Wednesday, February 2, 2011
Cosmetics in the Past
Makeup, in one form or another, has been used since before the dawn of Christianity. In ancient tombs, archaeologists have found evidence of the use of unguents to hydrate the skin in the hot, dry climate of Egypt. In addition, Egyptians colored the underlid of their eyes with dark green, and blackened their lashes and upper lids with kohl. The ancient Greeks used mulberry juice to color their cheeks and lips, while other civilizations used concoctions made from beet juice or other berries.
In Rome, during the 1st century AD, citizens used kohl, too, along with chalk to whiten their faces, rouge to color lips and cheeks, and pumice to clean their teeth. Persians preferred henna to stain their hair and faces.
During the Victorian era, it was considered vulgar for women to use coloring on their faces, so when a young lady wanted to make a favorable impression on a suitor, she was inclined to pinch her cheeks and dab a little grease on her lips to make them shine.
Ladies were not the only ones to use makeup. Up until the middle of the nineteenth century, men wore rouge, and of course used talcum to whiten their wigs, when those hairpieces were in fashion.
George IV is said to have spent a small fortune on cosmetics, unguents and cologne.
Here are a few cosmetic recipes used in the late 1800s:
For freckle removal, squeeze the juice of chickweed, and add three times that amount of water to the chickweed juice, then bathe the skin ten minutes morning and evening.
To wash the complexion: Take one teaspoon flour of sulphur, and to that, add a wine glass of lime water well shaken. Mix in one-half glass glycerin and a full glass of rose water. Rub on face nightly before bedtime.