37 Insane Beauty Standards From Past You Won’t Believe Were Actually Real


Everyone knows about fringe dresses and slicked bobs, but there are many beauty standards from the past that seem unreal. The medieval age, ’80s and ’90s were an unforgettable era of beauty. It is interesting to see how the beauty trends have evolved over the years.

From excessive neon makeup to trimmed eyelashes, many outrageous beauty standards were once popular in the past. Scroll on to see a list of 37 insane beauty standards from the past.

  1. 1 Use Roots & Berries For Lipstick — But Only Certain Shades

    Say you heard all the sermons throughout Sunday mass against the sins of cosmetics, but still extremelywished to add some color to your lips. It wasn't quite as simple as swinging to the corner apothecary's shop and finding your favorite shade. A lot was at stake. "There were laws written to intimidate women into not sporting any makeup. They considered it a type of trickery or fraud to men or husbands, a misinterpretation of what you truly sounded like, and therefore against the law," Gabriela Hernandez, author of Classic Beauty: The History of Makeup and founder of Be same Cosmetics, explains to Bustle. "Women were so frightened of being unfree or killed for sorcery attributable to this that the employmentof any beauty aids diminished enormously throughout this point."

  2. 2 Wear Opal Necklaces In Order To Make Your Hair Blonde

    Just as a result of there weren't any drugstores does not imply girls did not lighten or darken their tresses. From homemade tints to magic hair-lightening stones, the medieval women had their tricks. Flaxen hair was the most popular shade for girls since angels were typically portrayed as blonde. In order to realize it, some interesting measures were taken. While some would combine potions of black sulfur, honey, and alum on their head and sit in the sun to lighten their tresses, others reached for opal necklaces. "They believed that wearing Associate in Nursing mineral jewelry would keep the hair blonde. Interestingly enough, later on the opal was related to dangerous luck and fell out of favor for a half century," Hernandez says. All you had to do was slip it around your neck and its powers would keep your hair from darkening.

  3. 3 Cover Every Single Blemish, Freckle, And Mole

    Skin was a big deal within the medieval ages — and not simply because girls strove to possess the pale, glowing skin of the presiding Lady Regency. Having any freckles, moles, or birthmarks were thought of as stains of witchcraft: As marks left behind from sexy time of day entanglements with the devil. "Any marks on the body were believed to be evidence of being completely different, and different meant evil in medieval times," Hernandez shares. Because of that, ointments and recipes to get obviate any and every one marks were paramount.

  4. 4 1990s: Grunge


    After the excessively frou-frou cosmetics fashionable in the ‘80s, the ‘90s took a slightly more natural approach to beauty. Nude matte lips and heavily-defined brows were daily makeup mainstays, but dressing up meant frosty lips and scintillating lids (and cheeks if you were extremely going for it).

  5. 5 1980s: More is more

    Ah, the decade of mullets. And excessive neon makeup. And frosty lipstick. And so way more. The 1980s were a unforgettable decade for beauty, indeed.

  6. 6 1970s: Fanned hair

    A newfound sense of political and economic freedom for ladies meant natural, sexy-by-today’s-standards makeup took hold. It’s no wonder such voluminous hair was common (to balance out the massivebellbottoms, of course). But all jokes aside, ‘70s beauty still very a lot of influences however we have a tendency to do our makeup nowadays.

  7. 7 1960s: Mod makeup

    In a move towards the free-lively '70s, the '60s most mainstream look was perky and lashy, a tribute to popular culture marvel Twiggy. In some cases, ladies would even paint lashes onto their lower lash line for a wide-peered toward, nearly energized look

  8. 8 1950s: Hair rollers

    Dissimilar to the explicitly provocative cosmetics well known during the '20s, the '50s saw a move towards ultra-ladylike face paint and splendidly coiffed hair. Hi, hair rollers!

  9. 9 1940s: Lipstick era

    By the 1940s, lipsticks came in various shades– yet every one of them were still some type of red. The majority of the lipstick recipes as of now were extremely matte, so ladies would put Vaseline over best to saturate and include sheen.

  10. 10 1920s: Flapper

    Post WWI, cosmetics turned out to be all the more generally utilized by and by, and the regularly moving magnificence of the thundering '20s grabbed hold. The exemplary flapper look of weaved hair with finger waves, red lips and kohl-rimmed eyes was conceived. Here's a fun actuality: the reason dim red lipstick was so mainstream was on the grounds that it was the main shade accessible!

  11. 11 19th century: Rosy cheeks

    Unobtrusive ruddy cheeks progressed toward becoming in vogue to differentiate the specific pale composition still worn by sovereignty. The main type of become flushed? Red beet squeeze or carmine color spotted onto the cheeks.

  12. 12 19th century: Trimmed eyelashes

    During the 1800s, ladies would trim their eyelashes. Truly, you read right– eyelashes, not eyebrows. They'd at that point touch castor oil onto their tops for sparkle.

  13. 13 19th century: Citrus eye drops

    Before the presence of Visine, drops of lemon or squeezed orange were depended on for more brilliant eyes. Ouch!

  14. 14 19th century: Powder

    Women would spot on powder to conceal spots and redness. Rice powder, zinc oxide or pearl powder (the most costly alternative) were all regularly utilized.

  15. 15 19th century: Bare face

    Turns out #iwokeuplikethis is certifiably not another idea. The nineteenth century saw a pattern towards an uncovered face as a reaction towards the poisonous synthetics found in eighteenth century makeup. It was viewed as unthinkable for anybody other than performers and whores to wear a face brimming with cosmetics.

  16. 16 18th century: White hair

    White wigs were the most prevalent and uncommon, so if individuals couldn't manage the cost of them, they would powder their hair white. While it didn't create the equivalent distinct white of the wigs, it helped hair to a shade of dim or violet, contingent upon the common shade of the hair.

  17. 17 18th century: Wigs

    Towards the later piece of the eighteenth century, tall, expand wigs achieved their stature in ubiquity (no joke planned). Most unmistakable by Marie Antoinette's renowned mane, the style was incredibly ridiculous.

  18. 18 18th century: Beauty patches

    Magnificence patches, otherwise called stick-on excellence marks, were a corrective staple during the 1700s. These aren't your average Marilyn Monroe moles– the patches arrived in an assortment of shapes and sizes, similar to stars, moons, hearts and much increasingly many-sided structures like a steed and carriage.

  19. 19 18th century: Ceruse

    The nearest type of cosmetics during the 1700s was a substance called ceruse. Regardless of being cautioned by specialists that it was very harmful, the restorative was connected to the face to accomplish a distinct white appearance (that looked anything besides common).

  20. 20 18th century: Pale skin

    Not at all like the present eager for tan magnificence culture, eighteenth century goals favored pale, practically white skin. A tan implied you were a hard worker who worked outside, where a pale composition demonstrated a more elevated amount of class. Women made a toner out of strawberries and wine and slathered it on their skin to help keep their compositions pale


     Greeks and Romans used a special ingredient in their body-toning mud baths: crocodile excrement. Full-body bathtubs were filled with a mixture of earth and freshly-harvested crocodile feces, which was also used to make anti-aging face masks.


    Beauty starts from the inside out, and maintaining a trim and slim figure was particularly prized in European nation throughout the 1800s. One particularly wicked beauty programme that gained some traction was the “tapeworm diet,” where individuals wanting to shed pounds would swallow pills containing change flatworm larvae, which would take up residence in your abdomen. The worms would divert your excess calories to their own bodies and grow larger and larger until you had them removed (a terribly unpleasant process). Thankfully, this particular diet fell out of fashion pretty quickly


    One of the foremost bizarre and alarming beauty practices in recent history is that the Chinese custom of foot binding. First seen among court dancers in the T’ang family, it quickly spread throughout the people. The ritual begins when a lady is between four and seven years elderly. All of her toes are broken except the massive toes, and her feet are wrapped with binding artefact to forestall them from growing to traditional size. This was typically done to a family’s eldest girl to improve her possibilities of wedding, as normal-sized feet symbolized the ability to figure.

  24. 24 BLEEDING

    Aristocratic ladies in the sixth century who wished to realize the intense complexion that drove all the boys wild would subject themselves to controlled hurt, draining the natural color out of their bodies one drop at a time. Needless to say, this didn’t do wonders for their life.


    A trend sweeping China is "Huǒ liáo", which translates as “fire treatment.” A towel soaked with alcohol and medicinal herbs is placed on the face or other body parts that need toning and tightening, and then lit on fire for several seconds. Allegedly, this invigorates the skin and helps reduce sagging and wrinkles. It’s relatively safe the flame doesn’t burn for long enough to cause serious damage but we're guessing it's not good for you by any means.


    Whiter teeth might be popular now, but it was quite the opposite for those in Japan throughout the Meiji era. Women who were married used a lacquer dye on the faces of all of their teeth, staining them a deep, brilliant black (single women had white teeth). First the rind of a pomegranate was rubbed against the teeth to prime the enamel, then the dye—made from iron filings and the gallnuts of the Japanese sumac tree—was applied. It was a foul, time-consuming process that had to be repeated every three days or so.

  27. 27 WIG LARD

    Big hair has been a symbol of beauty throughout the ages, but most ladies in the Middle Ages didn’t get the kind of nutrition necessary to really grow and style luxurious locks. So they faked it with wigs. However, these giant hairpieces weren’t all too sanitary. Victorian wigs were constructed out of wooden frames that hair was draped over and then glued on with pastes of bear grease and beef lard. That tasty mixture was irresistible to rats, which would often nest inside the hairpieces while they were not worn, until “wig cages” were invented to keep them safe while the wearer was sleeping.


    Teeth are a very important a part of your overall beauty, but before the invention of trendy dental technology it absolutely was difficult to stay them clean and bright. The ancient Romans believed that that they had the solution—the urine of Portuguese folks. Jars of excretory product were shipped in from Portugal as a result of they thought that it was a additional powerful cleanser than home-grown Roman urine. The ammonia in urine is truly smart for medical aid, associated it continued to be used as an active ingredient in gargle till a minimum of the eighteenth century.

  29. 29 Europe, 18th century: moles

    A time when a generous use of cosmetics was allowed, and special importance was given to artificial moles. Moles became not only a suggests that of makeup however conjointly a tool for flirting: a half-moon mole was an invite for a night’s date; a cupid signification love; a carriage was consent for a joint escape; a mole on the upper lip signification the woman was single and free for marital propositions; on the right cheek — married; on the left cheek — widow.

  30. 30 The Green Dress

    In the Victorian era, a green dye was fictional that became a real trend among sharp dressers. The color was called "Scheele’s inexperienced." To create it, a mixture of arsenic and copper was used, and it slowly killed the owner of the dress. The dye came into contact with mucosa and caused irritation, and it also bit by bit penetrated below the skin. The walls of houses were painted within the same color, exposing people to mortal risk.

  31. 31 19th century: arsenic for beauty

    In the 19th century, it was fashionable to eat arsenic to "give a blooming look to the face, shine to the eyes, and attractive form to the body." However, there were side effects: arsenic accumulates within the ductless gland and causes struma and generally death.

  32. 32 Victorian era: lip biting

    Queen Victoria prohibited the utilization of cosmetics. Nevertheless, this didn’t prevent ladies from finding a means out of true. Instead of blush and lipstick, they had to bite their lips and pinch their cheeks.

  33. 33 20th century: dimples

    A feminine image was thought of unfinished while not charming dimples on the cheeks. In 1923, this device was patented. It was to be placed on the face, fastened behind the ears and chin, and with the help of two outgoing rods continue the cheeks heavily and painfully. With prolonged use, the desired dimples appeared.

  34. 34 England, 17th century: venous network

    To emphasize their high birth, women used a blue pencil to draw veins on their neck, chest, and shoulders.

  35. 35 chopine

    Ladies of the 15th-17th centuries wore chopine shoes to protect their dresses from mud and demonstrate a high social position. Shoes told others about the identity and standing of their owner. The height of chopine shoes might reach fifty cm, so the girls who wore them required a maid who would support her mistress.

  36. 36 Renaissance: high forehead, no eyelashes

    Naturalness in this period is out of fashion, cosmetics are actively used, and the shape is being cultivated. A tall rounded forehead is especially trendy, and the hairline was located as high as attainable. Most women smooth-shaven their hair over their forehead to form a trendy image. Also, every sharp dresser thought-about it necessary to fully get rid of the eyelashes using normal tweezers.

  37. 37 1939: makeup protection

    This way sharp dressers saved their makeup from rain and snowfalls. One of the drawbacks of the device was that it fogged up from the within very quickly.


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