be applied in a variety of ways depending upon the desired look and formulation. Typically application is done using sponges, fingers, and/or brushes. The most important aspect of applying eyeshadow, and makeup in general, is blending well. An eyeshadow primer or base can be applied to prevent the shadow from fading or migrating to the crease. Many eyeshadow sets come with three colors, the lightest being the highlighter while the darkest is used in the crease. To apply, first lightly blend the base (medium) color all over the lid and then smudge the darker color from the lash line up to the crease. Once the two colors are thoroughly blended, sweep highlighter onto the browbone and blend. Finish with eyeliner and mascara if desired. To remove eyeshadow, a commercial eye makeup remover can be utilized, or a rich face wash will usually remove all traces of color. Generally it is easy to remove, and simple water and soap can also be used. Eye shadow, eyeliner, and mascara may also be removed using baby oil.

The history of eyeshadow

Cosmetics have been used for as long as there have been people to use them. Face painting is mentioned in the Old Testament (Ezekiel 23:40) and eye shadow was used in Egyptian burials dating back to 10,000 BC. [ http://users.aol.com/vanishwood/guild/cosmetic.htm ] The word "cosmetae" was first used to describe Roman slaves whose function was to bathe men and women in perfume. [ [http://www.healthy.net/library/books/aromatherapy/history.htm A History of Fragrance - Kathi Keville - Mindy Green - HealthWorld Online ] ]


As early as 10,000 BC, men and women used scented oils and ointments to clean and soften their skin and mask body odor. Dyes and paints were used to color the skin, body and hair. They rouged their lips and cheeks, stained their nails with henna, and lined their eyes and eyebrows heavily with kohl. Kohl was a dark-colored powder made of crushed antimony, burnt almonds, lead, oxidized copper, ochre, ash, malachite, and chrysocolla (a blue-green copper ore) or any combination thereof. [http://www.smith.edu/hsc/museum/ancient_inventions/hsc01b.htm] It was applied with a small stick. The upper and lower eyelids were painted in a line that extended to the sides of the face for an almond effect. In addition to reducing sun glare, it was believed that kohl eyeliner could restore poor eyesight and reduce eye infection. [ http://www.courses.dsu.edu/ed370/Crispage.htm] Kohl was kept in a small, flat-bottomed pot with a wide, tiny rim and a flat, disk-shaped lid. [ http://www.clpgh.org/cmnh/tours/egypt/dailylife.html] Everyone, regardless of age or gender wore makeup. Highly polished silver and copper mirrors aided the application of makeup. [ [http://www.powerup.com.au/~ancient/cosmet.htm Egyptian Cosmetic Items ] ]


In Greece, precious oils, perfumes, cosmetic powders, eye shadows, skin glosses, paints, beauty unguents, and hair dyes were in universal use. Export and sale of these items formed an important part of trade around the Mediterranean. During the 8th and 7th centuries BC, Corinthian, Rhodian and East Greek traders dominated markets in perfume flasks and cosmetic containers. The containers included aryballoi, alabastra, pyxides and other small specialized shapes. As commerce expanded and packaging design became more influential, manufacturers improved packaging to attract consumers. During the Classical period, pelike packaging in terracotta aryballoi and alabastra retailed at a premium. Simultaneously, cored-glass vessels began to appear in shapes adapted from terracotta containers. [ http://www.museum.upenn.edu/greek_world/Trade_craft/Precious.html


Iraqi men and women painted their faces with kohl just like the Egyptians did. This was to protect them from the ‘evil eye.’ After the defeat of the Greeks by the Romans, the original Egyptian intention suffered its final bastardization beyond any reasonable recovery. The Romans were unabashedly hedonistic; Egyptian oils that were once used for sacred purposes became nothing more than sexual accoutrements in Rome. There was some dignity amended when the Romans discovered medicinal applications as well. Plagues were so rampant throughout Rome, that aromatic gums and resins were burned to repel demons and bad spirits. [ http://www.medicinelodge.net/webdoc26.htm]

The Far East

The East 1500 BC: In China and Japan rice powder was used to paint faces pasty white. Eyebrows were shaved and plucked, teeth were painted gold or black, and Henna dyes were used to stain hair and faces. [ [http://www.cosmeticdiscounter.com/somhisandbac1.html Some history and background on Cosmetics ] ]

ee also

*Eye liner


* "University of Pennsylvania #1 [http://www.museum.upenn.edu/greek_world/Trade_craft/Precious.html] , accessed on June 27th, 2008 All text © 1995, 1996 by the University of Pennsylvania Museum of Archaeology and Anthropology

* "Cosmetics and Perfumes", 'Egypt, 10,000 BCE' by Mindy Cohen, 1999
[http://www.smith.edu/hsc/museum/ancient_inventions/hsc01b.htm] , accessed on June 26th, 2008

* "ED 370" Dakota State University
[http://www.courses.dsu.edu/ed370/Crispage.htm] , accessed on June 27th, 2008

* Carnegie Museum
[http://www.clpgh.org/cmnh/tours/egypt/dailylife.html] , accessed on June 28th, 2008

* "Cosmetic Items", by Mark T. Rigby
[http://www.powerup.com.au/~ancient/cosmet.htm] , accessed on June 27th, 2008

* "The History of the Schism Between Ancient Perfumery and Its Modern-Day Counterparts", by Raed Rady
[http://www.medicinelodge.net/webdoc26.htm] , accessed on June 27th, 2008

* "A History of Fragrance" ©1995 Kathi Keville and Mindy Green
[http://www.healthy.net/library/books/aromatherapy/history.htm] , accessed on June 27th, 2008

* "Period Cosmetics or How to be a Bona-fide Byzantine Belle", by Gwendolyn Merch Llewelyn
[http://users.aol.com/vanishwood/guild/cosmetic.htm] , accessed on June 27th, 2008

* Ancient Cosmetics & Fragrance: Egypt, Greece and Rome, accessed June 2008
[http://www.cyonic-nemeton.com/Cosmetics.html] , by Ty Narada

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Look at other dictionaries:

  • eye shadow — eye shadows also eye shadow N MASS Eye shadow is a substance which you can paint on your eyelids in order to make them a different colour …   English dictionary

  • eye shadow — eye shad ow, eyeshadow eye shad ow([imac] sh[a^]d [=o]), n. a cosmetic powder or cream of a dark tint, applied on the eyelids or just under the eyebrows to accentuate the eyes. Compare {eyeliner}. [PJC] …   The Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • eye shadow — eye .shadow n [U and C] coloured ↑make up that you put on your ↑eyelids to make your eyes look more attractive …   Dictionary of contemporary English

  • eye shadow — eye ,shadow noun count or uncount a colored substance that you can put on the skin above your eyes …   Usage of the words and phrases in modern English

  • eye shadow — ☆ eye shadow n. a cosmetic preparation of any of various colors applied to the upper eyelids …   English World dictionary

  • eye shadow — noun : a cosmetic cream in various colors that is applied to the eyelids to accent the eyes * * * a cosmetic coloring material applied to the eyelids. Also, eyeshadow. [1925 30] * * * eye shadow UK US noun [countable/uncountable] [singular eye… …   Useful english dictionary

  • eye shadow — UK / US noun [countable/uncountable] Word forms eye shadow : singular eye shadow plural eye shadows a coloured substance that you can put on your eyelids …   English dictionary

  • eye shadow — n. to apply, put on eye shadow * * * [ aɪˌʃædəʊ] put on eye shadow to apply …   Combinatory dictionary

  • eye shadow — {n. phr.} A cream used to darken the eyelids in order to make the eyes more noticeable. * /Jane s mother told her that girls in the ninth grade shouldn t be using eye shadow./ …   Dictionary of American idioms

  • eye shadow — {n. phr.} A cream used to darken the eyelids in order to make the eyes more noticeable. * /Jane s mother told her that girls in the ninth grade shouldn t be using eye shadow./ …   Dictionary of American idioms

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