Beauty | "It Takes Makeup To Look Natural - Calvin Klein"
This is one of my favorite quotes at the moment, and it really got me thinking. Back in the day women wore makeup to cover-up their blemishes, much like we do today. Except what they defined as a blemish was the pox and harsh and raw sunburn, not a teeny tiny pimple. I didn't intend to make this into a full on history lesson, but once I got reading I just couldn't stop!
A Lesson In Elizabethan Makeup:
For example, Elizabethans favoured a pale face with ruby red lips and glowing cheeks, it's something a lot of people strive for today and part of some of my favorite makeup looks. Talc and kohl based products were just coming into use but the favoured foundation was ceruse - a mix of white lead and vinegar - to lighten the skin as pale skin was reflective of wealth (no working in the fields for me!). I don't even want to think what applying lead to the skin everyday would do, but it's only probably marginally better than using mercury as a facial peel. Strangely the "in thing" was to trace blue veins onto the face after applying the ceruse to achieve the optimum pale factor. Eerie.
Belladonna was also dropped into the eye to give it a bright and enticing glow and paired with kohl liner (and here I'm not talking pencil liner!). High arches were also in fashion, as was - and this is painful - plucking the hairline for a "fashionably high brow". Yowza. I'll take a leg wax any day, thank you. Regrettably, the hair altering didn't stop there and urine mixed with a host of other ingredients was used to bleach the hair - they were actually kind of on track with the ammonia in this one, but still, that smell! Read the full article here.
Modern Day Makeup
Whilst the toxic ingredients might have changed, wearing makeup is still a statement of high fashion. It covers up our less than fatal flaws and makes us appear more attractive, healthier and more well-to-do, much like the Elizabethans. We still wear makeup as a matter of convention - and here I am explicitly speaking about the everyday, full face kind of can't-leave-the-house-without-it makeup. We have to wear makeup to fit in, to look just like everybody else, to look natural. Which I find highly ironic.
Hope you enjoyed today's post - I know it's a little different but my inner history buff found it really interesting!