What Is Arabic Makeup?


Quick Answer

Arabic makeup is a style based on traditional beauty secrets of Arab women, particularly the use of dramatic, smoky kohl eyeliner and henna body painting. Historians believe that both men and women in the Middle East and North Africa have been shading their eyes with kohl since the early B.C. era.

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Full Answer

Arabic women inspire makeup lovers around the world with their dramatic style. The Arab eye, shaded with kohl, has a long tradition.

Kohl is a natural product made by crushing stone into a powdery substance. Arab women apply kohl with a special wand, called a meti. As of 2013, the "Yemeni Times" reported that some younger women have been turning to eyeliners from global beauty brands but that many older women still love the color intensity and natural ingredients of kohl. Some Arab women like the convenience of modern cosmetic products, such as waterproof eyeliner for humid weather, but still enjoy using kohl at home.

Henna body painting is part of traditional Arabic bridal makeup. The day before her wedding, an Arabic bride holds a ghumra, or henna night. During the ghumra, an artist paints the hands and feet of the bride and her friends with henna designs. The use of traditional cosmetics provides many Arabic women with important links to tradition.

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