Re: Cosmetic use
Posted by Grace on October 14, 1997 at 16:08:10:
In response to Re: Cosmetic use, written by Jane Elizabeth on August 22, 1997 at 14:01:18
] I think by the second decade, a natural look ... leading one to believe they were not used much.
---> Alot of this, I believe was based on location as well.
The wealthier and more extensive the society the more exposed to "imports" and so more influenced by fashion and trends - like the more or less extensive use of cosmetics.
The French and the Germans used cosmetics more liberally
than did the British, across the board.
In the Colonies (during the same time) it seems that cosmetics were used *very* liberally by the wealthy, as it seemed to be looked upon as being more worldly - especially in the French influenced colonies where some recently exhumed bodies from one of the older city cemeteries (sp?) in New Orleans revealed faces of three young women (who died in their early twenties) almost completely preserved (mummified) as a result of more than a 1/4 inch of beeswax based make-up, then rouge, then powder - applied as what is considered to be the fashion of the time and not a funeral directors "artwork".
Also - (and I take this with a grain of salt) I have toured many old, grand houses and heard repeatedly (by tour guides, etc.) that the screens placed in front of fireplaces were developed for, and placed in a room according to the position of the ladies sitting in that room - to sheild them from the heat of the blaze so that their heavy make-up did not melt. In addition (again, grain/salt), the same sources also claim that most ladies of the day heavily fortified their beds with pillows and slept upright so as not to smear their make-up (which they slept in) as the heavy application took many hours to apply, was really mask-like, delicate, and if gotten into the hair (horrors!) would require a washing (which was rarely done more than once every two weeks).
So... let's hope that our country girls were not trying so hard as their more fashionable city neighbors or as insecure as their colonial sisters. I would prefer to think that Lizzy's "fine eyes" were not set off by a half inch of spooge blocking her pores and running down her neck as she tramped across the country side.
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