How to Make Cleopatra Eyes

Once you know how to make Cleopatra eyes, you will be ready to add some drama to your nighttime eye makeup. This exotic look appears hard to apply, but really isn't. 

Color Symbolism
In ancient Egypt, it was not unusual for both men and women to have dramatic eye makeup. The eye makeup did more then enhance their beauty; it had religious undertones.

The three main colors that were used, green, gray and silver, all have distinct meanings. Green, or Udju, originated in Sinai. In Sinai, the god Hathor, who was the protector of women, was sacred. Hathor not only protected women but also ruled over both love and beauty.

The gray eye makeup, or Mesdemet, was a gift to the Pharoh, who was a god in his own right. The use of gray eye makeup honored the Pharoh.

Galena, a silvery mineral, not only looked good but also helped protect the skin around the eye from the damaging desert sun. This protective quality of Galena ties into the Egyptians belief of the evil eye. Whether wealthy or poor, those who wore the eye makeup received spiritual protection from the evil eye from the power of the eye makeup.  

Egyptians considered eye makeup so important that the dead received an application of eye makeup before they were sealed in the burial chambers.

Getting the Egyptian Look
In ancient times, Black kohl, lapis lazuli and green malachite graced the eyelids of women. While black kohl is still used, many women prefer easy-to-apply liquid eyeliner. The colors for Cleopatra eyes are the same, but they are no longer made with harmful minerals.

Follow these eye makeup tips to get perfect Cleopatra eyes:

  • Step 1: Prep lids with an eye base. It can be creamy or shimmery.
  • Step 2: Brush a light shadow, such as beige, taupe or cream, over the entire lid, and then blend to the brow bone.
  • Step 3: Chose a deep, intense shadow color. Traditional colors such as navy, green, gold or even black work well. Apply the shadow to the contour and blend into the crease.
  • Step 4: Finish with thick, dark eyeliner. Use either traditional kohl or liquid eyeliner. Start at the inner corner of the eyelid and draw a thin line. As you extend the line, gradually thicken it. Sweep the line out past the corner of the eye and give it an upward turn-for that dramatic "cat's eye" look. Repeat the eyeliner on lower lid, extending the line upward to meet the upper lid's line.
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