Continuing on the history of Makeup, Part 2 – Early Europe and in this blog we explore the Middle Ages in Europe and its trends that influence the modern world of Make-up.
The church leaders deemed it was immoral to wear makeup during the Middle Ages but women still did added color to their faces and still give the illusion of not wearing any make-up. Eyelashes and Eyebrows where removed to give more importance to the forehead, which was the most important feature in females’ faces at that time. From the Renaissance makeup aim was to lighten the skin to look more upper class and more Aristocratic had paler skin since they did not work long hours in the sun like the lower class had to. Again the white lead, mercury and arsenic was used which lead to many deaths. The look called “Mask of Youth” coined by Queen Elizabeth I of England followers. Also because the Queen had a reddish-gold hair, many women dyed their hair with the same shade, or wore hairpieces or full wigs in her red shade. So, it was popular to dye eyelashes and eyebrows in reddish tones. These dyes where poisonous leading to hair loss and damage to the skin.
During the French Restoration in the 18th century, The French interrupted Elizabeth’s ‘look’ as way to distinguish royalty and the socially elite. The French adopted the whitened face but also added very large red rouge cheeks and red lipstick were used to give the impression of a healthy, fun-loving spirit.
In the Victorians Era it was back to the natural no makeup look as full makeup was seen as sinful. The wearing of makeup was by prostitutes or actresses. Lipstick was not used and eyebrows plucked with only caster oil for the eyelashes and rice powder on the nose. During this time, a respectable woman would pinch her cheeks and bite her lips to add color. Very discrete dyes from beetroot were used on the cheeks and lips to give the appearance of healthy look.
The next blog is the final part of this series on History of Makeup. History of Makeup – Part 3 – The birth of Today’s Makeup.
If you missed Part 1 of this series go to www.debraspence.com
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