Caveman Cosmetics? Neanderthal Makeup Discovered

Published in: News

Pretty prehistoric girl

Cleopatra may have rocked a mean cat eye, but she wasn’t history’s first style icon. Scientists say that title may belong to a 50,000-year-old Neanderthal.


Professor Joao Zilhao, an archaeologist from Bristol University in the UK, and his team say that shells found at two sites once inhabited by Neanderthals in the Murcia province of southern Spain were actually containers used to mix and store “body paint.”

Along with the ancient pigment-coated shells, the team uncovered black sticks of manganese, lumps of a yellow pigment possibly used as a foundation, and a red powder mixed with flecks of a reflective brilliant black mineral (used as eyeshadow, perhaps?).

Our ancient girl was quite the trendsetter, at the forefront of natural cosmetics. 🙂

Your friendly neighborhood beauty addict,



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So far, 14 people have commented on this article. How cool is that?

  1. Amanda says:

    HA! at the forefront of natural cosmetics. Love it! thanks for the smile this morning.

  2. CC says:

    I wonder what she looked like and how she used the makeup. Interesting….Thanks!

    • Karen says:

      Me too. I’m guessing it was probably used for ceremonies, but I think it would be very cool if it was used for every day beautification, too.

      How’s your weekend going so far? Doing anything fun?

      • CC says:

        I bet she looked like a MAC Style Warrior :). I’m feeling sick, so I’m staying in my nice heated bed all day. How’s your weekend?

  3. amy says:

    Cool post, I love learning about fashion and cosmetics history. I wonder what is her application process like. Would it be like war paint style?
    .-= amy’s last blog post… FOTD Smokey Blues MAC Vex, Copperplate and The Balm Shady Lady Risque Renee Eyeshadows with MAC Sense of Style Kohl Power Liner and MAC High Def Lipstick =-.

  4. Jen says:

    sooooo fabulous!

    being able to wear makeup is one of the cool things of being a woman!

    yay modern us & yay prehistoric us! 🙂
    .-= Jen’s last blog post… Hanging out is the thing to do… =-.

  5. mary says:

    I wonder how long it took her to realize she needed to remove her facial hair for all that stuff tolook good…

  6. Roxanne says:

    LOL, Style Black A.D. That picture made me laugh so hard! But damn… If even the Neanderthals had Sephora, how come we don’t? 😉

  7. diane says:

    Super cool post! Love it! I know some things about the history of clothing because I’ve studied that but I don’t know anything about make up history 😛

    Have a nice day!

    .-= diane’s last blog post… The ED style =-.

  8. lesley says:

    Love this article, did you also read the one about Cleopatra, makeup, and the benefits of wearing eye makeup?

  9. Katie & Zena says:

    LOL, that definitely made my day happier.

    Oh yea, I uploaded Zeeber’s pictures on Facebook for you to see!

  10. Glosslizard says:

    Wow, that’s a serious trendsetter to rock the makeup before mirrors! She is on my list of heroes! 😀

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