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The 1660s
Restoration Costume Comes to Life

Part 4, Page 10
The Whole Look, Accessories: Make-up

Part 1 Part 2 Part 3 Part 4 Part 5
Lower Class Women and Men Gentry and Aristocracy, Women Gentry and Aristocracy, Men The Whole Look: Accessories Costume Focus: Women's Headwear & Neckwear


Ladies wore make-up to enhance their natural beauty and complexion or to fake it. There was makeup foundation, which hadn't been invented yet, instead ceruse was used or lead white, which had to be applied with various agents, one being eggwhite which had the danger of cracking when laughing. Pale powder though was used extensively. There was no powdering of the hair, that is much later in the 18th century. Rouge was worn, but not applied the way modern rouge is, instead of on the cheekbones, it was worn in the hollow below the cheekbones. There was no darkening of eyelashes, there is even an account of a lady who was an albino and left her lashes white. Eyebrows were always plucked to form a gentle thin bow, and they were not darkened either. There are some accounts where ladies shaved their natural eyebrows off and glued on artificial ones made from mouse fur higher than the natural ones to give their faces a pained expression so to speak. A blue or dark khol in form of a pencil was used, sometimes to colour in the veins at the cleavage to pretend he white skin was very thin and fair, but those khols threatened to smear terribly, and so were the red pencils for the lips, because the idea to mixx the pigments with grease to make the colour stay on better had not been had yet. The dark pencils might have been used sparingly on the eyelids to enhance this hooded effect of the eyes the restoration ladies were that much after.
Patches were widely used then, often to cover blemishes, and they were made from thin black silk, saturated in gum Arabic.

This bust shows very well the way rouge was applied as well as the thin arch of the eyebrows. The mouth is shaped and painted into the desire small heart form and the round face was the ideal. The most fashionable hair colour was dark.
This mica picture shows patches in half crescent moon shape and round or oval shapes. The rouge again is applied below the cheekbone in the hollow and the lips are heartshaped and small. The eyes are hooded and could well be darkened a little at the eyelids, the complexion is pale.

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Nicole Kipar 1998