Saturday, July 28, 2012

Madame Isis' beauty parlour- get your 18th century makeup done here

Yesterday it was the day of Bellman at Skansen, a very popular outdoors museum in Stockholm. A collection of typical Swedish houses from most parts of Sweden, and from several different centuries, have been moved there. There is also a zoo for Scandinavian wildlife, like moose, bear and wolf. Two weeks every summer are devoted to the 18h century and my society, Gustafs Skål, hangs around the manor house, Skogaholm to provide general entertainment by just being there.

Skogaholm's manor house was built around 1690 and was extensively remade a 100 years later.

There is also dancing, lectures in fashion and concerts. Especially yesterday, as Carl Michael Bellman, an 18th century poet and songwriter, is one of the most important persons in Swedish musical history. So to the delight of quite a number of tourists I took the opportunity to try out some of my beauty recipes on some friends instead of myself.

Tuesday, July 24, 2012

Making another kind of red lip salve

In yesterday's post I talked about a recipe for lip salve that used Alkanet root as pigment. Here is the result;

Updated recipe
Almond oil, 22 ml
Coconut butter, 6 gram
Bees wax, 2 gram
Alkanet root (in powder), 3 ml
Rosewood oil, 3 drops Note: A bit late it has come to my attention that Brazilian Rosewood is an endangered species, so my recommendation is to leave the salve unscented or add a few drops of another scented oil.

Monday, July 23, 2012

Another red lip salve

The recipe
Take three ounces of Oil of Almonds, three quarters of an ounce of Spermaceti, and a quarter of an ounce of Virgin's Wax; melt them together over a slow fire, mixing them a little of the powder of Alkanet Root. Keep stirring till cold, and then add a few drops of Oil of Rhodium. (The Toilet of Flora, p. 159)

Breaking down the recipe
Oil of Almonds i. e. almond oil. A common oil in cosmetic for thousands of years. safe and keeps well.

Spermaceti Fat from Sperm whales that has been used as an stabiliser in cosmetics since the 18th century. Impossible to find, except perhaps in Japan, which I think is the only country that still hunts Sperm whales. Substitute with Saturated fatty acids (like coconut butter), Jojoba butter, Emulsifying wax or Cetyl alcohol.

Virgin's Wax Bees wax

Alkanet Root Cold, or blue-toned red pigment coming from a plant, Dyer's bugloss Considered safe and is used today as colourants both in makeup and food.

Oil of Rhodium Has nothing to do with the chemical element. Rhodium oil is also known as Rosewood and comes from the Brazilian Rosewood. Used in perfumes but is also healing and antiseptic. It also have a slightly deodorising effect. Considered safe. Note: A bit late it has come to my attention that Brazilian Rosewood is an endangered species, so my recommendation is to leave the salve unscented or add a few drops of another scented oil.

My thoughts
After making the lip salve with Iron oxide I would like to make one with a more cold red colour, as that suits me better. This recipe is wonderfully simple and I have everything at home except, of course, the Spermaceti. In the past I have tried to substitute it in pomade with Jojoba oil, which worked but made the pomade rather too runny. This time I plan to use Coconut butter as that is easy to pick up in the food store.

I'm going to an 18th century event next Saturday and I would like to have finished the lip salve then as well as another recipe for white face paint. So stay tuned...

Monday, July 02, 2012

In period makeup

Saturday I did something I have never done before- went to an 18th century masked ball- 155 meters underground in Sala silver mine. More pictures and gushings can be found at Isis' Wardrobe. "> More interesting for this blog is that I, for the first time, only used cosmetics made after 18th century recipes.

Very much at the very last minute I decided to make a very simple white makeup. This recipe of Spanish white confused me a bit at first as I felt it would be odd to add water to the oil and wax mixture, but Therru suggested that this is actually two recipes for white makeup and not two. That made a lot of sense to me, so I decided when I made the first version, to try one with just water and pigment. I had already prepared a Flower-de-Luce Water by the simple method of putting some Calmus roots in vodka. I then strained the alcohol and added distilled water, so the finished water has about 10 % of alcohol. It has a bitter, but not unpleasant smell. I also decided against the shimmer and used Titanium oxide as pigment. The recipe doesn’t give any measurements either of water of pigment, so if you make this one, you just have to add pigment until you are satisfied with the hue. I was distracted when I was stirring in the pigment so I lost count on how much I used, but to 150 grams of Water I must have used at least 3 tablespoons of white pigment. I must confess to taking a bit of liberty to the recipe and added ½ teaspoon of Gummi Arabicum too.