Victorian Makeup Era

Makeup eras - The Victorian Look

The Victorian Makeup Era

In the late 1890’s, the makeup style of Victorian women was that of paleness. Lemon juice and vinegar juice was either applied or consumed to maintain this fair complexion.The idea of a woman actively seeking a tan was unheard of and only expected in the farming class. Society women kept indoors much of the time.

Face Powder and Rouge

Women of all eras have used various forms of powder to help matte their skin. Victorian makeup enjoyed an abundance of face powder use. The definitive Victorian makeup look was that of the brunette. Cosmetics consisted of rouges and face powders. There were no lipsticks, but various lip dyes and tinctures could be purchased.

Vintage Makeup Tutorial Books

You can instantly download to your smartphone, tablet or desktop –  beautiful original 1920’s, 1930’s, 1940’s and 1950’s makeup and beauty books.

vintage makeup guides

The Shady World of the Victorian Beauty Industry

Helen Rappaport’s book on the notorious Madame Rachel – Beautiful Forever


Women’s facial looks was much more about skincare and the careful application of creams. Names of note in the cosmetic industry in this era included Madame Rachel and Harriet Hubbard Ayer. The House of Cyclax, which sounds more like a disease, was a well known purveyor of ladies cosmetics and perfumes on London’s Bond Street. In truth Madame Rachel was a fraudster.

But it was all a bit shady those days, with ladies of society sneaking in back doors for private consultations.  Face paint was frowned upon, as it was associated with prostitutes and actresses.

The aforementioned Madame Rachel, whose real name was  Sarah Rachel Russell  was a notorious confidence trickster and in many ways laid the foundation for the modern beauty myth still sold to women by false photo-shopped advertising.

Victorian Makeup Era Gallery

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