Most ancient societies relied on vegetable and mineral dyes for Blush, the Egyptians used ground Ochre to rub on their cheeks and lips. The Greeks used the juice of crushed mulberries and also applied Alkanet root. Aristocratic Romans used whitening lead components and topped it with Red Vermilion for cheek color, both of which were very toxic. During the middle ages, pale skin was favored so cosmetics were not used much, they might highlight the pale look with a dab of tint made from strawberries and water.
Makeup hit a low point in the 17th and 18th Centuries when they would use a concoction of lead paint and vinegar to create a mask that they would then cover with egg whites to finish the look. Unfortunately, this blocked any oxygen from getting into the skin and it would turn grey underneath, it would also cause women’s hair to recede and fall out, which made high foreheads high fashion, wow. Lead caused major health issues for women and when they would use the toxic Rouge on their lips it would cause miscarriages in pregnant women. The ever popular pale look was brought about in the worst way, a product was eaten to produce white skin that was called Arsenic (eeek, red flag!) Complexion Wafers, they poisoned the blood so that less red blood cells, and thus less oxygen, would reach the organs. Rouges were created with mulberry and cinnabar, the cinnabar was a poisonous red shade of mercury!
In the 19th Century Queen
But no need to despair, by the 20th Century makeup made a great comeback as acceptable and French companies were already laying the foundation for the beauty market that no one has been able to stop since! The world has come a long way when it comes to makeup, and things are much healthier now, no risk of death these days! And we take it one step further by being organic, our blush will not absorb into your skin, it adheres to it & won't block pores. It looks natural and provides that perfect glow to your cheeks!
If you want more history, here are the links to the wonderful articles we used to compile this history lesson: