Friday, May 22, 2009


It is no secret that women go to extreme lengths to be attractive. Million of dollars are spent on cosmetics each year for the sake of beauty. It was no different in the 18th century. Face patches were extremely popular for both women and men. They were made from the gummed pieces of taffeta, silk or even leather and were placed on the checks to heighten the brilliancy of the complexion and to hide the pock marks. They were made in different shapes, like stars, crescents & lozenges & were often dyed brilliant colors. Other people who did not want to wear patches choose to use a thick coat of face powder. Recipe: Several thin plates of lead, a big pot of vinegar, a bed of horse manure, water, perfume and a tinting agent. Steep the lead in the pot of vinegar, and rest it in a bed of manure for at least three weeks. When the lead finally softens to the point where it can be pounded into a flaky white powder(chemical reaction between the vinegar and lead causes the lead to turn white), grind it to a fine powder. Mix with water, and let dry in the sun. After the powder is dry, mix with the appropriate amount of perfume and tinting dye. Yuck! Since the base of the powder was lead it was also very poisonous! All for the sake of being fashionable and beautiful.


  1. Wow, did I ever just learn something new!... "face patches".... oh my!.... and lead powder for the skin.. Very very interesting!

    What a fun blog you have too!.... I will certainly be visiting! Thank you for stopping by mine as well :) It's fun to meet you, and I will be passing on your blog info to my mother who has a heightened passion for all things early New England, colonial and the like...... She will be ever so excited to see your photos and read your posts... I know it!

    If you wish.. stop by my blog next week as I will be offering my very first one of a kind Halloween giveaway goodie.... Feel free to join in the fun!!

  2. Johanna,
    Thanks for visiting my blog. I love meeting new people and especially those who share the same passions as I do. It is fun to exchange knowledge and opinions.
    I will be certain to check out your blog next week. I can't wait. Like I said before I adore Halloween!!!