Posted by Gayle on August 01, 1998 at 09:02:07:
In response to beauty tricks, written by mishel on July 31, 1998 at 22:58:11
Marie-Bernadette and Earlene have already shared some excellent information, but this is an interesting topic and I'm glad you started the discussion.
I have the book Jane Austen In Style by Susan Watkins and published by Thames & Hudson, copyright 1996 (ISBN 0-500-27900-4). There, I found some information about cosmetics used during the Regency period (and before) and thought I'd share what I found about Gowland Lotion, the preparation Sir Walter Elliot recommended for the "treatment" of freckles to Mrs. Clay. From p. 153...
Gowland's Lotion, a read product, was sold widely at this time, and was described in an advertisement of 1814 as 'the most pleasant and effective remedy for all complaints to which the Face and Skin are liable.'...There were also numerous commercial products available for whitening the teeth, supplemented by home remedies for tooth complaints. Toothache was the most common medical complaints of the period. The most common solution was extraction, but teeth were also hand-drilled and filled with molten led, tin or gold. In 1800 Wedgewood supplied paste for the making of china teeth. The prevalence of advertisements and the bustling trade in tooth removal suggest a lot of imperfect smiles.
I also found some info in the book, supporting what Earlene has already shared about people avoiding white powder at this time in favor of rouge made of vegetable dyes (I guess we'd call it "dyes."). Evidently, during the 18th century, white powdered faces were quite popular, as were patches to cover imperfections. As an aside, I was really struck by what looked almost (to me) like tatoos on the face of some of the men in the recent adaptations of Moll Flanders (the one starring Alex Kingston as Moll) and The History of Tom Jones, a Foundling starring Max Beesley and Samantha Morton. Of course, these were set before the Regency period. Anyway, this is what the book has to say about this (also on p. 153)...
During the eighteenth century women poisoned their bodies and damaged thie skin by painting the face, arms and decolletage with ceruse, containing white lead. Pock marks and facial ulcers were hidden behind face patches in the shape of hearts or crescents. Patching for both mena and women ramined popular until about 1790, though by this time stark white faces with reddened lips and cheeks were passing out of fashion. Faces during the Regency period were admired for a naturally pale beauty and clear complexion, though some older women maintained the blush of youth with the help of a little rouge.
- For ladies who want to "carry away their freckeles" ;-) The Mysterious H.C. 20:56:02 8/01/98 (2)
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