The history of makeup has not been a pretty one and one of the most common makeup products, foundation, is a culprit. A lot of people look back at history and wonder why on earth someone use poison all in the name of beauty but the truth of the matter is that in 2320, that generation will also look at us and laugh with all our liposuction, Botox and face lifts; history will repeat itself with different ingredients.
Foundation’s grisly origin can be traced back to ancient Greece and Rome. To make their skin appear more “fair,” the Grecians and Romans painted their faces with a poisonous chalk, also known as white lead.
It eventually became a staple in Queen Elizabeth I’s beauty cabinet. Coined as Venetian ceruse, this ghastly combination of lead and vinegar was used all over her face to cover up smallpox scars, and to give a paler appearance. Even worse, the toxic lead formula had side-effects including hair loss, rotten teeth, permanent skin discoloration, grey hair, dried-out skin, severe abdominal pain, and constipation.
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