Skip Nav
DIY Beauty
Only 3 Products and 4 Steps Are Needed to DIY This Summery Ombré Lip
Beauty News
Prove You're a Die-Hard Urban Decay Junkie With This Official Tattoo
Kylie Jenner
Kylie Jenner Reveals She'll Be Launching 3 More Eye Shadow Palettes

Victorian Secrets: How Your Great-Great-Grandmother Got Pretty

Did you take yesterday's beauty history quiz? If you haven't, be forewarned: I'm about to reveal all the answers, along with some other oddball facts about the lengths to which Victorians went to look pretty. Are you sure you can handle reading about the lard-based beauty treatment? If so, then



First of all, here are the answers to the quiz.

What did women rinse their hair with to make it soft and shiny?
Rum and rosewater, my friends. Victorians used to wash their hair with a frothy mixture of egg whites, then rinsed it with a blend of rum and rosewater.

What was the name of the first commercial deodorant?
Mum's the word. Invented in 1888 in Philadelphia, Mum was the first commercial anti-stink product. Although its popularity decreased in the States, Mum continues to be sold in the UK.

When were women not supposed to wear cosmetics?
That would be when they were menstruating. Unfortunately, the idea of women being tainted or "unclean" during their monthly cycle meant that Victorian women were told to keep their faces free of any sort of cosmetics. (How cruel it would be if this were still the case, as I need concealer most when I get those monthly chin zits!)

What did some Victorian women consume in an attempt to lighten their complexions?
Yum, yum! Guess what's for your dinner, ladies? Chalk! Yep, chalk. Is the popularity of indigestion tonics during the Victorian era mere coincidence?

To make their eyes bright, what did some women do?
It hurts my eyes to even think about it, but they washed their eyes with lemon juice or orange juice.

How did women create rosy cheeks?
They pinched them, essentially. And to get red lips, they'd gently bite them.

Finally, here's a bit more trivia from the Victorian era:

  • Rimmel was founded in 1834 in London; it specialized in products such as violet water, ylang-ylang perfume and Aquadentine, "to Whiten the Teeth and refresh the Mouth."
  • Vaseline was around back in the day, offering a soap with this catchy slogan: "The best emollient in the world must be the best basis for toilet soap."
  • A men's hair oil called Macassar Oil was very popular. Its tendency to rub off led to the development of the antimacassar, which is basically a cloth to guard sofas and chaises from oil blots.
  • Cucumber-infused lard was used as a hair treatment. This made-at-home concoction involved several steps, including heating six pounds of lard and mashing cucumbers into it with a mortar.
Source

Around The Web
Join The Conversation
angie_pangie angie_pangie 9 years
no no no no NO! lemon juice in their eyes! we are so lucky we are a little less barbaric these days.
xrockette19x xrockette19x 9 years
these are crazy, but i do wish being pale was still in!! i have pretty much accepted how pale i am, and i really only mind it during the summer when i reflect the light! honestly, when i go to the beach, it makes my eyes tear to look at my legs, haha! i wish pale was in again, it makes me so happy when i see women with gorgeous pale skin, like scarlett johannsen!
helenette helenette 9 years
wow
helenette helenette 9 years
wow
mieshey mieshey 9 years
Beauty evolves so rapidly, I can only imagine what's to come!
dcmurray1970 dcmurray1970 9 years
okay so glad i am alive now
dcmurray1970 dcmurray1970 9 years
okay so glad i am alive now
sevendayrain sevendayrain 9 years
crazy
sevendayrain sevendayrain 9 years
crazy
tiabia tiabia 9 years
I'm doubting that my Great-Great Grandmothers did any of this.
everythingnice everythingnice 9 years
very interesting indeed. the things done for beauty.
beingtazim beingtazim 9 years
thanks for this! this is so interesting to learn!
Beauty Beauty 9 years
Glad you like the quiz! I'll come up with some more — maybe it will be a weekly thing!
meganekko meganekko 9 years
The only one that I missed was about when women should not wear cosmetics. I guess I'm in the know! <3
meganekko meganekko 9 years
The only one that I missed was about when women should not wear cosmetics. I guess I'm in the know! <3
Schaianne Schaianne 9 years
Wow, almost got them all right ... Missed that deoderant one though, haha. Crazy what people did in the past.
sashak sashak 9 years
fun quiz bella! keep 'em coming!!
Sexymixer Sexymixer 9 years
I agree with Adrianrny. We do the same wierd stuff to our bodies, except instead of trying to make ourselves lighter, we tan. Instead of making ourselves appear smaller we get butt implants. Also, instead of cherishing small and delicate features we try and make everything bigger (i.e. our lips). And let's not even get into the hair extensions!!!
adrianrny adrianrny 9 years
oops-- I meant to say write--that is what happens when you do 6 things at once. Seriouly--- People use SPRAY on tans, inject their lips with all kinds of crap, & we are making fun of Victorians??
adrianrny adrianrny 9 years
oops-- I meant to say write--that is what happens when you do 6 things at once.Seriouly---People use SPRAY on tans, inject their lips with all kinds of crap, & we are making fun of Victorians??
Daisies Daisies 9 years
I second that Adrianrny! We really do some pretty weird things ourselves.
EcannDallas EcannDallas 9 years
i knew most of these...but then again im minoring in history and took a womens history class so i guess im disqualified!! haha.
adrianrny adrianrny 9 years
just think--in another 100 years you can right about how people actually injected botulism into their wrinkles, & bleached their asses!!
TexasTwinkle TexasTwinkle 9 years
Im with you black mamba! I would have thought lemon juice or orange juice in the eye would blind you. Thank goodness I was born in this era!!! Whew
Wicked Wicked 9 years
I wouldn't want lemon juice in my eyes
Meet The 'World's Most Desirable Man'
Beauty History Quiz: Victorian Secrets
Drybar 100 Proof Treatment Oil Review
Urban Decay Facts
Bath and Body Works Facts
Optimum Amla Billion Hair Potion Review
The History of the French Braid

POPSUGAR, the #1 independent media and technology company for women. Where more than 75 million women go for original, inspirational content that feeds their passions and interests.

From Our Partners
Latest Beauty
X