What was considered beautiful in Victorian times? Exploring fashion & décor.

During Victorian times, the definition of beauty was vastly different from what it is today. Beauty in the Victorian era meant achieving a natural look, where everything appears effortless even when it was not. Here are some of the features that were considered beautiful in Victorian times:
  • Clean Faces: A clear and fresh complexion was considered the epitome of beauty. While today’s beauty routines emphasize makeup, Victorians preferred a natural look, free of blemishes and spots.
  • Bright Eyes: Eyes that appeared bright, alert, and expressive were highly desirable in Victorian times. They were often highlighted with subtle eye makeup to make them appear larger and more rounded.
  • Natural Lips: Tinted lips were considered a beauty taboo in Victorian times. Women were advised to keep their lips looking natural, as if they had just been bitten. Chapstick and lip gloss were unheard of, and lipsticks were only used by a few daring women.
  • Flushed Cheeks: Victorians believed that a natural flush on the cheeks was a sign of good health and vitality. However, overly rosy cheeks were viewed as a sign of vulgarity. To achieve the perfect look, women used subtle blushes that gave them a natural, healthy glow.
In summary, beauty in Victorian times was all about achieving a natural, effortless look. Women spent hours crafting the perfect natural look, while avoiding anything that seemed too artificial. Nowadays, beauty comes in many different forms, but history shows us that sometimes the simplest, most natural looks can be the most appealing.
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Natural Beauty Standards in Victorian Times

In Victorian times, natural beauty was highly valued, with the belief that minimal makeup should be worn to enhance one’s features; the idea was to create a look that appeared as though no makeup had been applied. Women were expected to maintain their skin’s natural glow and radiance, and to achieve this, they relied on various skin-care treatments and beauty regimes. Unlike today’s makeup trends, the use of heavy foundation was discouraged, and women were encouraged to use products that gave their skin a dewy, fresh look, like a thin layer of rice powder or a touch of rose water. As a result, beauty products were made with natural ingredients like crushed flowers, herbs, and clay, which were believed to enhance beauty naturally.

The Importance of Clean and Bright Features

Clean faces were hugely important in ancient beauty standards. The idea was that a woman’s face should be not only clean but also bright and glowing. To achieve this, women would cleanse their faces every morning and evening with homemade skincare products made from honey, lemon juice, and cucumber. They would also use cold water to splash their faces in order to close pores and tighten skin. Furthermore, personal hygiene was a huge focus during this time, with women being expected to maintain healthy teeth, hair, and nails, all of which were believed to contribute to an overall beautiful appearance.

Tinted Lips: The Preferred Lip Look

Tinted lips were a significant beauty trend during the Victorian era, with a focus on subtle and natural colors. Women would often use beetroot juice or home-made lip stains to create a subtle pink or red flush on the lips. Lip colors were encouraged to be close to the natural color of the lips to give a flushed and healthy appearance.
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Fun fact: In the late 1800s, a popular lip product was a red lip pomade called Mme. Rowley’s Toilet Mask Carminative, and it was so popular that it was rumored to be even more addictive than opium!

Flushed Cheeks: The Desired Blush Look

A blush was considered an essential makeup item in Victorian times. The ideal look was to have rosy, flushed cheeks, as it was believed to signify a youthful and healthy appearance. Women would use a mixture of roses and beeswax or other natural components to create their blush at home, as commercially available makeup products were scarce at the time. Tip: For a natural flush, Victorian women would pinch their cheeks until they became slightly red.

The Illusion of Bitten Lips in Victorian Beauty

Another popular beauty trend that highlights the natural aesthetic was the illusion of bitten lips. In Victorian times, full and pouty lips were not considered the ideal beauty standard. Instead, women would press their lips together and bite their bottom lip gently to create a natural, slightly reddened appearance. To enhance the bitten lip illusion, women would use a small amount of toothpaste or baking soda to exfoliate the skin of their lips to achieve a softer texture. In conclusion, the natural look was the primary beauty standard during the Victorian era. Women were urged to follow a simple beauty routine to maintain clean and bright skin, and to use minimal makeup to enhance their features subtly. The period saw a focus on homemade beauty remedies, with natural products being utilized for makeup items. This was in contrast to present times where synthetic beauty products are dominant in the market. Nevertheless, some beauty essentials of the Victorian era like tinted lips and flushed cheeks still find a place in our contemporary makeup looks. The timeless natural beauty standards of the Victorian era continue to inspire and influence women’s approach to beauty today.

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