It’s 75 degrees and balmy out today and there isn’t a cobweb, jack-lantern, or unapologetically childhood-ruining skankified getup in sight!
*Sigh* One of my favorite American holidays will have to be a miss this year. I suppose I will make do with watching everyone’s creative costumes, sugar-high revelry, and mischief-making materialize on Facebook!
BUT am I one to leave you empty-handed on this ghoulish occasion, my pretties *hrm hrm* dear readers? Mwa ha Ha HA! Of course not:
The closest thing that Egypt seems to come to Halloween is the creativity with which women apply their makeup. Many go for a clean, natural look or cleverly match outfit to eye shadow, but the Khaleeji look popular in the Gulf states and borrowed here for special occasions takes makeup to a whole different level.
The emphasis is on the eyes at all times, though the face is often lightened and highlighted dramatically with opaque foundation and powder. The eyebrows are heavily drawn and the lashlines are emphasized with very dark liner, almost to a cat-eye look. Next, all kinds of colors are intricately layered and blended on the eyelid, all the way up to the brow and out to the sides of the face. Sometimes, false eyelashes are applied and the lips are lined and colored.
This is not an everyday look for most people, but it does seem to be popular for special events like weddings. Honestly, I don’t know how women who might wear this regularly would have time for anything else in the day. It seems like you’d get lost in the layers of spackle-thick face goo. There was one clerk at at a hotel near Montaza beach who had such heavy makeup on that her neck looked like it belonged to a separate person from her face. *OOOOhhh scary!*
Here is a Khaleeji makeup tutorial in Arabic. The makeup artist is also wearing the style of hijab popular in the Gulf area–black abayas sometimes with a metallic trim and the all-important hair poof underneath (actually it’s usually anything but hair).
I try very hard to be culturally-relative with every new experience here, but this is one thing I can’t seem to wrap my head around, especially as someone belonging to the more-is-less school of thought in all matters cosmetological. I don’t really understand women who try and hide nature, as I find Egyptian women quite beautiful even without makeup. But who knows? Maybe one day I’ll try the Khaleeji look for myself.
until then, Happy Haunting!