Historical Beauty Treatments – Historical Makeup and Skincare

Table of Contents

Beautywise, we’re living in the most abundant and diverse era in history—but that doesn’t mean we don’t have something to learn from the primping practices of our predecessors. Here,a comprehensive collection of the most evergreen pieces of wisdom ever gleaned about the art of looking and feeling good, from facialist-recommended creams to drugstore steals to the single most transformative makeup item money can buy

Cleopatra wore eyeshadow made of crushed lapis lazuli.


Silver Screen CollectionGetty Images

Why not try skincare powered by (anti-inflammatory, glow-boosting) pure gold?

Like your mother probably told you, you could use a little blush.

madame x by john singer sargent

Fine ArtGetty Images

Diana Vreeland and Madame Virginie Gautreau, the model for John Singer Sargent’s iconic Madame X, even wore it on their ears.

Marilyn Monroe’s signature gleam came from a layer of Vaseline.

american actress marilyn monroe

Sunset BoulevardGetty Images

These highlighters will also do the trick…

Beyoncé swears by inexpensive Aquaphor to lock in hydration.

beyonce performs at the staples center

Kevin WinterGetty Images

These drugstore finds also feel like a steal…

… but some cult creams are worth every penny.

Major lashes are always a win (see Liza Minelli for proof).

portrait of liza minnelli

BettmannGetty Images

Wave these magic wands for serious fringe benefits.

Marie Antoinette covered up complexion imperfections with faux beauty marks in the shape of stars, hearts, and moons.

queen marie antoinette

Heritage ImagesGetty Images

Perhaps you prefer a concealer?

Austria’s Empress Sisi, known for her elaborate beauty rituals, slept in face masks made from raw meat and leather.

empress sissi

Jean-Francois DEROUBAIXGetty Images

Modern sheet masks work (and smell) better.

When you need a facialist who can turn back time…

this is the most relaxed i've ever felt

PeopleImagesGetty Images

Consider these essential names for your beauty black book:

Tammy Fender, Palm Beach, Florida
Aida Bicaj, New York, NY
Shani Darden, Los Angeles, California
Joanna Czech, New York and Dallas, Texas

And when a facial just won’t cut it…

woman having facial injections

CoffeeAndMilkGetty Images

These dermatologists and surgeons cater to the faces that give no secrets away.

Robert Anolik, MD, Board Certified Dermatologist, New York, NY
Macrene Alexiades, MD, PhD, Dermatology and Laser Surgery
Julius Few, MD, Plastic Surgeon, Chicago, IL
Andrew Jacono, MD, Facial Plastic and Reconstructive Surgeon, New York, NY

Dolly Parton owns 365 wigs, one for every day of the year.

dolly parton

Dolly Parton

Richard E. AaronGetty Images

Consider these hair beautifiers also worth the investment.

Liberace famously bathed in a $55,000 marble tub.

liberace taking a bubble bath

BettmannGetty Images

Indulging in these items will enhance even the simplest soak.

Napoleon Bonaparte went through 50 bottles of cologne every month.

napoleon bonaparte in emperor's rodes

DEA / G. DAGLI ORTIGetty Images

Consider these a modern gentleman’s scent essentials:

Elizabeth Arden distributed red lipstick to suffragettes in New York City in 1912 to wear as a symbol of strength and defiance.

suffragist parade in new york

Suffragette march, 1912.

BettmannGetty Images

The shade is still an instant confidence booster.

Betty Grable, who insured her legs for $1 million in 1943, used cold cream to keep them moisturized.

betty grable

Hulton ArchiveGetty Images

Guarantee good-looking, gleaming gams with these body-beautifying indulgences.

Barbra Streisand has revealed that the only time she cut her famously long nails was to play Yentl, in 1983.

barbara streisand

BettmannGetty Images

Keep your talons in tip-top-shape with these tried-and-true varnishes.

Joan Crawford reportedly splashed her face with ice water 40 times every morning.

joan crawford

Hulton ArchiveGetty Images

Extreme cold has been proven to de-puff the face and boost micro-circulation, enhancing glow.

Italian siren Sophia Loren’s soft skin secret? Olive oil.

sophia loren portrait session

Donaldson CollectionGetty Images

These facial oil formulations lock in moisture and keep skin supple.

Ancient Romans used a thin blade called a strigil to scrape away dead skin.

ancient mosaic

AskinTulayOverGetty Images

These exfoliators effectively sweep away dry skin and encourage cell turn over.

King Louis XIV employed a perfumer to create a new scent for every day of the year.

louis xiv

Heritage ImagesGetty Images

Create your own perfume wardrobe with these must-smell scents.

This content is created and maintained by a third party, and imported onto this page to help users provide their email addresses. You may be able to find more information about this and similar content at piano.io