Beauty, Through the Ages

People through the ages have done all kinds of strange things to themselves to achieve true beauty. It’s only recently that we’ve managed to do it without causing some sort of long-term damage. It’s true; today’s beauty treatments are some of the safest ever, possibly due to regulations being a little bit tighter about what people are allowed to slather on their faces, and what you’re allowed to sell.

My concept for a book is pretty simple: The Development of Beauty: A Look at Eyebrow Tattooing, Dermal Fillers, Anti-Wrinkle Treatments and How We Achieved Such Greatness.

Did you know that in the Victorian era, women used to slather lead over their faces to achieve the perfect, pale look? And that lead slowly poisoned them? Alright, you probably knew that, because it’s one of the best known pieces of cosmetic trivia in history. But how about the lesser known fact that Australian women once tried to start an entire industry centred around gold makeup? It’s true! During the gold rush, Australia was suddenly the gold capital of the known world. People used to take advantage of the craze- sort of like they do today with spinning fidgets and cranking- and made out that gold could be used for all kinds of silly things, like plugging up wrinkles and making your skin appear to be as smooth as a baby’s.

And entire industry sprang up overnight, claiming that gold dust mixed with creams and perfumes could do the same as dermal fillers (a very painful procedure in those days) and just rubbing some of the cream along your legs could leave you looking like you’d had…well, laser hair removal. Melbourne was very advanced for its time, sort of.

Bet you didn’t know THAT, mostly because it didn’t work. That’s why I want people to know Australia’s fascinating, untold story of cosmetic genius. Or failure. Genius AND failure, which is how we became industry leaders today.