Like other civilisations before them, the Victorians saw pale skin as a symbol of feminine beauty, and encouraged women to neglect makeup and refrain from covering their natural skin tone. Cosmetic merchants quickly adapted to this by creating products that deliberately enhanced pale skin, such as those containing Zinc Oxide, a much safer concoction than light-skin formulas of the past that often contained lead. Cosmetics also remained prominent in British society through women’s choosing to paint fine blue lines on their skin to make it appear luminous enough for the veins underneath to be seen, as this was also considered a sign or great beauty.
But that’s not all. In the desire to achieve a pale and almost unwell looking appearance, women would accentuate the dark rings around their eyes by smearing red rogue onto their cheeks and lips. Other ways of subtly using cosmetics for a natural look were … Read the rest