Women in ancient Greece were no different to the women of today when it comes to beauty. The imagery of an ideal woman or a beautiful woman was even present more than 3000 years ago. White skin was a sign of wealth and not using Greek makeup.

It proved that the woman didn’t have to work for hours in the sun. Hence a tanned skin was a sign of poverty while a pale and porcelain skin was a sign of prosperity.

Ancient Greek Beauty standard

In Ancient Greece, just like today, a beautiful body was considered to be evidence of a beautiful mind.
The men were supposed to be muscular and masculine. A full-lipped, chiseled face man was considered beautiful.
While a woman’s beauty standard consisted of having a soft body, rounded buttocks, long wavy hair and a gentle face. Even fat was considered to be a sign of prosperity when the majority of the population lived in poverty. White skin was highly seen as a symbol of beauty.

Greek makeup


Most women back then or even men, as a matter of fact, were not born with a pale or white skin tone. Hence women learned to fake their skin color with the use of makeup. They would use white lead on their face to make it look white.

This lead had toxic substances in it which in the long run had adverse effects on them. They would use white chalk but it was not very popular as chalk would disappear very quickly. They would mix honey and make a cream to keep their moisturized and sometimes added some drops of olive oil for a glowing skin.

makeup greece ancient

Ancient Greece women used olive oil extensively, not just for cooking but for makeup as well. They would mix olive oil with grounded charcoal and used the mixture to apply it around the eyes as an eyeliner.

To make lipsticks they would mix olive oil with beeswax or use red iron oxide with ochre clay. They also used red colored pastes to brighten their cheeks. The makeup was mostly subtle if the natural skin tone was bright.


Women’s Hair

Different kinds of hair would also mean different things in ancient times. Ancient Greek women who were slaves would keep their hair short. Black hair was also not considered beautiful. Hence women would do different things like, applying vinegar to their hair and sitting out in the sun, to lighten the color of their hair. To prevent a tan they would mostly cover themselves with a brim with a big hole on top. For conditioning the hair, they used to apply olive oil.

Makeup in Ancient Greece

Hence, the only difference in the makeup of today and makeup in ancient Greece is that the cosmetics used today are much more effective and less harmful than what was used many years ago, but other than that, the ancient Greeks used most of the cosmetics we use today.