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6 Gross Beauty Products From The Past

Nobelle Borines

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Some people would do anything to achieve true beauty. Our ancestors made use of what they could find in nature in an effort to enhance their looks. Unfortunately, a few of these products were usually toxic while others were simply disgusting.

Cosmetics may have been a thing since the dawn of humanity. It has recently been discovered that Neanderthals wore certain shiny pigments all over their body. That’s right, cavemen wore body glitter. Here are six gross beauty products that humans used in the past.

1. Beetroot Lip And Cheek Tint

Let’s start off with something that isn’t too disgusting. We all know that beetroot can leave deep red stains on your clothing. Not surprisingly, women decided to use the beet’s rouging power to their advantage in the 1900s.

The juice of the beetroot would be applied to lips and cheeks like an all-natural stain. However, it went out of fashion in 1914 when Max Factor made beauty products more accessible.

2. Belladonna Eyedrops

Japanese animators love to create heroines with large eyes and huge, dilated pupils. They weren’t the only ones. Women in Renaissance Italy tried to emulate the look by using nightshade eyedrops on their peepers.

Belladonna is certainly poisonous so it’s a good thing that the trend has died out. The side effects included headaches, blurred vision, hallucinations, and even blindness. All for the sake of beauty.

3. Cochineal Lipstick

Source: steve/Flickr

Cochineals are tiny insects that feed on red cactus berries in South America. These little critters appear white but release a surprisingly red fluid when squished. Naturally, the Aztec and Maya made use of the liquid to dye their clothes and create paintings. Not surprisingly, the bugs were also crushed to create lip color that could rival Fenty Beauty’s Stunna Lip Paint in Uncensored.

Here’s the cool thing: the same insects used by our ancestors are still being used today. Luckily, they are no longer crushed but the substance called carminic acid is still present in dyes and lipsticks.

4. Cinnabar Blush

If it’s red and from nature, it must be safe to use on your face, right? That’s what women thought when they found a mineral ore that produced an attractive red shade. Unfortunately, the mineral they found was cinnabar, which also produces mercury.

The mercury in cinnabar makes it highly toxic to humans. However, that didn’t stop people from the Near East to create a rouge that women can brush onto their cheeks.

5. Goatskin Unibrows

Strong eyebrows have always been seen as an attractive feature. However, the ancient Greeks believed that the unibrow was the epitome of beauty and intelligence. This meant that aspiring beauties with wispy brows had to fill them in with kohl or create false eyebrows made of goatskin.

If you think goatskin unibrows are gross, you won’t be happy with what women were doing during the Georgian era. Fashionable ladies would often remove their brows entirely and replace them with mouse skin eyebrows.

6. Black Teeth

A pearly white smile might be an ideal for the Western world but the Japanese have other ideas. The custom of Ohaguro requires dyeing your teeth black to be considered beautiful. Women would dissolve iron filling in vinegar before adding tea powder then applying it to their teeth.

Black teeth also became a trend during the Elizabethan era when sugar was scarce. Queen Elizabeth I had decayed teeth that turned black, leading to speculations that the monarch could still afford to eat as many sweets as she wants. Several ladies tried to emulate the queen’s look so they would be seen as wealthy as well.

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