Category Archives: Cosmetics

Cosmetics Household Women

Cloaths for the Face which take away the Wrinkles

These snippets come from a little advert from 1685 for a woman in Wine-Office-Court, Fleetstreet, at the Sign on the Acorn, who runs the equivalent of an early modern beauty salon. Her products and services shed further light on the sorts of cosmetics women in the seventeenth century might have been buying.

She hath most excellent Washes for the face, [which have] been Experienced by persons of the greatest quality, it hath these excellent qualities, as makes the Face most lovely, plump, smooth and beautiful, taking away all purities of the Skin.

She hath most excellent Pomatums [creams] of several pleasant Scents, and for several profitable uses.

She hath a most rare and easie Art in shaping the Eye-brow, and in making low Foreheads high, taking the Hair off so that it shall never come again, she hath also an Art to cause the Hair to grow thick and to colour it to what colour they please, and to continue so.

She hath a most excellent way in making of Masks and Forehead Cloaths for the Face, which take away the Wrinkles, and makes the face smooth, lovely, soft & fair, taking away all impurities of the Skin.

She hath very effectual Pastes and Balls for the smoothing of Hands, and keeping them white, with many other fine secrets very useful for the Female Sex.

Lastly she hath a most Excellent Water to clean and make the Teeth as white as Ivory in two or three times using. Likewise a speedy Remedy for the Tooth Ach, taking away the pain, though never so violent, in a moment.

She is to be spoken with from 8 in the Morning till 12 then 2 till 8 at Night.

Other adverts from the same period feature:

A curious red pomatum to plump and colour the lips, which keeps them all the winter from chapping.

A Plaister to take off Hair from any part of the body.

A Gentlewoman, who cutteth and curleth Gentlemens, Gentlewomens, and Childrens Hair.  If any Gentlemens or Childrens Hair be so Lank, she makes it Curle in a little time like a Periwig.

Princesse Powder which ‘by means of this Powder Madame de Montspan has used all her life; she has preserved the fineness and Delicateness of her Skin, so that she does not appear above eighteen or twenty years of Age, though she be fifty-five.

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