Cosmetics & Stuff
Posted by P. Bingham on February 22, 1998 at 18:20:59:
In response to Makeup in P&P2, written by Pat on February 20, 1998 at 12:55:49
Here's what I have collected on this subject from many different sources, some of which I never wrote down. I know that The Regency Companion goes over this subject fairly well(the fashionables at least)if you have access to it:
Brow and lash blackeners: grate ashes and burnt ivory shavings.
Cosmetics used to whiten the face: Ceruse was used which contained white lead & so was poisenous. talc was used but it contained mercury which too is poisonous. Oil of talc was used to make the skin clear and white and to remove unsightly spots. I don't know if it contained the mercury. Venetian talc was also a beauty powder but I have no other information about it. If it was talc, it too probably contained mercury.
rouge: was made from red sandlewood or orchanet root and applied with a soft hare's foot. If used too frequently it too could damage the skin. Rouge was kept in a rouge pot or box. Various other vegetable dyes were used to color the cheeks and lips. I don't have anything more specific that that.
As far as whether a lady would use cosmetics, the younger crowd would have used a little, just to brighten the cheeks and lips and perhaps to darken thier brows and lashes. It would not have been an obvious application.
From what I have read, I understand that generally it was the older crowd that continued to use the powders that they had already began to suspect was causing major problems to their health. They would have been the ladies that were old enough to still have the pock scars that were so prevalant of the preceding era, before the vaccinations became wide-spread. Perhaps hiding the scars was more important than their health, just as some of us continue to smoke tobacco even though we know it is not good for our health. Maybe in thier minds they were thinking..."just a little bit more" I believe they suspected the lead as poisonous but perhaps they did not know about the mercury. Even cooks continued to use both lead and mercury as food dyes until well into the Regency.
- Lead and mercury in food dye? Yuck! (nfm) Marie Bernadette 01:43:31 2/24/98 (4)
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