FINISHING TOUCH: Cosmetics Through the AgesJULIAN WALKER Book Number: 81555 Product format: Hardback
A story of ingenuity and imagination but also self-delusion, trickery and exploitation. Among the bizarre home remedies and grotesque commercial innovations featured are a face wash based on minced and boiled pigeons, bear's grease used as a hair conditioner, a recipe involving horseradish stirred into sour milk to lighten a tan, an Anglo-Saxon prescription for cosmetic surgery and ways to prevent mice from infesting elaborate wigs. The author leads workshops at the British Library and his book is utterly intriguing. How to correct the ill scent of the armpits (pound litharge of gold or silver, and boil it in vinegar, 1669), twining curls and other ways of waving the hair with glue or a hot tobacco pipe, remedies for split ends, baldness, perfect skin, wrinkles or how to give the cheeks a carnation colour. Wonderful historical illustrations, 176pp.
Published price: £10
Bibliophile price: £6.50