Nibbling on an arsenic wafer here, dipping into your pot of ammonia face cream there — your beauty routine in the 1800s would look a lot different than it does now. Whereas currently your morning gambit might be all dry shampoo and mascara tubes, a hundred years ago you’d have a more interesting array of beauty products to choose from behind your mirror cabinet.
If you think it’s annoying to remember to put on your SPF moisturizer today, you should see what our foremothers had to sign up for. During a period where makeup was seen as something crass and would get your name brought up during the gossip hour of lady tea luncheons, dabbing on rouge and dusting on powders was a risky game — not that that slowed down beauty routines. During a time where charcoal biscuits were beauty supplements and a Tuberculosis diagnosis was the look du jour, women got crafty with their cosmetics.