This Video Lets You Time-Travel Through 5000 Years of Makeup History

Kirstin Fawcett

Did you know that both men and women in ancient Egypt wore makeup? Or that in 16th century Venice, foundation was highly sought after—yet highly toxic—and gradually damaged your skin the more you wore it?

These historical tidbits come courtesy of Lisa Eldridge, a makeup artist who recently released her debut book, Face Paint: The Story of Makeup. In the YouTube video above, she re-creates looks from various cultural eras, explaining the provenance—and cultural perceptions—of some of the past's most iconic beauty trends.

While the video gives a quick overview of makeup from ancient Egypt through the 21st century, Eldridge’s book goes into even more depth. Face Paint: The Story of Makeup provides readers with an overarching history of the beauty industry, the origin stories of various makeup staples, and an exploration of the ancient color palette—red lipstick and rouge, black eyeliner and mascara, and whitening formulas and powders.

Turns out cosmetics have never been skin deep; they've always been fraught with religious, cultural, and socioeconomic implications. They've also always been a fun method of self-expression—no matter which time period you've lived in.

All images courtesy of YouTube

[h/t Elle]