Tuesday, November 13, 2012

1. What kinds of cosmetics were there?

Assistants of Beauty


  • Scented waters:
    Usually the leftovers from distilling essential oils from aromatic substances (e.g. cinnamon bark, cloves). Used for scenting other cosmetics, but also for washing. Comparable to rose water, orange water etc.
  • Scented spirits:
    Made from alcohol and aromatic substances, such as various citrus fruits, Mediterranean herbs, roses, sassafras, Asian spices (e.g. cardamom), violets. Used for scenting other cosmetics.
  • Essential oils:
    Aromatic oils from various plants, e.g. the ones mentioned above, linden flowers, tuberose and other flowers. Used for scenting other cosmetics, e.g. pomads.
  • Scented vinegars:
    made from the aforementioned plants, but also elder, amber, musk. Probably for skin cleansing and/or to compensate the soap used for washing the hair. You know, the acidic/basic thing.
  • Various skincare and cleansing substances, such as cleansing milk, lotions, creams etc.
  • Hair pomads made from cleaned pork fat and wax, scented with essential oils.
  • Whilte and red paints:
    Decorative cosmetics. In contrast to modern foundation, white paints are really white, red paints really red, e.g. scarlet. Both usually come as powder, or as pellets or in pots for ease of transport.
  • Lip pomads, including red ones.
  • Washing powders, pastes and Soaps
  • Tooth powders and tinctures
  • Wig powder
  • Hair colourings
  • Mouth-wash, pastilles

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