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Archive for May, 2018

During the Georgian era, cosmetics (mostly lead based) were used in abundance. However, during the Regency the style changed to a natural look. The beauty emphasis focused on a natural complexion spurring a variety of creams and other stratagems for the much desire milky complexion. Here are some of the products popular at the time. Milk of Roses, Olympian Dew, Gowland’s Lotion, The Bath Lotion, Bloom of Ninon. Home remedies included crushed strawberries and cucumber.

Instead of resorting to the rouge pot (still used by older ladies) for a healthy bloom in their cheeks young ladies were encouraged to “take the air” in the form of outdoor exercise: walking, riding a horse, riding in an open carriage were all the rage. Suntans and freckles—no one wanted to be labeled ‘bran faced—were definitely not in fashion, therefore large brimmed hats and parasols were highly encouraged for outdoor jaunts.

For older ladies who needed some help, Pear’s Almond Bloom was a popular foundation that guaranteed a light delicate tint. Rice power or fine talcum powder were of the few cosmetics not frowned upon. To give one’s skin a shiny look, finely ground bismuth in the form of Pear’s White Imperial Powder was used. As with most cosmetics, this was used by more mature ladies.

Power, liquid, and cream rouges could be used in a pinch.

Eye makeup was frowned upon, but it did exist. Burnt cork and mixing lamp-black with oil could be made into a paste that was applied to eyebrows and lashes. In Georgette Heyer’s, The Infamous Army, the heroine admits to darkening her lashes.

Darkening one’s lips appeared to be roundly condemned, although, cosmetics did exist in the form of Rose Lip Salve made of almond oil, white wax, and a coloring agent. Rigge’s Liquid Bloom was also popular. It apparently gave lips a rosy glow. Again, these would be used by older ladies.

Washing not only one’s body but ones teeth became much more important. Helpfully, the first commercial tooth cleansers became available. One product was called Essence of Pearl. Some of the products promised to stop decay, fasten loose teeth, and cure gum infections.

The first book on beauty, The Mirror of the Graces or The English Lady’s Costume, was published by A Lady of Distinction in 1811.

It encouraged ladies thusly, “Combining and harmonizing taste and judgment, elegance and grace, modesty simplicity, economy with fashion in dress. And adapting the various articles of female embellishment to different ages, forms, and complexions; to the seasons of the year, rank and situation in life: With useful advice on female accomplishments, politeness and manners; the cultivation of the mind and the disposition and the carriage of the body: offering also the most efficacious means of preserving health, beauty and loveliness. The whole according with the general principles of nature and rules of nature.”

#RegencyTrivia

 

 

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