Beauty in past cultures

Greeks and Romans deal intensively with the question of what constitutes beauty.

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Tinctures and Ointments, Dyes and alike

One would not believe it, but women in the Roman Empire spend as much time to produce make-up and face masks from a variety of ingredients as do women today. The range of cosmetics was extraordinary – and you will discover in our Roman Shop a whole range of bowls and dishes, various powders which give the skin the typical pale complexion. Unfortunately, the Romans did not know that white lead is highly toxic and in the long run leads to serious skin damage, we have removed such toxic substances and replaced it with ecological substitutes. The cosmetics were mixed with honey and various fatty substances.

To give the cream a reddish tone (for example for the colouring of the lips), the Romans added red ochre or saltpeter to the mixture. A precious dye was used for the colouring of the lips, which was extracted from the slime of a sea snail. To bring shine to the skin, they sprinkled crushed blue-grey hematite on it. With a mix of russ they colored eyelashes and eyebrows, or they applied various colours on eyelids, to make them shine green or blue. Roman women also knew rosy cheeks and nail varnish in red... The ideal beauty, hence, did not differ that much from our modern taste.