Brush up on your make-up history
MAKE-UP: A GLAMOROUS HISTORY
FROM mouse-hide eyebrows to toxic lead white foundation, the Georgians’ beauty secrets are more scary than sexy.
But this historical tour r via hair and makeup is absolutely fascinating. And it’s reassuring to know that hairdressers have – quite rightly – always been VIPs. Professional make-up artist Lisa Eldridge explores the beauty looks of three iconic eras, investigating what they say about the age.
“If you think beauty is only skin deep, think again,” says Lisa, who says she always looks
back in time for inspiration in her work.
In this episode Lisa revisits the peacocks of history – the high Georgians, who used their look to show off their wealth. “For the Georgians, bling was in!” she says.
Lisa visits Chatsworth House in Derbyshire to discover that Georgiana Duchess of Devonshire, a beauty icon of her day, employed a full-time hairdresser who earned the equivalent of £100,000 a year plus expenses.
Then Lisa sets about recreating the Georgian look, transforming Queenie, her young and slightly apprehensive model.
No need for Queenie to worry about the toxic white face paint, although Lisa does recreate it in a lab with a pharmacist.
However, Lisa does tackle homespun recipes for rouge and eyebrow pencils, involving grinding dry beetles and burning cloves.
An elaborate hair style is supported by a mixture of animal fat and lavender, and there’s hair powder that apparently helped keep lice at bay. But it’s the hidebrows that Lisa finds most difficult to stomach.
“Oh good God,” she says. “It’s like the Sharpie brow all over again. Horrendous.”