La cosmesi nell'antica roma

We think that reading, studying, “discovering” the history of Cosmesi is so incredibly fascinating... We love to see the way beauty routines and tastes are changed throughout centuries, and we love to share with you all the informations, thanks to this blog.

Let's talk about Rome: during Monarchy and then Republic, costumes were quite severe, both men and women had to show modesty and severity with a simple and austere image.

It all changed with the Empire, when roman women saw people of Gallia's blond hair for the first time, and changed their look radically.

Being blond meant being charming, while cosmetics and make up, even if officially unpopular, proved the belonging to high classes, because they were really expensive, and the beauty routine was a real tour de force.

Noble Ladies had many slaves assigned to hair and make up: they used to begin with long baths in donkey milk like Poppea, with clay and fava beans flour to exfoliate, then epilation with pumice stone and finally freshly made make up,prepared by special slaves called “cosmetae”.

Eyebrows were darkened and enlonged with a stick with coal or leaden mine on top, eyes were contoured with an eyeshadow made with toasted ants, face skin had to be perfectly white, so it was used a mix of clay and biacca. Lips were colured with a sort of lipstick composed with minium.

Very curious are actives of roman cosmetics: bees drowned in honey, ants, swan or sheep's fat, deer and roe deer marrow, dried snails and evenbull testicles!

And how about getting blond? Roman women used gold powder, or hair dyes made with saffron, flowers and potassium water, extremely abrasive and dangerous; otherwise they used to wear wigs made of real hair cut to the gallia's slaves, or to thik with dark indians and german blondes hair strands, obtaing something similar to our highlights.

And men? From century II ac shaving became fashion thanks to the famous influencer and trend setter Scipio Africanus, so the first berber shpos were born, even if often denounced by clients hurted with those primitive instruments... but you know... no pain no gain!