Thursday, 27 May 2010

The 18th century me

As I threatened in my previous post, here is the result after playing with my stuff from Ageless Artifice, helped along the way with some Titan Oxide and a few other small details...


Ageless Artifice doesn’t do white make-up, but the common thing in the 18th century was to apply a pomade and then rub in the white pigment into it, that is what I did. I applied it with my fingers as that was the easiest way to get the colour even. It’s pretty hard work to get it even. It leaves your face quite glossy as the pomade is so fat, but that’s just as it should be. Beauty ideals change and instead of glossy hair and matte face that is the norm now, back then it was the other way around. Titan Oxide is very similar in colour to the white lead used in the 18th century, but is harmless. It didn’t come along until the 19th century, but I ignored that anachronism for the sake of health.

In the 18th century you often used the same red for both cheeks and lips, but I used the liquid rouge on my cheeks here and the red lip salve on my mouth here. I applied it all with my fingers, but I think that a doe wand would be excellent for the rouge. I have that for my lip stain from Body Shop. (A doe wand is an applicator you often get in lip gloss. It's a little spongy, so it soak the liquid up very well, but release it on pressure.)I built up the rouge quite a bit, so it would show. Here you can see what it looks like when you use the red lip salve on booth face and mouth.

And here the rouge in the same way.

I also used talcum powder on her face instead of Titan Oxide, which just gave her face a lighter tone (it doesn’t show much on the photograph.)

To finish of my face a darkened my eye-brows with burnt clove, which is rather effective and applied a mouche. I punched it out of black paper and applied it with some gum arabicum. I also powdered my hair. I’ve used talcum powder before, but rarely, as it makes my scalp itch something dreadful within minutes after applying it. Talcum powder is very white, but the perfumed powder was more oath-coloured. The difference when applied was very slight, but the powder gave a softer colour. Also, it didn’t make my scalp go mad, which is a big plus!

I much confess that I’m quite pleased with the quick and dirty Rococo hairdo I did. Before the powder I worked some of the pomatum into my hair to give it something to stick too. Then I applied the powder with a big powder brush. That works well, but you need a light touch, or you work the powder too much into your hair.

It isn’t a very good comparison, as the light is so different, but this is my hair powdered with talcum powder.

And this is the colour my hair has without powder.

It’s also a good example on how my 18th century make-up usually looks like when I use modern cosmetics. Pale, but not white base, white powder and pink stain on my cheeks. I sometimes use that on my lips too, but sometimes I use lipstick, that depends on my mood.

I‘m pleased with the result, but it’s the white make-up is very impractical. It smears very easily and what it comes into contact with, it sticks to. Fat and white pigment isn’t easy to wash off. I took a shower and then I had to wash my face once again to get it clean. It also quickly settles into every line and wrinkle and shows them up excellently! So I will continue to use modern base and powders at my face as the risk of me ruing my silk gowns with white make-up is little too big for my taste. However, the rouge and lip salve have been, and will be, used. And I rather think I will powder my hair a little more often now.


American Duchess said...

wow!!! it looks really great!

Isis said...

Thank you! :-D

Pauline said...

Thanks so much for your posts on Ageless Artifice (previous and current). They've been a boon my own research. I also mentioned both of you over at Triple P today in a post about seafaring hygiene.

GentlewomanThief said...

How wonderful! It (all of it!) really does give the look very well indeed, though it's a shame about the smearing of the face, but it's great you've found a hair powder that doesn't hurt.

I was thinking earlier about the difference between now and then and the aesthetic taste for glossy and matt skin/hair, as well as the taste in many eras for women to look pregnant verses the worship of skinniness that is the height of fashion now... Things like that really are 'the shock of the old'.

Lauren said...

That's a great look for you! Very 18th century.

Isis said...

Pauline: You're very welcome! Thank you- I will read soon!

Gentlewomanthirf. Thank you!

Yeah, even if people always have wanted to look their best, the best may look very different indeed!

Lauren: Thank you!

Aim High said...

Hi there! I took a look at your links and I like what you've done. I would love to sew and I am fascinated with history as well. What a lovely blog you have. I can tell you put your heart into it!

Isis said...

Thank you so much- that's very sweet of you to say!

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