Episode 5: Everything about Beauty: Then and Now
Everything About Beauty: Then and Now
Brushing teeth with charcoal toothpaste. One individual’s account.
Temp lip tats
(NOT A SPONSOR…we just thought they were cool. You’re welcome)
Wigs and cages
- Wigs really came on the scene in the early 1700’s. King Louis the 14th wanted to cover up his bald spots and a trend was born.
- Popular because of syphilis’ side effect of hair loss.
- Women (and men) needed wig cages to protect the wig at night from rats and mice crawling inside and making a comfy nest.
image: Library of Congress
The Elusive Powder Room
- Wigs were powdered with wheat flour, bone meal, white clay, or corn flour scented with aromatic oils like orange or lavender to cover the smell of the rancid fats used to glue down the wig’s hair.
Portuguese Urine Mouthwash & Tooth Whitener in Ancient Rome
- Wealthy Romans, especially women wanted pearly white teeth.
- Portuguese urine, not home grown urine was considered best.
- Imported from Portugal
- In ancient Rome there were collection vessels where passersby could relieve themselves.
- Taken to be used at the laundry.
- So popular Nero taxed it.
- Ammonia acted as disinfectant
- Used in mouthwash into 18th century
https://www.smithsonianmag.com/science-nature/from-gunpowder-to-teeth-whitener-the-science-behind-historic-uses-of-urine-442390/?no-ist Urine gives you a whiter smile. Smithsonian Magazine.
Greek Eyebrow Fashion
- Abundant, untouched eyebrows were a sign of purity in ancient Greece.
- Unibrow was a sign of intelligence and beauty
- For those who didn’t have abundant or dark eyebrows augmentation was an option.
- Fake eyebrows made of horse hair, or augmented with antimony or soot in a pinch.
- Petronius’s “ideal woman” had eyebrows that “almost met again close beside her eyes,” while the mistress of the writer Anacreon had eyebrows that “neither join nor sever”. The ideal, it seems, was actually a kind of blurred join in the middle: not two separate eyebrows, and not a monobrow either.
Mouches-French for Flies
Image Source: http://willows95988.typepad.com/tongue_cheek/
- Fake beauty spots were popular in the 18th century courts of Europe-male and female.
- Made of velvet, silk or taffeta.
- Covered smallpox scars, scars from liberal use of lead based face powder
- hearts, spades, clubs, even tableaus (an entire horse-drawn carriage-shaped patch has been documented).
- Could wear up to a dozen patches
- mistress of Louis XV, Madame Du Barry, created a crib sheet for mouche-decoding
- A mouche on the cheek meant you were a flirt,
- near the lower lip suggested you were discreet (but still wanted to let everyone know it).
- Even private messages were sent via beauty mark.
- In Spain, one suitor learned the status of his beloved’s relationship with another man by reading her face: a patch on her right temple let him know a break-up was on the horizon and she would soon be back on the market.
- Patch boxes-example brainjunkpodcast.com show notes.