18th Century France: The History of Makeup | Emma Zhou

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  • Published on:  1/22/2017
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    This video is one of six videos in a series I have made called "The History of Makeup". This was made for my MYP 10 Personal Project.

    Music used: RoyaltyFreeMusic.com

    18th Century France 1700 CE
    The 17th and 18th century in France, the time of Marie Antoinette, was quite an important part of the history of makeup. Wearing makeup of any kind showed that you had class, and nearly all noble women wore cosmetics, with a few exceptions.
    They start with a thick layer of white paint made from lead. It was made to look very artificial. White and pale was something that was considered to be desirable. Back then, the idea of lead poisoning was not known to the women, so many of them died very young.
    Next, rouge was applied to the cheeks to highlight the paleness.This could either be made from toxic materials such as vermilion, which contains mercury, or from vegetables. It would be mixed with creams to create a paste, much like the cream blushes that we use today.
    The eyes are usually left blank because the main point is to show the skin. And to show the paleness even further, some women even traced veins with a blue pencil on their neck.
    And yet again, another method was used to highlight the paleness was beauty patches. These are mole-like circles that are either applied to the face or drawn on. There were many materials to choose from, such as silk velvet, satin or applied with an eye kohl. The placements of these beauty patches had different meanings. A beauty patch by the corner of the eye was known as “la passionnee”, or passionate, and by the temple was called l’assassin, an “assassin”, and was considered to be more dignified.
    Makeup in the 17th and 18th century in France served as crucial symbols of aristocracy and class, especially during the French Revolution. At this moment in history, France was considered to be the fashion leader, and their attire is what we think of when the 18th century comes to mind.
    And with a face of makeup literally able to kill, these women were ready to rule.


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