A Snail-Pomatum (1756)

“Take as many Snails as you please, and beat them in a Mortar with a sufficient Quantity of the Oil of Sweet Almonds. Strain by Expression, and add an Ounce of Virgin-Wax for every four Ounces of Oil. Wash the Whole in the Water of Frog’s-Spawn, and add a few Drops of the Essence of …

Rose Lip Salve (1829)

“Put eight ounces of the best olive oil into a widemouthed bottle, add two ounces of the small parts of alkanet-root. Stop up the bottle, and set it in the sun; shake it often, until it be of a beautiful crimson. Now strain the oil off very clear from the roots, and add to it, …

Rouge by mistake (1833)

“The jewellers afterwards polish them [tortise-shell combs] by rubbing them with dry rouge powder; but sifted magnesia does just as well– and if the ladies had rouge, perhaps they would, by mistake, put it upon their cheeks, instead of their combs; and thereby spoil their complexions.” The American Frugal Housewife, 1833

Why tooth powders are often colored red (1873)

“To remove the defect of being apt to accumulate between the folds of the gums and in the cracks and interstices of the teeth, charged against the white powders by those who use them carelessly, a reddish or flesh-coloured tinge is commonly given them by the addition of a little rouge, red coral, rose-pink, Armenian …

To remove Superfluous Hair (1857)

“This is very difficult… Madame Elisi Voiart, in her ‘Encyclopedie des Dames,’ recommends a few drops of dulcified spirit of salt, (that is, muriatic acid distilled with rectified spirits of wine,) to be applied with a camel hair pencil.” Receipts for the Million, 1857 (muriatic acid = hydrochloric acid)

Cosmetics for Clean Living (1800s)

A selection of quotes advocating natural, unaided beauty: “Let every woman be content to leave her eyes as she found them…” (Mirror of the Graces, 1811) “The greatest charm of beauty is in the expression of a lovely face…” (Arts of Beauty, 1858) “fresh air and pure water… are the best and only cosmetics that …

An excellent white Paint for the Face (1756)

“Take of the white Part of Hartshorn a Pound, of the Flour of Rice two Pounds, of White Lead half a Pound, of Cuttle Fish Bone two Ounces, Frankincense, Mastich, Gum Arabic, of each an Ounce; dilute the Whole in a sufficient Quantity of Rose-Water. Wash the Face therewith.” Abdeker: Or, the Art of Preserving …

A Liquid Rouge that exactly imitates Nature (1772)

“Take a pint of good Brandy, and infuse therein half an ounce of Gum Benjamin, an ounce of Red Sanders, and half an ounce of Brazil Wood, both in coarse powder, with half an ounce of Roch Alum. Cork the bottle tight, shake it well every day, and at the expiration of twelve days the …