It’s weird — I’m generally low maintenance and natural in my day-to-day look, but I’ve done more than my fair share of weird things in the name of beauty. I’ve allowed hundreds of tiny needles to be rolled over my skin. I’ve steamed my lady parts in hopes of heaven knows what. I’ve consumed nothing but green juice for a week. I’ve tattooed my eyelids, and I’ve dipped my eyelashes in latex, but when I read Cheryl Wischhover’s recent post at NYMag.com about the horrors endured in the name of beauty in centuries past, I literally wanted to scream and cry and jump out of my skin so that no one could ever be subjected to any of the things she was talking about.
Is today’s micro-needling tomorrow’s radioactive facial? I dunno — let’s explore…
SCREAM-WORTHY BEAUTY 1 of 8
Image courtesy of Maks Karochkin on Flickr
Lead Heads 2 of 8
Today we (rightfully) spring into a panic when lead is found in our cosmetics. But back in the eighteenth century, folks just straight mixed it with vinegar and rubbed it on their faces to get that famous powdered look that was oh so popular at the time. They also probably died of lead poisoning.
Image courtesy of Steve Snodsgrass on Flickr
Arsenic Facial? 3 of 8
Imported Urine Mouthwash 4 of 8
It may not be dangerous, but it sure is effing disgusting. Ancient Romans reportedly imported urine from Portugal (believe to be more potent than the locally produced stuff) and gargled with it to prevent gingivitis. To add insult to injury, this apparently works due to the ammonia and urea in the urine.
Image courtesy of Nicholas Nova on Flickr
Eyelash Extensions, V1 5 of 8
Before you could just glue fake eyelashes on like a normal person, an 1899 newspaper article touted a surgical procedure in which hair from your head could be "threaded in loops of carefully graduated length" along your lash line. SHUDDER AND SCREAM AND OMG AM I DYING?
Image courtesy of Sean Tiernan on Flickr
Look RADIANT with Radiation! 6 of 8
Red Wig, Includes Nosebleed! 7 of 8
They May Have Built The Pyramids… 8 of 8