Beauty and Cosmetics 1550 to 1950

Beauty and Cosmetics 1550 to 1950

3.8 (122 ratings by Goodreads)
By (author) 

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The source of tremendous power and the focus of incredible devotion, throughout history notions of beauty have been integral to social life and culture. Each age has had its own standards: a gleaming white brow during the Renaissance, the black eyebrows considered charming in the early eighteenth century, and the thin lips thought desirable by Victorians. Beauty has ensured good marriages, enabled social mobility and offered fame and notoriety, and has led women - and some men - to remarkable lengths in cultivating it, from the dangerous quantities of lead applied by Elizabeth I, to the women of the 1940s and '50s, who employed face powder, lipstick and mascara to look their best during the privations of war and austerity, creating a chic appearance to which many still aspire.
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Product details

  • Paperback | 64 pages
  • 149 x 210 x 7.62mm | 170g
  • Shire Publications
  • London, United Kingdom
  • English
  • 25 b/w; 60 col
  • 0747808392
  • 9780747808398
  • 162,677

Table of contents

?The Sin of Vanity / The Fairy Queen / Pale and Lovely / Beauty and Blackmail / The Actress and the Ingenue / From Elegance to Expression / Index
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Review quote

"Small and compact, this wonderfully illustrated book describes the standards of beauty popular in each era, from 1550 when alabaster brows were highly prized, to the black eyebrows that were favored by 18th century women. As with all Shire books, Sarah Jane Downing's trip through time provides us with brilliant insights... I give the delightful Beauty and Cosmetics 1550-1950 four out of five Regency tea cups." --Vic Sanborn, Jane Austen's World "A comprehensive history of Beauty and Cosmetics from Pagan cultures to Christian cultures through to the 1950s. The small size of this book belies the extent of information contained within, including a rich social history...Intelligently written with humor throughout and with a strong emphasis on social history, this lushly illustrated book will be of wide appeal. Highly Recommended." --Vintage Fashion Guild
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About Sarah Jane Downing

Sarah Jane Downing is a freelance writer with a special interest in the eighteenth century. She has written widely about the arts, contributing to national and local magazines and newspapers. She has written The 'English Pleasure Garden' and 'Fashion in the Time of Jane Austen' for Shire.
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Rating details

122 ratings
3.8 out of 5 stars
5 25% (31)
4 39% (47)
3 29% (35)
2 6% (7)
1 2% (2)
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