When you walk into Sephora or LUSH in search of a face mask for your upcoming “Self-Care Sunday”, what do you look for?

Maybe it’s a light, eucalyptus-infused sheet mask. Perhaps you love thick, exfoliating masks that smell like coffee and cocoa. You base your choice on what you want for your skin, whether that be an overall brightening of the complexion or deep moisturizing for your pores. We look for facial treatments that would pair just right with our candle-lit bubble bath, Netflix binge, and well-deserved glass of wine.

Today, we have just about any beauty product we can imagine at our fingertips. These products have evolved throughout history, and staples such as blush and mascara have been worn by women for centuries, although they definitely had to put their creativity to use.

We’re always looking for ways to enhance our beauty, but maybe the best place to look is back at history. These babes knew what they were doing!

Here are the top 4 beauty secrets of queens, starlets and bombshells throughout the ages that you can try out a home for your very own DIY beauty!

2. Lemon Juice

Popularized during Medieval Times, women used lemon juice to brighten their skin tone and complexion. As the decades progressed, ladies became more experimental and added extra ingredients to complement the citrus, including glycerin, vinegar and rum! These “potions” even helped remove sunburns. Today, lemon juice is still a great DIY option for bright, vibrant skin! (Dubofsky)

Queen Elizabeth I was famous for brightening her complexion using the juice from a lemon. Beauty and her self-image mattered to this true Queen!

2. Vaseline

Always known to be quite multifunctional in the household, women came to find that the benefits of Vaseline when used in a beauty regime were undisputable. For decades, this item was used throughout their routines; it was a way to stick coal dust to eyes for a dramatic smokey eye and add shimmer to red lips. Even today, it truly is a beauty wonder; use it on dry skin and chapped lips during the cold winter months. (https://www.thelist.com/59712/women-used-makeup-100-years-ago/Dubofsky)

From 1917; Maybelline cake mascara, developed by T.L. Williams for his sister Mabel; Williams used the idea of blending Vaseline and coal dust to create this staple cosmetics item.

3. Beet Juice

Ever ran out of blush and just couldn’t bear to leave the house without rosy cheeks? Why not try some all-natural beet juice?

In the 1900s, this was a typical practice for women and this ingredient was crucial to a beauty routine. The stain from the beet was perfect for blushes, and also worked for lipsticks (Dubofsky). It may be a little messy, but your skin will thank you for this natural alternative.

A flapper from the 1920s smiles, showing off her rosy cheeks.

4. Rose Water

Today, this natural item is used in an array of products in cosmetics, and we’re not the first to use it. Rose water has been common for women to use when toning and moisturizing their skin, and even removing makeup. In the early 1900s, ladies of the time created recipes for lotions and creams that utilized this sweet-smelling essence.

A face massage “how-to” using rose water from the 1910 beauty book by Margaret Mixter; Library of Congress

Interested in more beauty history? Check out the article “Never Underestimate the Power of a Good Red Lipstick”

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