on recent excavations in northwestern Iran, archaeological now
believe that eye makeup has been used Iran since about 4500 B.C.
archaeological discoveries at Haft-Tappeh in Khuzestan Province
indicate that women used to wear lipstick, rouge, and eye makeup
in 2000 B.C. in Iran.
era religious texts say that the wives of the king spent a lot of
time applying makeup and perfume before meeting the king.
ancient Greeks admired the Achaemenid era Persians for their
custom of wearing makeup and attributed the origin of the use of
cosmetics to the East.
used several different types and styles of makeup in the
Achaemenid, the Parthian, and the Sassanid eras.
items were used in women’s cosmetics in ancient Iran: sormeh
(black powder used as eyeliner), henna to dye the hair and hands,
qazeh (rouge powder for the cheeks), sefidab (powder to whiten the
face), vasmeh (powder to darken and thicken the eyebrows), zarak
(yellowish powder used to lighten the hair color), and khal (a
number seven symbolized perfection in ancient Zoroastrian
traditions and the number twelve symbolized virtue.
were common in ancient Iran but only married women were allowed to
wear makeup. The style of makeup was also different than the style
in the Islamic era. Texts by Avicenna and
Biruni were the first Iranian sources describing women’s use of
his book “Social History of Iran”, Ravandi quotes Avicenna and
Biruni as saying that women wore makeup to perfect their beauty.
“Many things were used to add to women’s beauty and there was
no limitation in the use of cosmetics,” he wrote.
ancient times, Iranian men also wore cosmetics. The famous
Parthian commander Surena
always wore makeup. Some sources have also mentioned that Darius
the Great used black eyeliner.