Obsession of humans with decorating their faces can be understood by the fact that eyeliners were present before the felt pen. The earliest proof of use of eyeliners can be traced back to ancient India, Egypt, and Mesopotamia. Some artifacts and drawings show eyeliners were an important part of the social fabric in that era.
Ancient Egypt was a highly advanced civilization and many cosmetics including eyeliner, lipsticks, foundation, and hair color are their invention. In ancient Greek, Egypt, and Mesopotamia aristocrats i.e. people of high status used cosmetics to denote their superiority. Cosmetics were a luxury only the rich could afford.
The psychology behind the use of eyeliners?
The use of eyeliner has explanations deep-rooted into human consciousness. Some key factors led humans to use of cosmetics.
Human beings perceive symmetrical faces to be more attractive. We are drawn to faces whose left and right side both are proportioned. Gigi Hadid (the supermodel) is the perfect example of a symmetrical face. (add a picture of Gigi Hadid please)
Our eyes and eyebrows are the parts that determine facial symmetry. Eyeliner helps line the eyes to look more even and similar. This is one of the primary reasons people started wearing eyeliner as it made both eyes look symmetrical.
Eyeliner makes eyes look bigger and creates an illusion of darker eyelashes. In human psychology, larger eyes with thicker lashes are a sign of good health. We are wired to be attracted to healthier and fitter humans(this ensures better survival).
The third factor is the physical appeal. Humans and dolphins are only living beings that have mates for pleasure (in addition to the primitive purpose of breeding). Bigger, brighter eyes are attractive to us. So eyeliner helps us increase the overall attractiveness.
In some cultures, Pakistan, India, and the Middle East, it is widely believed that kohl/Surma/kajal helps enhance vision and is good for the eyes. It is a misconception and kohl/eyeliner/kajal has no proven health benefits.
If we look at history, eyeliners stayed absent from the makeup routine of women for decades. There is no historical evidence of women wearing eyeliner or any kind of eye makeup. Even though they wore extravagant wigs, clothes, lipsticks, face powders, and blush-on there was no eye makeup. Eyeliners made their official comeback in the 1920s. The styles of wearing eyeliner kept on changing but they became a vital part of makeup looks.
Goth and punk fashion:
In the 2000s eyeliners became widely popular with the Goth and punk culture. Amy Winehouse is the prime example of how fashionable extravagant eyeliners were during that time. It is still an important part of Goth culture but the style has changed.
Eyeliners started as kohl. The modern form of eyeliner that we see today came quite later in human history (in the 1900s). in many parts of the world, still, traditional kohl/kajal is used but in the US it is illegal. Kohl, kajal, or Surma contains color additives that are not approved by the FDA as the use of these products can cause elevated lead levels in the blood.
Infants whose mothers use Kohl have elevated lead levels. It is a common practice in some cultures (South Asian and Middle Eastern primarily) to line the eyes of infants with kohl or Surma for medicinal purposes and sometimes to ward off evil eyes. Many people still bring these traditional products to the US for individual use. However, for the retail market, eyeliner products only with FDA approved color additives are legal.
Composition of eyeliners:
The basic composition of all eyeliners is the same. i.e.
- Stearyl heptanoate
- Iron oxides
- Titanium dioxides, and
- Prussian blue
Eyeliners differ based on the formula i.e. liquid, solid, gel, etc.
Types of eyeliners:
The main types of eyeliners used globally are:
- Felt tip
- Eyeshadow eyeliner
- Kohl Pencil Eyeliner
- Kajal Eyeliner
Eyeliners mostly come in black, but there are multiple shades available as well. Blue, brown, green, teal, and white eyeliners are also getting popular. Eyeliners come in almost all shades now. another popular genre of eyeliners is glitter eyeliner.
Eyeliners are cosmetic products and all other cosmetics, are regulated by the FDA. FDA has strict guidelines when it comes to the packaging of the products.
Primary vs secondary packaging:
The container, the product comes in, is called primary packaging. it entirely depends on the formula.
Primary packaging for pen eyeliner is usually as a regular pen/pencil. Mechanical twist-up eyeliner is the most popular trend for this kind.
Gel liners come in small containers with lid and they’re usually applied with a brush.
Felt tip eyeliners are like markers, with a sharp, pointed, yet soft tip to apply the liner with precision.
Eyeshadow liners can be used as eyeshadows as well as a liner. They come in pans/palettes similar to eyeshadows.
As mentioned earlier Kohl and kajal eyeliner are not FDA approved, but they’re still widely used. These liners come in tube form with an applicator.
Secondary packaging for Eyeliners is customized and designed according to size, dimensions, and requirements of primary packaging. Custom Eye Liner Boxes are foldable cartons that must fulfill all the guidelines set by the FDA.
Secondary packaging must mention:
- All the Ingredients
- Shelf life
- Any Precautions
- Any Warnings, and
- Expiration date
Popular styles for eyeliner boxes:
Popular and best-suited styles for secondary packaging of eyeliners are:
- Bowl sleeve boxes
- Tuck end boxes
- Reverse tuck end boxes
You can customize these with graphics, logos, and brand names.
Eyeliners have been and will remain an integral part of our society. Styles may change but the use of eyeliner will stay constant. Our innate need for beauty and aesthetics will always keep us turning to eyeliners.