Beauty Practices

Three Mid-nineteenth Century Royal Beauties and Their Beauty Secrets

Three mid-nineteenth century royal beauties served as the glamorous ideal for women in the Victorian Era. These three beauties were the Empress Eugénie (wife of Napoleon III, Emperor of the French), Princess Alexandra of Denmark (wife to Albert Edward, Prince of Wales, and heir apparent to Queen Victoria), and Elizabeth of Austria (wife to Franz…

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Victorian Beauty and How to Retain It

Victorian women were highly body conscious. They wore corsets to create tiny waistlines and bustles and petticoats to enhance and improve their buttocks. Victorian women were also idealized in paintings by popular nineteenth-century artists, such as James Tissot. These idealized images of body conscious Victorians, helped to contribute to Victorian women wondering what they could…

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Evils of the Victorian Chignon in the Late 1800s

There were many fashion evils during the late 1800s, but the evils of the Victorian chignon were said to be the worst. A chignon was a hairstyle that had a knot or coil of hair arranged and worn low at the back of a woman’s head or at the nape of the neck. However, by…

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Model of the Perfect Woman Georgian Style

Antoine Le Camus wrote Abdeker: or the Art of Preserving Beauty in 1754. It is half “oriental tale” and half recipe book filled with cosmetic recipes. In the book Camus claims that “the face is the chief Seat of Beauty.” But Camus also asserts “beauty is that Form of an entire body, which pleases every one…

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The Grecian Bend

The Grecian Bend was a stooping fashion that first made its appearance England in the 1820s, although it did not reach the pinnacle of popularity until Victorian times (somewhere between 1869 and 1880). It supposedly acquired its name from the graceful Venus de Milo as she inclined slightly forward. The stooping fashion was also imitative…

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Georgian Hair – A Woman’s Crowning Glory and Its Care

By the late Georgian era, gone were the towering headdresses. In its place was a woman’s natural hair, considered her crowning glory. With a more natural look and styles taken from the Egyptians, Greeks, and Romans, women attempted to achieve a gorgeous head of hair. Hair color was one of the most important aspects. Fortunately,…

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Definition of Dundreary Whiskers or Piccadilly Weepers

During the mid-1800s, Dundreary whiskers, or as the British called them, Piccadilly weepers, became popular. They were long bushy, carefully combed side whiskers, worn without a beard. The whiskers were named for Lord Dundreary, a character in Tom Taylor’s 1858 British play titled Our American Cousin performed at Laura Keene’s theatre in New York. The…

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The Beautiful Face of Regency Women

When Jane Austen was publishing Pride and Prejudice and Napoleon was being exiled to Alba, cosmetics were used by Regency women “to produce a healthful bloom on the countenance.”[1] As a woman’s face, neck, and hands were frequently exposed to nature’s harsh elements, great care was taken to restore  beauty and luster back to her…

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Chicken-skin Gloves or Limericks

Beauty was sometimes a strange process in the 1700 and 1800s. Some women went so far as to cover their faces with lard or apply masks “plastered … with a perfumed pomade to preserve the complexion.” There was also a mask of sliced veal (steeped in milk) that was applied to the face, and, of…

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Cosmetics of the Georgian and Regency Eras

Any kind of spot or imperfection, known as “the cruel ravages of unsparing time,”[1] were not only disagreeable but also something every Georgian and Regency woman wanted to avoid, disguise, or repair. In order to accomplish this, the most important and indispensable part of a woman’s toilette was her skin care products, referred to as…

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