Unlike women of the earlier ages, women in the Victorian era emphasized more on the use of natural elements than toxic industrial products. Health and hygiene was equally important to looking glamorous, though their definition of glamorous was, unlike the loudness and grandeur of our ladies today, the use of minimum make-up.
Loud touch-up including a ‘bare minimum’ of blush on the cheeks was associated with prostitutes and therefore, found the place in the aristocracy and landed gentry the same Satan found in heaven! So you can understand the danger of putting too much or too little of anything and the dilemma of the ladies. What with the concern of looking the most beautiful in the crowd, any addition would likely cause a headache!
Unlike today when you can consciously neglect one aspect of your dressing in virtue of another, Victorian women put special attention to each and every noticeable part of their body. The face was as significant as the hair and complexion. Together, the trinity would attract compliments only we women know how much we love!
The first impression that a gentleman is likely to get of a lady is from the subtleness yet attractiveness of the face. The key was to look natural, giving an impression, “Oh look! I haven’t put, but any make-up at all!” The noxious powder mixtures of the previous era was supplanted by zinc oxide and was widely used as face powder although toxicity still found roots in her lips and eyes in the form of lead, mercuric sulfide, belladonna and antimony sulfide. Much popular as it was, it attracted grave criticism from those who wanted to safeguard ethics and morals in the patriarchal society of the Victorian era.
To help women perfect their looks, a wide range of books were available giving them know-how’s of natural beauty. While soap and water was as common as it is today, adding water to a mixture of rosewater, lemon juice, potassium carbonate (also known as potash) and brandy had a revitalizing outcome on the skin. Delicate and soft skin could likewise be achieved by a mixture of mercury, butter and almonds.
Key To The ‘Locks’
The hair drives men fanatical and women know it. The form and nature of hairstyles have changed over generations. A neat hair-do was more acceptable than a free flowing mane in the Vi Victorian Beauty Treatmentsctorian era. Also, the hair was most important to enhance the beauty rather than compliment the dress.
The ‘Gibson Tuck’, the ‘Psyche Knot’ and the ‘Three Braids’ were especially prominent. Other hairstyling devices that were invented were crimping with the hot iron resulting in the ‘Marcel Wave’.
Last of all, the Victorian era was much prejudiced against dark, black or tanned skin. To look pale and sickly Victorian women would go to the extent of avoiding the sun and fresh air and painting fine blue lines on the face to make them look like veins. They would also accentuate their dark circles with red colour and drink vinegar to enhance their whiteness.
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